Entoloma serrulatum (Fr.) Hesler - Blue Edge Pinkgill

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

Entoloma serrulatum - Blue Edge Pinkgill

Blue-black is an unusual colour for a mushroom, and the radially fibrillose cap that often breaks up into fine scales near the centre helps distinguish this lovely Entoloma from other bluish species. The pallid gills have blackish edges. (Such a characteristic is known as ‘marginate’.)

Distribution

Uncommon to rare in in southern Britain, Ireland, and southern mainland Europe this pinkgill is fairly common in Scotland and Scandinavia.

Entoloma serrulatum - singleton from southern England

Taxonomic history

The basionym of this species was defined when, in 1818, the great Swedish mycologist Elias Magnus Fries described this species scientifically and gave it the binomial name Agaricus serrulatus. (Most of the gilled mushrooms were included initially in a gigantic Agaricus genus, since largely dismantled with most of its contents distributed across other new genera.) Its currently-accepted scientific name dates from 1967, when American mycologist Lexemuel Ray Hesler (1888 - 1977) transferred this pinkgill (with several others) to the genus Entoloma, thus establishing its scientific name as Entoloma serrulatum.

Entoloma serrulatum has several synonyms including Agaricus serrulatus Fr, Agaricus atrides Lasch, Eccilia atrides (Lasch) P. Kumm., Leptonia serrulata (Fr.) P. Kumm., and Leptonia serrulata var. levipes Maire.

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 serrulatum comes from Latin and means minutely serrate - having tiny projections like the teeth of a saw - and is a reference to the finely serrated edges of the gills of this mushroom..

Identification guide

Entoloma serrulatum, cap

Cap

1.5 to 3.5cm across; initially convex, expanding to become broadly convex or umbilicate; blue-black, becoming brown when old; radially fibrillose; silky or finely scaly.

Gills of Entoloma serrulatum - Blue Edge Pinkgill

Gills

Adnexed sometimes with a decurrent tooth; fairly broad andv moderately spaced; with serrated or jagged edges (hence the specific epithet); pale bluish-white turning flesh pink, with blue-black edges.

Stem

4 to 7cm long and 2 to 3mm diameter; silky with blackish dots near the apex, smooth and blue-black below; hollow; cylindrical; no stem ring.

Spores of Entoloma serrulatum

Spores

Irregular, with 5 to 7 angles in side view; 9-12 x 6.5-8μm.

Spore print

Pink.

Odour/taste

Odour slightly mealy; taste not distinctive.

Habitat & Ecological role

Saprobic, usually alone or in small groups in unimproved pastures and moorland; sometimes under conifers and broad-leaf trees in open woodland.

Season

Fruiting from early summer to late autumn in Britain and Ireland, provided the weather is mild. Most often seen during early autumn.

Similar species

Entoloma chalybaeum is a taller species but with a slightly smaller cap diameter; its gills do not have the distinctive black edges that are associated with Entoloma serrulatum.

Entoloma serrulatum - singleton from southern England, showing stem base and white mycelium

Culinary Notes

Reported in some field guides to be inedible and in others as poisonous, Entoloma serrulatum is definitely not one for the pot. (Some Entoloma species - for example Entoloma sinuatum - are known to be deadly poisonous.).

Reference Sources

Fascinated by Fungi, Pat O'Reilly 2016.

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

Hesler L. R. Entoloma in Southeastern North America; Lubrecht & Cramer Ltd., 1967.

British Mycological Society, English Names for Fungi

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.

Acknowledgement

Several of the pictures on this page were taken by David Kelly, with whose kind permission they are shown.

Other web pages about this species

Gary Emberger (USA)

AMINT (Italy)

Roger Phillips (UK)

Michael Kuo (USA)

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