Entoloma saepium (Noulet & Dass.) Richon & Roze

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

Entoloma saepium

This largish (for an Entoloma) mushroom is a rare find in Britain and Ireland, where it occurs mainly under trees of the family Rosaceae - Rowans, for example.

Other large Entoloma species with straw- or cream-buff-coloured caps include Entoloma saundersii and Entoloma aprile, both of which are found with trees in the family Rosaceae; odour and spore size measurements help to separate these difficult mushrooms.

This mushroom can occur solitarily, but more often it fruits in small groups.

Distribution

Entoloma saepium is a rare find in Britain. This pinkgill occurs also across much of mainland Europe, where it is localised and either a rare or just an occasional find although more common in some countries including Slovenia.

Taxonomic history

When in 1838 French mycologists Jean Baptiste Noulet (1802 - 1890) and Henri Gabirel Benoit Dassier de la Chassagne (1748 -1816) described this pinkgill they gave it the scientific name Agaricus saepius. (In the early days of fungal taxonomy most gilled fungi were initially placed in a giant Agaricus genus, now largely redistributed across many other genera.) It was in 1888 that Charles Édouard Richon (1820 - 1893) and Ernest Roze (1833 -1900) transferred this species to the genus Entoloma, at which point its scientific name became Entoloma saepium.

Synonyms of Entoloma saepium include Agaricus saepius Noulet & Dass.

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 saepium may come from the Latin saepis, a surrounding fence (perhaps a shield, therefore), or from saepius meaning 'occurring often'. Neither makes much sense to me,,, any other suggestions would be welcome.

Identification guide

Cap of Entoloma saepium

Cap

3 to 10cm across; initially conical, becoming convex with a slight umbo and a wavy margin; surface slightly greasy when fresh, often with fine silky radial fibrils; flesh firm and white.

Gills of Entoloma saepium

Gills

Adnate, crowded; white or very pale grey at first, becoming pink at maturity.

Stem

4 to 9cm long and 5 to 15mm dia.; colour as cap or paler, especially towards base; sometimes with redish longitudinal fibrils; cylindrical or slightly clavate at base; no stem ring.

 

Spores

Angular, subglobose, 9-12 x 8-10μm.

Spore print

Pink.

Odour/taste

Not distinctive.

Habitat & Ecological role

Usually in small groups in grass or leaf litter under trees or bushes of the family Rosaceae, with which they may be mycorrhizal.

Season

Fruiting from spring to midsummer in Britain and Ireland.

Similar species

This mushroom may be poisonous; it could be confused with St George's Mushroom, Calocybe gambosa, which usually fruits from Springtime until early summer and has white gills with a mealy odour.

Many other pale-capped fungi occur in similar habitats - Clitocybe nebularis, is one such example - but gill colour and odour help differentiate them from pale Entoloma species.

Culinary Notes

Reported in some field guides to be edible, Entoloma saepium is easily confused with poisonous species such as Entoloma sinuatum, the Livid Pinkgill and so is best avoided when gathering fungi for food.

Reference Sources

Fascinated by Fungi, Pat O'Reilly 2016.

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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