Sharp-scaly Pholiota

(Pholiota squarrosoides)

Conservation Status
Sharp-scaly Pholiota
Photo by Margot Avey
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Sharp-scaly Pholiota is a medium-sized gill mushroom. It is fairly widespread and not uncommon in deciduous woodlands in North America. It is found from September through October usually in a bouquet-like cluster, rarely singly. It can obtain its nutrients from living trees (parasitic) or dead wood (saprobic). It causes heartrot of living trees.

The cap is 1¼ to 4 in diameter. It is convex at first, becoming broadly convex, broadly bell-shaped, or almost flat with a knob in the middle. It is whitish near the margin, pale orangish-brown or yellowish-brown (tawny) or light brown near the center. It is covered with conspicuous, erect or backward-curved, pointed, sharp, tawny scales. The surface below the scales is slimy when wet, sticky when moist, and smooth when dry. The margin is curved under at first and often has shreds of tissue, remnants of the developing gill’s protective covering (partial veil).

The stalk is solid, dry, 1½ to 4 long, and 3 16 to thick. It is whitish, becoming reddish brown near the base. Near the top of the stem there is a collar or ring of often torn tissue, the persistent remnants of the partial veil. Sometimes the veil tissue deteriorates completely, leaving just a ring zone of slightly different color. Above the ring or ring zone it is smooth. Below it is covered with conspicuous, tawny, erect or backward-curved scales.

The gills are closely spaced (crowded) and are broadly attached. They sometimes run down the stem slightly. They are whitish at first, becoming dull rusty brown as the spores mature. They do not turn greenish before turning rusty brown.

The flesh is whitish. It never has a garlic odor. It is edible but not recommended because of the similarity in appearance to Shaggy Pholiota, which has been reported to cause severe gastric upset.

The spore print is dull rusty brown or cinnamon brown.

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
  Shaggy Pholiota (Pholiota squarrosa) cap is pale tan, buff, or pale yellowish-brown, not whitish. The surface is always dry, never slimy or sticky. The gills are whitish to yellowish and pass through a greenish phase before turning reddish-brown. The flesh sometimes develops a garlicky odor. Note: The characteristics above overlap and are affected by weather conditions. Some authors believe the only way to distinguish between mature specimens of these two species is to examine the spores microscopically.  
     
 
Habitat and Hosts
 
 

Hardwood forests. Living and dead hardwoods.

 
     
 
Ecology
 
 

Season

 
 

September through October

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

4, 24, 26, 29, 30, 77.

 
  2/14/2018      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Fairly widespread and not uncommon.

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Fungi (fungi)  
  Subkingdom Dikarya  
  Division Basidiomycota (club fungi)  
  Subdivision Agaricomycotina (jelly fungi, yeasts, and mushrooms)  
  Class Agaricomycetes (mushroom-forming fungi)  
  Subclass Agaricomycetidae  
  Order Agaricales (common gilled mushrooms and allies)  
  Suborder Agaricineae  
  Family Strophariaceae  
  Genus Pholiota (scalycaps)  
  Subgenus Pholiota  
  Section Adiposae  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Agaricus squarrosoides

Hypodendrum squarrosoides

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

Scaly Pholiota

Sharp-scaly Pholiota

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Parasitic

Obtaining nutrients from another living organism.

 

Partial veil

A protective covering over the gills or pores of a developing mushroom. At maturity it disappears, collapses into a ring around the stem, or wears away into a cobwebby covering and ring zone.

 

Saprobic

Obtaining nutrients from non-living organic matter, such as decaying plant or animal matter.

 

Tawny

Orangish-brown or yellowish-brown: the color of a lion.

       
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Kelly Roth
       

found growing on maple log

  Sharp-scaly Pholiota   Sharp-scaly Pholiota
       
Margot Avey
       
  Sharp-scaly Pholiota    
       
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  Margot Avey
9/2/2017

Location: Westwood Nature Center St Louis Park MN

Sharp-scaly Pholiota

 
  Kelly Roth
8/22/2017

Location: Renville, MN

found growing on maple log

Sharp-scaly Pholiota

 
           
           
 
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Created: 9/28/2017

Last Updated:

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