On bark and decayed coniferous wood (typically
Pinus). Late summer to autumn. Rare in Norway. See the records in The Norwegian Mycological Database.
Pileus 2–5(-10) mm across, covered with a (separable), gelatinous pellicle,
at first globose, then hemispherical to parabolical, becoming
convex, sometimes centrally somewhat depressed, but also
with a small papilla, translucent-striate, sulcate, pruinose,
glabrescent, somewhat lubricous, initially pale brown, then
pale grey with darker centre, becoming white with age.
Lamellae 9–14 reaching the stipe,
ascending, sometimes fairly broad and sometimes more narrow,
narrowly adnate to fairly broadly adnate or almost free,
sometimes with a pseudocollarium, whitish or pale grey with
whitish edge which is separable as an elastc-tough thread.
Stipe 5-30(-70) x 0.5-1 mm, flexuous,
terete, hollow, equal except for the base which is usually
somewhat bulbous, entirely puberulous, glabrescent in the
middle part, pale grey to hyaline-white; the base hirsute,
sky blue (also in the flesh), springing from a patch of
fine, radiating, white fibrils. Odour
Basidia 18-25 x
6.5-11 µm, clavate, 4-spored, with sterigmata 5-8 µm long. Spores
6.5-9 x 4-5 µm, Q = 1.6-2.2, Qav ≈ 1.8, pip-shaped to somewhat elongated, smooth,
9-20 x 5.5-7 µm, embedded in gelatinous matter, clavate
to obpyriform, with few, simple to branched excrescences
3-14 x 1-1.5 µm. Pleurocystidia absent. Lamellar trama dextrinoid, vinescent in Melzer's reagent. Hyphae
of the pileipellis 1.5-3.5 µm wide, embedded in gelatinous
matter, very branched, covered with scattered, simple to branched excrescences,
protruding through the gelatinous
layer. Hyphae of
the cortical layer of the stipe 1-3 µm wide, smooth, with caulocystidia
up to 60 x 7 µm,
simple to furcate or somewhat branched. Clamp connections present at all tissues.
The description is based on one Swedish and
five Norwegian collections.
Microphotos of cheilocystidia 1
Microphotos of cheilocystidia 2
Microphotos of caulocystidia
Mycena cyanorrhiza is a member of sect. Viscipelles
Kühner. The blue base of the stipe is a striking feature
of Mycena cyanorrhiza, but also in M.
amicta (Fr.) Quél. a blue base can be seen. There are several
features separating the two species. In M.
amicta the lamellar edge is not formed by a tough
thread, 17 - 25 lamellae are reaching the stipe, the spores
are broader, and the cheilocystidia are completely different. M. amicta usually is a
larger species, with darker colours, and with a conspicuously
white-pubescent stipe. The base of the stipe usually is
somewhat blue-green, but sometimes it can be entirely blue.
Occasionally the blue colour apparently can
be absent in Mycena cyanorrhiza. One
Norwegian collection showed very little blue
colour, and in several specimens it seemed to be completely
In the literature Mycena
pachyderma Kühner has been associated with
M. cyanorrhiza. The two species have several features
in common, but M.
pachyderma was described with a whitish stipe (not
with a blue base), and the spores are supposed to be subglobose,
6.5-8.5 µm broad. Robich (2004 - Forum
di Micologia "AMB Gruppo di Muggia e del Carso,
published 28.06.2006) reported M.
pachyderma from Italy. The photo and the description he provided, however, clearly show that his taxon represents Mycena clavularis (Batsch) Sacc. The only feature that do not tally completely is that he reported presence of clamps, while clamp connections usually are absent in M. clavularis. M. pachyderma still is a poorly known taxon, greatly in need of further study.
Robich (2003: 680-682) proposed the new species M. pseudocyanorrhiza. It is supposed to have a darker pileus, longer stipe, broader spores, and hairs on the stipe with blue contents in fresh specimens. In addition the cheilocystidia were described as more globose and not embedded in a gelatinous layer. In my opinion the arguments for accepting this as a species of it's own are rather weak and awaiting molecular investigations.
Mycena subcaerulea (Peck) Sacc. has
a blue or greenish stipe. It is an American species, so
far not recorded in Europe. The spores are globose to subglobose,
6-8 µm broad.
Mycena cyanescens Vel. and M.
cyanipes Godey are, according to Maas Geesteranus (1992:
32-33), doubtful taxa with nothing left of the type material
and too brief descriptions to support any opinion of the
Further images on the Internet: