Mycena cinerella (P. Karst.) P. Karst.

Bidr. Känn. Finl. Nat. Folk 32:113 (1879).

= Mycena cineroides V. Hintikka

© Arne Aronsen
VESTFOLD, Tønsberg, Loftseik 19 November 2003

Gregarious among fallen leaves of deciduous trees, and needles of coniferous trees in various habitats. Widely distributed in Norway, also found in alpine sites. Late autumn.

Pileus 4-15(-19) mm across, conical, campanulate, parabolical, convex to almost applanate, sometimes depressed at the centre, sometimes with a small papilla, sulcate, translucent-striate, hygrophanous, blackish brown to greyish brown or pale grey to dark grey, usually somewhat paler at the margin. Lamellae 12-26 reaching the stipe, ascending to subhorizontal, broadly adnate to somewhat decurrent, sometimes far decurrent, the edge concave, dorsally intervenose with age, dark grey to pale grey, the edge paler. Stipe 20-40 x 0.5-2 mm, hollow, terete, equal, straight, flexuous or curved, pruinose at the apex, glabrous farther below, whitish grey at the apex, darker grey below, the base covered with white fibrils. Odour farinaceous.

Basidia 22-32 x 7-9 μm, slender-clavate, 2- or 4-spored, with sterigmata 4-6.5 um long at 4-spored basidia. Spores from 4-spored basidia 7-10.5 x 3.5-6 μm, Qav = 1.6-1.9, pip-shaped, smooth, amyloid; from 2-spored basidia 9-12.5 x 4.5-7 μm, Qav = c. 1.9. Cheilocystidia 10.5-26 x 5.5-12μm, forming a sterile band, rather thin walled, clinging together and often hard to discern individually, clavate, apically often divided into several heads, covered with fairly few to numerous, unevenly spaced, rather coarse, simple to furcate, curved excrescences 3.5-13 x 1-2.5 μm. Pleurocystidia absent. Lamellar trama dextrinoid, brownish vinescent in Melzer's reagent. Hyphae of the pileipellis 2.5-4.5 μm wide, somewhat gelatinized, covered with simple to much branched excrescences 1.5-18 x 1-2 μm which tend to form dense masses. Hyphae of the cortical layer of the stipe 1-3.5 μm wide diverticulate, terminal cells 4-9 μm wide, variously shaped, diverticulate. Clamp connections present in 4-spored form and absent in 2-spored form.

Microphotos of cheilocystidia

Microphotos of pileipellis

Mycena cinerella is usually easy to determine on account of the terrestrial growth, greyish colours, broadly adnate to decurrent lamellae, and the mealy smell. Sometimes the cap can be very dark, almost black, but the farinaceous smell is nearly always strongly present.

According to Maas Geesteranus (1986b: 188) the 4-spored condition is probably the commonest form of M. cinerella in Europe. The holotype, however, has 2-spored basidia. Hintikka (1963) described the new species M. cineroides which was supposed to differ from M. cinerella by the combination of a narrowly acute pileus without any brownish or yellowish shades, far decurrent lamellae, and 2-spored basidia. Further studies have shown that there are all kinds of intermediate forms, and hence M. cineroides should be regarded as a synonym of M. cinerella. This view was supported by Maas Geesteranus (1991: 386) and Emmet et al. (2008: 366).

An entirely white form of M. cinerella was found by this author in 2019.

A quite aberrant form of M. cinerella was collected by this author. It might be a new and undescribed species but one collection is not enough for a formal description. See the description and discussion here.

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White form



Further images on the Internet:

Sociedad Micológica Errotari



© Arne Aronsen 2002-2023