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Entoloma lampropus (Fr.) Hesler

Phylum: Basidiomycota - Class: Agaricomycetes - Order: Agaricales - Family: Entolomataceae

Entoloma lampropus

With its steely blue-brown cap and stem, Entoloma lamprobus really deserves a common name, but because it is an infrequent find in Britain and Ireland it does not (yet, as of June 2014) feature in the British Mycological Society's list of English Names of Fungi.

The lovely group shown here was found in short-sward grassland at Alyn Waters Country Park, near Wrexham, North Wales during the second week of June 2014.

Distribution

This attractive little grassland mushroom is an uncommon find in Britain and Ireland, although it is quite widely distributed. Entoloma lampropus occurs also throughout much of mainland Europe, where it is rarely more than an occasional find, and in parts of North America.

Taxonomic history

When in 1815 Elias Magnus Fries described this species he gave it the scientific (binomial) name Agaricus prunuloides. (Most gilled mushrooms were, in those early days of fungal taxonomy, initially placed in a gigantic Agaricus genus most of whose occupants have since been redistributed across many new genera.) It was American Mycologist Lexemuel Ray Hesler (1888 - 1977) who, in 1967, transferred this species to its present genus, whereupon its scientific name became Entoloma lampropus.

Synonyms of Entoloma lampropus include Agaricus lampropus Fr., Rhodophyllus lampropus (Fr.) Quél., Hyporrhodius lampropus (Fr.) Henn., and Leptonia lampropus (Fr.) Quél.

Etymology

The generic name Entoloma comes from ancient Greek words entos, meaning inner, and lóma, meaning a fringe or a hem. It is a reference to the inrolled margins of many of the mushrooms in this genus.

The specific epithet lamprobus may come from the Cornish probus or lamprobus, the name of a civic parish and village in Cornwall. If not that, then what?

Identification guide

Cap of Entoloma lampropus

Cap

1 to 4cm across; initially conical or hemispherical becoming broadly convex; not hygrophanous; radially fibrillose, often becoming finely scaly; the cap margin is not lined when wet.

 

Gills and stem of Entoloma lampropus

Gills

Fairly distant, adnate to emarginate; whitish at first, maturing pale greyish-brown with a pink tinge; gill edges are not lined or intermittently lined blackish (which helps separate this species from Entoloma serrulatum, which has blue-black gill edges.

Stem

Cylindrical sometimes tapering towards the apex; 4 to 8cm long and 2 to 4mm in diameter; longitudinally fibrillose; colour as cap but paler towards the base; no stem ring.

Cheilocystidia (gill-edge cystidia) are absent.

Spores of Entoloma lampropus

Spores

Isodiametrical (broadly ellipsoidal, angular), thin-walled; 8.5-11.5 x 6-8.5μm.

Spore print

Brownish pink.

Odour/taste

No significant odour and taste.

Habitat & Ecological role

Saprobic in unimproved grassland.

Season

Fruiting summer and autumn in Britain and Ireland.

Similar species

Entoloma serrulatum has blue-black gill edges.

There are several other bluish Entoloma species, although they are rare finds; key identification features include spore shapes and sizes and the form and dimensions of cystidia on the gill edges.

Culinary Notes

It is unclear whether this is a toxic toadstool, but as some Entoloma species - for example Entoloma sinuatum - are known to be deadly poisonous it seems sensible to treat Entoloma lampropus as suspect and not to be collected for eating. (Its small size and it scarcity are two more good reasons for not collecting this species other than when necessary for research purposes.)

Reference Sources

Knudsen H., Vesterholt J. (eds) Funga Nordica: agaricoid, boletoid and cyphelloid genera - Nordsvamp, 2008

Dictionary of the Fungi; Paul M. Kirk, Paul F. Cannon, David W. Minter and J. A. Stalpers; CABI, 2008

Taxonomic history and synonym information on these pages is drawn from many sources but in particular from the British Mycological Society's GB Checklist of Fungi and (for basidiomycetes) on Kew's Checklist of the British & Irish Basidiomycota.

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