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Interactive Key to the
Genera of Gilled Mushrooms

from the book
Mushrooms of Northeastern North America

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  • 1. Stalk central to eccentric: 2.
  • 1. Stalk absent to lateral: 26.
  • 2. Gills attached to decurrent; gills, cap flesh, or stalk exuding latex when cut; universal veil, partial veil and ring absent; spore print white, cream, or yellow to ochre; spores with various amyloid ornamentations: Genus Lactarius
  • 2. As above, except latex absent; gills white to pale orange; lamellulae few or absent in many species; stalk lacking vertical fibers, snapping somewhat like a piece of chalk; flesh brittle and crumbly; cap cuticle membranous, detachable (at least near cap margin), sometimes white but often colorfully pigmented (pink, orange, red, purple, green); spore print color and spores as above: Genus Russula
  • 2. Not as in either of the above choices, but spore print white to cream: 3.
  • 2. Spore print pink, tan, yellow, or darker: 4.
  • 3. Universal veil slimy to glutinous, cap and lower stalk likewise; gills free or nearly so, white; partial veil present or absent; spores smooth, inamyloid, typically globose, 6 m long at most: Genus Limacella
  • 3. Universal veil present, usually leaving remnants (warts on cap or stalk, or volva); partial veil present in young specimens or margin striate or both; gills free or nearly so; terrestrial; never clustered; spores globose to elliptic, smooth, amyloid or inamyloid: Genus Amanita
  • 3. Entire mushroom usually very moist; most species semitranslucent and colorful (yellow, orange, red, purple) with colors fading conspicuously as specimens dry out; gills appearing waxy, thickened, attached, often distant and crossveined; gills typically leaving a waxy residue on one’s fingers when rubbed; partial veil rarely present; most species terrestrial; not usually clustered; spores smooth, inamyloid: Genus Hygrophorus
  • 3. Cap coated with loose granules; stipe sheathed halfway or farther up from below, the sheath sometimes flaring at the top; gills variously attached but never free; spores smooth, thin-walled, amyloid or inamyloid: Genus Cystoderma
  • 3. Cap white, tan, brownish or reddish, usually distinctly scaly in age; gills free, white, close; partial veil present, usually leaving a ring on stalk; terrestrial, usually growing on dead plant debris (leaves, needles, wood chips, etc.); spores smooth, dextrinoid, amyloid or inamyloid: Genus Lepiota and Allies
  • 3. Spore print white to cream, but mushroom not otherwise as in any of the above choices; gills attached; other characters exceedingly variable: 32.
  • 4. Spore print buff to pink to salmon or pinkish brown: 5.
  • 4. Spore print pale yellowish cream to orangish yellow: 8.
  • 4. Spore print lilac or lilac-tinted, lilac-gray or violet-gray; cap often pinkish, usually finely scaly when dry; gills attached to decurrent, pinkish or flesh-colored to purplish, usually appearing thick and/or waxy; stalk fibrous, tough; spores inamyloid, minutely spiny except smooth in one species: Genus Laccaria
  • 4. Spore print greenish brown to yellowish brown; gills attached to decurrent, crossveined to almost poroid, yellowish at first; gill layer easily separable from the cap flesh; cap surface blueing with ammonia; spores smooth, asymetric, inamyloid; cystidia typically abundant, clamp connections absent: Genus Phylloporus
  • 4. Spore print greenish, lacking brown tones: Genus Lepiota and Allies
  • 4. Spore print with an orange to red tint when fresh, ranging from bright orange to rust or reddish brown: 9.
  • 4. Spore print yellowish brown to brown, lacking an orange to red tint: 15.
  • 4. Spore print dark purplish brown: 20.
  • 4. Spore print gray to black: 24.
  • 5. Gills distinctly free; saccate volva present; partial veil absent; growing on wood, sawdust, compost, or on other mushrooms; spores smooth, thick-walled, inamyloid: Genus Volvariella
  • 5. Gills distinctly free; volva and partial veil both absent; growing on wood, sawdust, or other woody substrate; spores smooth, inamyloid: Genus Pluteus
  • 5. Gills free; partial veil present, usually leaving a ring on the stalk; mushroom terrestrial: 6.
  • 5. Gills attached but sometimes appearing free; partial veil absent; cap conic to broadly conic when young, becoming bell-shaped to nearly flat with an umbo in age, dark brown, hairy; stalk dark brown, hairy; base of stalk with bristle-like hairs; spores 13–16 x 7–9 m, angular in all views; solitary, scattered or in groups on leaf litter or decaying hardwood; edibility unknown: Pouzarella nodospora (Atkinson) Mazzer
  • 5. Gills attached but often appearing free; partial veil absent; cap usually conic, thin-fleshed; stem slender, often twisted, fragile, usually not white, base typically coated with white mycelium; spores angular, with a pointed apex: Genus Nolanea
  • 5. Gills attached, sinuate or decurrent; partial veil absent: 7.
  • 6. Cap smooth, white, not scaly; spore print white to pale pink; growing on lawns or grassy areas; spores with an apical pore: Lepiota naucinoides Peck
  • 6. Cap less than 3" (7.5 cm) wide, slightly scaly when mature; spores smooth, amyloid, inamyloid or dextrinoid, without an apical pore: Genus Lepiota
  • 7. Cap less than 3" (7.5 cm) wide and more or less flat at maturity with a sunken center and tiny scales; overall colors and/or staining reactions sometimes striking (e.g. teal, pink, blue to violet or black) but often more or less brown; gills more or less decurrent, sometimes with colored edges; stalk slender, fragile, less than ” (7mm) thick; lower stalk usually white-coated; odor often pronounced and/or odd (e.g. like burnt rubber, mice, bathroom cleanser, bubble gum or farinaceous); spores angular, with a pointed apex: Genus Leptonia
  • 7. Cap about 1–3" (2.5–7.5 cm) wide, flesh-colored to apricot to reddish pink, surface wrinkled, veined or netted; gills attached; mushroom growing on wood; spores globose or nearly so, minutely warty or spiny, inamyloid: Rhodotus palmatus (Bulliard : Fries) Maire
  • 7. Cap thin-fleshed, less than 2" (5 cm) wide, center depressed to sunken; gills decurrent; stalk 1/8" (3 mm) thick at most; spores smooth, inamyloid: Genus Chrysomphalina and Allies
  • 7. Spore print brownish pink, brownish salmon or pinkish; gills often sinuate; spores angular in all views: Genus Entoloma and Allies
  • 7. Spore print pinkish cream or pinkish buff, lacking a brownish tint; cap usually white, gray, tan, brown, typically not colorful, often sunken to funnel-shaped; gills thin, usually sinuate or decurrent; spores smooth to finely warty, typically inamyloid (amyloid in only a few species): Genus Clitocybe and Allies . NOTE: Some species of other genera in the Tricholoma family also have spores that appear somewhat pinkish in mass. If a specimen does not key out in Clitocybe and Allies, try keying it out from: 32.
  • 8. Mushroom tough, corky to fibrous or leathery, not readily decaying; cap becoming sunken at the center; gills descending the stalk; stalk solid, tough, usually densely hairy; found on decaying wood which may be buried; spores cylindric, smooth, inamyloid: Genus Lentinus
  • 8. Cap smooth, convex to flat, often with an umbo, texture like leather, white to yellowish to dark brown, often hygrophanous; gills crowded, attached, never decurrent, white; stalk usually tall, slender, longitudinally striate; often found on humus, sometimes on lawns, never on decaying wood; spores warty, with a plage, and amyloid: Genus Melanoleuca
  • 8. Cap usually less than 3" (7.5 cm) wide, sunken at the center in age; gills sometimes forked, always descending stalk; stalk narrow, brittle; usually found among mosses, lichens or liverworts, but sometimes on soil or wood; spores smooth, inamyloid: Genus Chrysomphalina and Allies
  • 9. Cap 2" (5 cm) wide at most, surface dry, coated with short, erect, brown scales over a grayish brown to yellowish ground color; scales fragile, soon powdery and easily removed; gills free, bright to dark red, becoming brown; partial veil membranous, leaving remnants on upper stalk and on the cap margin; stalk scurfy to nearly smooth; spore print dull red when fresh, drying purplish brown; spores 5–7 x 2–3 m: Melanophyllum echinatum (Roth : Fries) Singer
  • 9. Gills free, close to crowded, yellowish at first; cap viscid, glabrous, becoming striate; partial veil absent; spores smooth, with an apical pore: Genus Bolbitius
  • 9. Gills free to deeply notched, close; cap viscid, glabrous, conic to campanulate, more or less brown; partial veil absent; stalk with a long, tapering root; exclusively under conifers; spores roughened to finely wrinkled, lacking a pore, often with a snout-like projection: Genus Phaeocollybia
  • 9. Not as in any of the above choices; growing on wood: 10.
  • 9. Not as in any of the above choices; growing on the ground: 12.
  • 9. Not as in any of the above choices; growing on decaying remains of another mushroom, the “Shaggy Mane” (Coprinus comatus): Psathyrella epimyces (Peck) Smith
  • 10. Cap margin distinctly inrolled when young; gills decurrent, forked, distinctly crossveined to almost pore-like at the stalk, gill layer easily separable from cap flesh; stalk eccentric to almost lateral, distinctly velvety; spores smooth, lacking a pore: Paxillus atrotomentosus (Bataille : Fries)
  • 10. Gills often mottled; stalk slender and decidedly brittle, easily snapping in half; partial veil sometimes evident; spores smooth to roughened, with an apical pore: Genus Psathyrella
  • 10. Cap convex, less than 4" (10 cm) wide; cap and stalk scaly to powdery or granular; partial veil more fibrous than membranous, leaving at most a zone of fibers near the top of the stalk; spores smooth, with or without an apical pore: Phaeomarasmius erinaceellus (Peck) Singer
  • 10. Gills becoming bright orange, spore print bright orange; flesh bitter; cap blackish with KOH; spores roughened to warty, lacking an apical pore and lacking a plage: Genus Gymnopilus
  • 10. Cap typically convex, 2” (6.5 cm) wide at most, hygrophanous, usually with tiny white veil patches, especially near the margin; fibrous or membranous partial veil present when young; spore print pale yellowish to cinnamon-brown; spores smooth, lacking a pore: Genus Tubaria
  • 10. Not as in any of the above choices: 11.
  • 11. Gill edges whitish, finely serrate; partial veil absent; cap minutely powdery or velvety; spores smooth, lacking an apical pore: Simocybe centunculus (Fries) Karsten
  • 11. Cap typically glabrous; gills usually notched or slightly decurrent, often white-fringed; membranous partial veil present when young; stalk 1/8" (3mm) thick at most; spores warty or at least roughened, but with a plage: Genus Galerina
  • 11. Cap usually scaly, often viscid; fibrous to membranous partial veil present, usually leaving a ring on the stalk or remnants on the cap margin; lower stalk scaly; mushrooms often robust and in large clusters on decaying wood; spores smooth, usually with an apiculus and/or an apical pore which, in some species, causes the spore to appear truncate: Genus Pholiota
  • 12. Cap margin distinctly inrolled when young; gills decurrent, forked, distinctly crossveined to almost pore-like at stalk, gill layer easily separable from cap flesh; spores smooth, lacking a pore: Paxillus involutus (Bataille : Fries) Fries
  • 12. Cap usually brown but sometimes white to yellowish or lilac; cap radially fibrous, often splitting at the margin, often umbonate, usually less than 2” (6.5 cm) wide; gills with a pale-fringed edge; partial veil a cortina, rarely leaving a ring on the stalk; odor often spermatic, sometimes fruity; spores smooth to bumpy, sometimes angular, lacking an apical pore: Genus Inocybe
  • 12. Gills becoming distinctly rust-colored, spore print distinctly rust-colored; young specimens with an obvious cortina, usually leaving at most a fibrous annular zone on the stalk; stalk often with a bulbous base; spores warty to finely wrinkled: Genus Cortinarius
  • 12. Cap brownish yellow to yellowish brown with a white bloom, especially at the center; gills becoming distinctly rust-colored, spore print distinctly rust-colored; membranous partial veil present, leaving a membranous ring on the stalk; spores warty to wrinkled, dextrinoid: Rozites caperata (Fries) Karsten
  • 12. Cap viscid; gills typically sinuate to notched, with a white margin; odor often radish-like; spores smooth, thick-walled, dextrinoid: Genus Hebeloma
  • 12. Not as in any of the above choices; stalk slender and fragile or brittle: 13.
  • 12. Not as in any of the above choices; stalk neither fragile nor brittle: 14.
  • 13. Gills often mottled; stalk slender and decidedly brittle, easily snapping in half; partial veil sometimes evident; spores smooth to roughened, with an apical pore: Genus Psathyrella
  • 13. Stalk quite slender and fragile but not brittle as described above; spores smooth, with an apical pore, the apex often flattened: Genus Conocybe
  • 14. Cap slimy, brown, with dry fibrous scales; partial veil whitish, leaving remnants on the cap margin and sometimes leaving a ring on the stalk; stalk dark brown; growing in clusters on the ground; spores 4.5–7 x 3.5–4.5 m, smooth, with a distinct apiculus and a minute but distinct apical pore: Pholiota terrestris Overholts
  • 14. Cap typically glabrous; gills usually notched or slightly decurrent, often white-fringed; membranous partial veil present when young; stalk 1/8" (3 mm) thick at most; spores warty or at least roughened, with a plage: Genus Galerina
  • 14. Cap typically convex, 2” (6.5 cm) wide at most, hygrophanous, usually with tiny white veil patches, especially near the margin; fibrous or membranous partial veil present when young; spore print pale yellowish to cinnamon-brown; spores smooth, lacking a pore: Genus Tubaria
  • 15. Partial veil membranous (check young specimens): 16.
  • 15. Partial veil fibrous to cortinate (check young specimens): 17.
  • 15. Partial veil absent even in very young specimens: 18.
  • 16. Cap usually scaly, often viscid; gills attached; fibrous to membranous partial veil present, usually leaving a ring on the stalk or remnants on the cap margin; lower stalk scaly; often robust and in large clusters on decaying wood; spores smooth, usually with an apiculus and/or an apical pore which, in some species, causes the spore to appear truncate: Genus Pholiota
  • 16. Cap usually thick-fleshed and robust; gills close to crowded, free or nearly so, white or pale gray at first often becoming pink and always turning dark brown to black with or without a purple tint when mature; stipe cleanly separable from the cap; spores smooth, lacking an apical pore or with only an obscure apical pore: Genus Agaricus
  • 16. Cap usually thick-fleshed and robust, often cracked at maturity; gills attached; stalk usually thick and sturdy unless mushroom is small and growing in grass; usually found in troops or clusters in woody soil, on humus, dung, lawns, or especially on wood chips, but rarely on logs or stumps; spores smooth, typically with a wide pore: Genus Agrocybe
  • 16. Cap glabrous and hygrophanous, often appearing zoned; usually in clusters on wood; spores smooth, usually with an apiculus and/or an apical pore which, in some species, causes the spore to appear truncate: Genus Pholiota
  • 17. Cap usually scaly, often viscid; fibrous to membranous partial veil present, usually leaving a ring on the stalk or remnants on the cap margin; lower stalk scaly; often robust and in large clusters on decaying wood; spores smooth, usually with an apiculus and/or an apical pore which, in some species, causes the spore to appear truncate: Genus Pholiota
  • 17. Cap brown, sometimes white to yellowish or lilac, radially fibrous, often splitting at the margin, often umbonate, usually less than 2–” (6.5 cm) wide; gills with a pale-fringed edge; partial veil a cortina, rarely leaving a ring on the stalk; odor often spermatic, sometimes fruity; spores smooth to bumpy, sometimes angular, lacking an apical pore: Genus Inocybe
  • 17. Not as in either of the above choices: 19.
  • 18. Cap margin distinctly inrolled when young; gills decurrent, forked, distinctly crossveined to almost pore-like at the stalk, gill layer easily separable from the cap flesh; spores smooth, lacking a pore: Genus Paxillus
  • 18. Cap less than 2" (5 cm) wide, typically almost fleshless, distinctly striate, often splitting radially at maturity, usually with fine clear hairs (use a hand lens); gills typically well spaced; spores smooth, with an apical pore: Genus Coprinus
  • 18. Gill edges whitish, finely serrate; partial veil absent; cap minutely powdery or velvety; spores smooth, lacking an apical pore: Simocybe centunculus (Fries) Karsten
  • 18. Not as in any of the above choices: 19.
  • 19. Gills often mottled; stalk slender and decidedly brittle, easily snapping in half; partial veil sometimes evident; spores smooth to roughened, with an apical pore: Genus Psathyrella
  • 19. Cap glabrous, usually yellowish or with a yellow tint; gills pallid to greenish at first, becoming smoky gray at maturity; usually growing on wood or humus, or in moss; spores usually smooth with an apical pore: Genus Hypholoma
  • 19. Cap viscid; gills typically sinuate to notched, with a white margin; odor often radish-like; spores smooth, thick-walled, dextrinoid: Genus Hebeloma
  • 19. Cap margin adorned with long, coarse hairs; cap usually becoming sunken at the center in age; gills often crossveined, white to dull pinkish when young; stalk fragile, whitish, hollow; spores small (6 um maximum), round or nearly so, with minute spines or bumps: Ripartites tricholoma (Albertini and Schweinitz : Fries) Karsten
  • 20. Partial veil more or less membranous (check young specimens): 21.
  • 20. Partial veil more or less fibrous or cortinate (check young specimens): 22.
  • 20. Partial veil absent even in young specimens: 23.
  • 21. Cap 2" (5 cm) wide at most, surface dry, coated with short, erect, brown scales over a grayish brown to yellowish ground color; scales fragile, soon powdery and easily removed; gills free, bright to dark red, becoming brown; partial veil membranous, leaving remnants on the upper stalk and cap margin; stalk scurfy to nearly smooth; spore print dull red when fresh, drying purplish brown; spores 5–7 x 2–3 m: Melanophyllum echinatum (Roth : Fries) Singer
  • 21. Gills close, attached, often notched, edges often whitish, finely serrate; partial veil present, usually leaving a ring on the stalk and sometimes remnants on the cap margin; rhizomorphs often attached to base of stalk; spores smooth, with a truncate apical pore: Genus Stropharia
  • 21. Not as in either of the above choices: 23.
  • 22. Gill edges whitish, finely serrate; partial veil absent; cap minutely powdery or velvety; spores smooth, lacking an apical pore: Simocybe centunculus (Fries) Karsten
  • 22. Cap smooth, usually viscid; gill edges smooth, often remaining whitish at maturity; partial veil sparce, fibrous, usually evident only in young specimens, not leaving a ring; stalk often staining blue to greenish blue when bruised; spores smooth, with a truncate apical pore: Genus Psilocybe
  • 22. Not as in either of the above choices: 23.
  • 23. Cap usually thick-fleshed and robust; gills close to crowded, free or nearly so, white or pale gray at first often becoming pink and always turning dark brown to black with or without a purple tint when mature; stipe cleanly separable from the cap; spores smooth, without an apical pore or with only an obscure apical pore: Genus Agaricus
  • 23. Gills often mottled; stalk slender and decidedly brittle, easily snapping in half; partial veil sometimes evident; spores smooth to roughened, with an apical pore: Genus Psathyrella
  • 23. Cap glabrous, usually yellowish or with a yellow tint; gills pallid to greenish at first, becoming smoky gray at maturity; partial veil evident or not; usually growing on wood, humus, or in moss; spores usually smooth with an apical pore: Genus Hypholoma
  • 24. Gills thick, widely spaced and distinctly decurrent, yellowish to orange or salmon at first; flesh of lower stalk colored buff to orange; spores smooth, long and narrow; flesh amyloid: Genus Chroogomphus
  • 24. Cap viscid or slimy; gills thick, widely spaced and distinctly descending the stalk, white or whitish at first; flesh white; spores smooth, cylindric; flesh inamyloid: Genus Gomphidius
  • 24. Not as in either of the above choices: 25.
  • 25. Gills extremely crowded; gills and sometimes cap dissolving into a black ink-like fluid at maturity; spores smooth, with an apical pore: Genus Coprinus
  • 25. Gills often mottled; stalk slender and decidedly brittle, easily snapping in half; partial veil sometimes evident; spores smooth to roughened, with an apical pore: Genus Psathyrella
  • 25. Cap smooth, dry to viscid, usually gray to brown or black; faces of gills becoming black-dotted in age, edges often whitish; partial veil absent; typically found on dung or in manured areas such as pastures, but sometimes on soil or in moss; spores smooth, with a flattened end and an apical pore: Genus Panaeolus
  • 25. Cap less than 2" (5 cm) wide, typically almost fleshless, distinctly striate, often splitting radially at maturity, usually with fine clear hairs (use a hand lens); gills typically well spaced; spores smooth, with an apical pore: Genus Coprinus
  • 26. Spore print white to cream: 28.
  • 26. Spore print yellowish; cap smooth to finely velvety in age, up to 4" (10 cm) wide, variously yellow to green or purple in color; gills yellow, neither forked nor crossveined; mushroom tough, not decaying readily; found only in autumn after frosts, on decaying wood; spores smooth, sausage-shaped, amyloid: Panellus serotinus (Fries) Khner
  • 26. Spore print yellowish olive to olive-yellow when fresh, drying yellowish cinnamon; cap smooth to finely velvety, 3" (7.5 cm) wide at most, yellow overall; gills orangish yellow, forked, crossveined and distinctly corrugated, wrinkled or wavy; gill layer easily separable from the cap flesh; odor unpleasant; spores ellipsoid, smooth, inamyloid: Paxillus corrugatus Atkinson
  • 26. Spore print yellow or yellowish; cap greenish yellow to brownish; gills yellow, forked and crossveined and only slightly corrugate or wrinkled at most; gill layer easily separable from cap flesh; spores elliptic, smooth, inamyloid or dextrinoid: Paxillus panuoides (Fries : Fries) Fries
  • 26. Spore print pale yellowish cream to orangish yellow; otherwise not as in the previous choice; spores smooth, cylindric, inamyloid: Genus Lentinus
  • 26. Spore print buff to pink to salmon or pinkish brown: 27.
  • 26. Spore print light grayish lilac; spores smooth, cylindric or nearly so, inamyloid: Genus Pleurotus
  • 26. Spore print dull brown to yellowish brown or pinkish brown; spores smooth to roughened or appearing dotted, globose to elliptic or almond-shaped, inamyloid: Genus Crepidotus
  • 27. Cap about 1–3" (2.5–7.5 cm) wide, flesh-colored to apricot to reddish pink, surface wrinkled, veined or netted; gills attached; mushroom growing on wood; spores globose or nearly so, minutely warty or spiny, inamyloid: Rhodotus palmatus (Bulliard : Fries) Maire
  • 27. Cap distinctly fuzzy, yellow to orange; spores smooth, cylindric, inamyloid: Phyllotopsis nidulans (Persoon : Fries) Singer
  • 27. Growing on other mushrooms; spores smooth, angular in all views: Claudopus parasiticus (Qulet) Ricken
  • 27. Not as in either of the above choices; odor often farinaceous; spores more or less elliptic, with longitudinal ridges, appearing angular only in end view: Genus Clitopilus
  • 27. Odor not farinaceous; spores distinctly angular in all views: Genus Claudopus
  • 27. Macroscopically not as in any of the above choices; spores smooth to roughened or appearing dotted, globose to elliptic or almond-shaped, inamyloid: Genus Crepidotus
  • 28. Cap and gills orange overall; gills somewhat decurrent, repeatedly and regularly forked but not crossveined; growing on or about decaying conifer wood or needle litter; spores elliptic to cylindric, smooth, mostly dextrinoid: Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca (Wulfen : Fries) Maire
  • 28. Gill edges appearing distinctly white-fringed (use a hand lens); spores smooth, inamyloid, usually elliptic; gills with prominent cheilocystidia: Genus Tricholomopsis
  • 28. All parts staining or bruising blackish; spores smooth to finely warty or spiny, round to elliptic or cylindric but sometimes appearing triangular, inamyloid: Genus Lyophyllum
  • 28. Gills strongly decurrent; entire mushroom orange overall, normally luminescing green when fresh (view in complete darkness for five–ten minutes); spores smooth, globose to subglobose, inamyloid: Omphalotus olearius (De Candolle : Fries) Singer
  • 28. Not as in any of the above choices: 29.
  • 29. Cap white to gray or brownish, smooth to minutely velvety or scaly; flesh typically gelatinized or rubbery; gill edges neither serrate nor fringed (use a hand lens); spores smooth or appearing finely pitted or dotted, inamyloid: Genus Hohenbuehelia
  • 29. Cap hairy to scaly, tan to pale brown, less than 1” (4 cm) wide; mushroom tough, not decaying readily; taste quite acrid; normally luminescing green when fresh (view in complete darkness for five–ten minutes); spores smooth, sausage-shaped, amyloid: Panellus stipticus (Bulliard : Fries) Karsten
  • 29. Cap dry, finely hairy, bluish black, typically less than ” (1.3 cm) wide; flesh rubbery-gelatinous; gills gray to nearly black; found on the undersurface of decaying logs; spores round, smooth, inamyloid: Resupinatus applicatus (Bataille : Fries) S.F. Gray
  • 29. Not as in any of the above choices; gills serrate and/or cap leathery to corky: 30.
  • 29. Not as in any of the above choices; gills not serrate; cap not leathery to corky: 31.
  • 30. Gills purplish, not serrate; stalk, if present, very tough and usually hairy; spores smooth, elliptic, inamyloid: Genus Lentinus
  • 30. Gills decurrent, serrate; taste bitter or acrid; spores finely warted or spiny, amyloid: Genus Lentinellus
  • 31. Cap brown, less than 1" (2.5 cm) wide, becoming minutely velvety to hairy in age; thin, membranous partial veil present in very young specimens; spores smooth, cylindric, weakly amyloid: Tectella patellaris (Fries) Murrill
  • 31. Cap more or less white, fairly robust, up to 6" (15 cm) wide, typically cracked or with visible water spots in age; stalk present; usually growing on living hardwoods; spore print cream; spores smooth, globose to elliptic, inamyloid: Genus Hypsizygus
  • 31. Cap usually smooth, white to brown, up to 6" (15 cm) or more wide, thick-fleshed; gills decurrent, broad, white to cream; spore print white to cream or grayish lilac; spores more or less cylindric, smooth, inamyloid: Pleurotus ostreatus complex
  • 31. Cap 4" (10 cm) wide at most, white, thin-fleshed, pliant; spore print white; gills narrow, crowded, white to yellowish; stalk virtually absent; typically found in groups or almost clustered on dead conifer logs, especially hemlock; spores globose or nearly so, smooth, inamyloid: Pleurocybella porrigens (Persoon : Fries) Singer
  • 31. Cap white, less than 1" (2.5 cm) wide, smooth to minutely hairy, soft-fleshed; gills finely fringed (use a hand lens); spores round to rounded-angular, inamyloid: Cheimonophyllum candidissimus (Berkeley and Curtis) Singer
  • 31. Cap 1" (2.5 cm) wide at most, usually white to brown or purplish; stalk, if present, rudimentary, typically minutely velvety: Genus Panellus
  • 32. Gill edges serrate (use a hand lens): 33.
  • 32. Gills repeatedly and regularly forked: 34.
  • 32. Not as in either of the above choices; partial veil present: 35.
  • 32. Not as in any of the above choices; partial veil absent: 36.
  • 33. Flesh bitter or acrid; spores finely warted or spiny, amyloid: Genus Lentinellus
  • 33. Flesh mild to bitter; spores smooth, inamyloid: Genus Lentinus
  • 34. Cap gray overall, 3" (7.5 cm) wide at most; gills staining reddish; growing in haircap moss; spores smooth, somewhat spindle-shaped, amyloid: Cantharellula umbonata (Gmelin : Fries) Singer
  • 34. Cap and gills orange overall; gills somewhat decurrent, repeatedly and regularly forked but not crossveined; growing on or about decaying conifer wood or needle litter; spores elliptic to cylindric, smooth, mostly dextrinoid: Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca (Wulfen : Fries) Maire
  • 34. Cap pinkish at first, fading to buff; gills decurrent, white to pinkish, some distinctly forked, typically crossveined; growing on or about decaying conifer wood or needle litter; odor strongly fragrant, reminiscent of bubble gum; spores 3–5 x 2–3 m, elliptic, smooth, dextrinoid; edibility unknown: Hygrophoropsis olida (Qulet) Mtrod
  • 35. Solitary to clustered on deciduous wood; gills decurrent, white discoloring yellowish, covered at first by a white membranous veil; cap 2–5" (5–12.5 cm) wide, coated with tiny matted grayish fibrils on a whitish ground color, becoming slightly scurfy and whitish to dull yellowish tan overall in age; flesh white; odor fragrant to slightly pungent; taste not distinctive; stalk eccentric to central, whitish, sometimes with a sparse, membranous, white, superior ring; edible: Pleurotus dryinus (Persoon : Fries) Kummer
  • 35. Cap and lower stalk densely coated with rusty brown, pointed, recurved scales, dry, margin incurved and often remaining so at maturity, coated with rusty brown fibers; gills notched, close, white, edges finely scalloped; spores 5–6 x 3.5–4 um, elliptic, smooth, hyaline, amyloid; scattered, in groups or clusters on decaying wood; edibility unknown: Leucopholiota decorosa (Peck) O.K. Miller, Jr., Volk and Bessette
  • 35. Cap yellow to tan or brown, with erect hairs at least over the center; gills attached, usually slightly decurrent; ring usually prominent, often yellow- to brown-edged; typically found in large clusters on or about dead trees; spores smooth to very finely wrinkled, inamyloid: Genus Armillaria
  • 35. Lower stalk markedly swollen, cylindric to club-shaped, mostly buried; spores smooth, elliptic, inamyloid: Squamanita umbonata (Sumstine) Bas
  • 35. Partial veil distinctly two-layered, essentially composed of two separate partial veils: Catathelasma ventricosa (Peck) Singer
  • 35. Not as in any of the above choices; found on the ground, usually under conifers, aspen or oak trees: Genus Tricholoma
  • 36. Found growing on other mushrooms or on decaying remains of other mushrooms: 37.
  • 36. Found growing on cones or nut hulls: 38.
  • 36. Not as in either of the above choices: 39.
  • 37. Gills close; stalk attached to a reddish brown, apple seed-like tuber; spores smooth, elliptic, inamyloid: Collybia tuberosa (Bulliard : Fries) Kummer
  • 37. As in the previous choice except tuber yellowish orange, more or less round; spores smooth, elliptic to oval or lacrymoid, inamyloid: Collybia cookei (Bresadola) Arnold
  • 37. Gills widely spaced and poorly formed or absent; cap covered with brown powder when mature; spores smooth, oval, inamyloid: Asterophora lycoperdoides (Bulliard : Merat) Ditmar in Link
  • 37. Gills well formed; cap silky, not powdery, white to grayish or pale tan; spores smooth, elliptic, inamyloid: Asterophora parasitica (Bulliard : Fries) Singer
  • 38. Found on pine cones or other conifer cones; gills white, crowded and narrow; base of stalk with long, coarse hairs; spores smooth, elliptic, less than 5 um long, amyloid: Baeospora myosura (Fries) Singer
  • 38. Found on walnut hulls; spores smooth to minutely roughened, elliptic, amyloid: Mycena luteopallens (Peck) Saccardo
  • 38. Found on magnolia cones or sweetgum fruit; spores smooth, elliptic, inamyloid: Strobilurus conigenoides (Ellis) Singer
  • 39. Cap pinkish at first, fading to buff; gills decurrent, white to pinkish, some distinctly forked, typically crossveined; growing on or about dead conifer wood, needles, etc.; odor strongly fragrant, reminiscent of bubble gum; spores 3–5 x 2–3 um, elliptic, smooth, dextrinoid; edibility unknown: Hygrophoropsis olida (Qulet) Mtrod
  • 39. Not as in the previous choice; growing on stumps, logs, or twigs, etc: 40.
  • 39. Not as in either of the previous choices; growing on the ground, twigs, needles, leaves, humus: 43.
  • 40. Cap 3" (7.5 cm) wide at most, stalk 3/16" (5 mm) wide at most: 41.
  • 40. Growing in clusters of 10 or more specimens; caps yellowish to pinkish brown, with minute erect hairs at the center; gills slightly decurrent; stalk base usually tapered; spores smooth, inamyloid: Armillaria tabescens (Scopoli) Emel
  • 40. Entire mushroom very tough, fibrous to leathery or corky, purplish when young, becoming tan to brown in age; cap smooth; stalk finely hairy when young; spores smooth, inamyloid: Lentinus torulosus (Persoon : Fries) Lloyd
  • 40. Entire mushroom very tough, fibrous to leathery or corky, usually found growing on living hardwoods; cap surface smooth at first, becoming cracked and/or water-spotted at maturity; spores smooth, globose to elliptic, inamyloid: Genus Hypsizygus
  • 40. Not as in any of the above choices: 42.
  • 41. Cap and stalk bright yellow, gills cream to yellow; cap scurfy to granular-mealy; growing on decaying deciduous logs or sticks; spores smooth, oval to elliptic, inamyloid: Cyptotrama asprata (Berkeley) Redhead and Ginns
  • 41. Gills extremely crowded, lavender; cap also lavender or lavender-tinted, at least when young; spores smooth, amyloid: Baeospora myriadophylla (Peck) Singer
  • 41. Cap 1/2-1/1/2" (1.2-4 cm) wide, zoned with long radially arranged hairs; gills close, narrow, nearly free from the stalk; stalk hairy, hollow; spores 4-6 x 3-5 um; on decaying hardwood: Crinipellis zonata (Peck) Patouillard
  • 41. Cap 5/16-5/8" (8-15 mm) wide, entire fruiting body very similar to the previous choice, cap depressed over the disc with a tiny nipple-like projection at maturity; flesh whitish, odor spicy or not distinctive, taste not distinctive; spores 6-9 x 4-6 m; scattered or in groups on decaying stems and leaves of grasses and other plants, sometimes on twigs; edibility unknown: Crinipellis scabella (Albertini and Schweinitz : Fries) Murrill = C. stipitaria (Fries) Patouillard
  • 41. Not as in any of the above choices: 42.
  • 42. Usually growing in clusters of 10 or more specimens; caps viscid, yellowish brown to reddish brown; stalk dark brown and velvety at the base; spores smooth, elliptic, inamyloid: Flammulina velutipes (Fries) Karsten
  • 42. Cap fibrous to finely scaly, usually yellow to reddish orange; flesh typically distinctly yellowish; gills often yellowish or orangish, gill edges often appearing ragged or fringed; spores smooth, inamyloid: Genus Tricholomopsis
  • 42. Not as in either of the above choices: 43.
  • 43. Cap cuticle like a thick, rubbery membrane; gills white, sometimes with darker edges; stalk with a long, tapering tap root; spores smooth to finely roughened, oval to elliptic to lemon- or almond-shaped, sometimes with a prominent apiculus, inamyloid: Genus Xerula
  • 43. Mushroom typically white overall; cap dry, smooth, thick-fleshed; gill layer readily separable from flesh of the cap; base of stalk attached to copious white mycelium which binds together a substantial mass of dead leaves/needles etc.; odor often disagreeable or farinaceous; taste bitter or farinaceous; spores amyloid-warted to variously amyloid-ornamented, plage absent: Genus Leucopaxillus
  • 43. Cap often pinkish, usually finely scaly when dry; gills attached to decurrent, pinkish or flesh-colored to purplish, usually appearing thick and/or waxy; stalk fibrous, tough; spores inamyloid, minutely spiny except smooth in one species: Genus Laccaria
  • 43. Cap variously colored, often scaly or viscid but sometimes smooth and/or dry; gills sinuate with few exceptions, usually white, yellow or grayish; spores smooth, fusoid to subglobose, inamyloid (if amyloid, see Porpoloma umbrosum, Genus Tricholoma
  • 43. Not as in any of the above choices: 44.
  • 44. Cap gray to grayish brown, with darker radial fibers; gills white, very broad; stalk white, with thick white cords attached to the base; found on or about well-decayed logs and stumps; spores oval, smooth, inamyloid: Megacollybia platyphylla (Persoon : Fries) Kotlaba and Pouzar
  • 44. Cap usually white, gray, tan, brown, not typically colorful, often sunken to funnel-like; gills thin, usually distinctly decurrent; spores smooth to finely warty, typically inamyloid (amyloid in only a few species): Genus Clitocybe
  • 44. Cap variously colored, usually flat at maturity, margin typically incurved to inrolled at first; gills variously attached but never decurrent, typically white, narrow and close; stalk slender but not hair-like; spores smooth, inamyloid or dextrinoid, usually elliptic to lacrymoid: Genus Collybia
  • 44. Cap variously colored, typically 2" (5 cm) wide at most, often conic or bell-shaped, cap margin usually striate when fresh; gills variously attached; stalk typically slender, 1/8" (3 mm) thick, and fragile; spores smooth, amyloid or inamyloid: Genus Mycena
  • 44. Not as in any of the above choices: 45.
  • 45. Dried mushrooms reviving when moistened; cap convex to umbilicate to radially grooved, like an umbrella, smooth to finely velvety, white, gray or brown to orangish or reddish; flesh typically so thin as to be virtually nonexistent; gills variously attached to the stalk or to a collar; stalk typically bristle-like, always thin, less than 1/16" (2 mm) thick; usually growing on dead plant matter (wood, leaves, needles, etc.); spores smooth, cylidrinic to oval, inamyloid: Genus Marasmius and Allies
  • 45. Cap smooth, convex to flat, often with an umbo, texture like leather, white to yellowish to dark brown, often hygrophanous; gills crowded, attached, never decurrent, white; stalk usually tall, slender, longitudinally-striate; often found on humus, sometimes on lawns, never on decaying wood; spores warty, with a plage, amyloid: Genus Melanoleuca
  • 45. Cap flesh-pink to pale vinaceous pink, becoming pale pinkish brown to pinkish tan or yellowish tan at the center, less than 2" (5 cm) wide; margin usually inrolled at first; flesh thin, white; gills white to cream, close to crowded, attached at first, becoming decurrent in age, finely scalloped, becoming eroded in age; stalk less than 2" (5 cm) long, no more than ” (7 mm) thick, pink overall at first, becoming dingy yellow to yellowish tan, with a narrow white zone at the apex, typically coated with long white hairs near or at the base; often growing in clusters; spores smooth, elliptic to oval, inamyloid: Calocybe persicolor
  • 45. As above except cap bright pale pink to flesh-pink becoming yellowish tan; stalk base sometimes coated with shorter matted whitish fibrils; not growing in clusters: Calocybe carnea (Bulliard : Fries) Donk (see comments under Calocybe persicolor)
  • 45. Cap fleshy, white to grayish to brownish, often bruising blackish; sometimes abundant in a small area, often clustered; gills variously attached, but often staining and/or bruising blackish; usually growing in woody dirt or on dirty wood; spores variously shaped, smooth or ornamented, inamyloid: Genus Lyophyllum


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