On fallen and often buried cones of Picea in moist spruce forest. Widespread in the region but apparently absent in many lowland areas, including Denmark and the Netherlands.
In Norway widely distributed in the Picea area up to Trøndelag.
Occuring in the spring.
Pileus 8-38 mm across,
parabolical, campanulate to conical, often flattening with
age with broad umbo, sometimes also somewhat umbilicate,
smooth, hygrophanous, not sulcate, hardly translucent-striate, glabrous, slightly lubricous,
dark chestnut to sepia brown, paler towards the margin.
Lamellae 20-40 reaching the stipe,
ascending, ventricose, narrowly adnate to adnate, dorsally intervenose
in older specimens, whitish to pale grey, sometimes turning
pink with age. Stipe 30-70
x 1.5-3.5 mm, straight to curved, hollow, terete, equal, somewhat
firm, glabrous except for the minutely pruinose apex, grey
brown, whitish above and dark brown towards the base, which
is covered with coarse, long, whitish fibrils. Odour
22-30 x 7-8 µm, clavate, 4-spored. Spores
7-9.6 x 3.6-5.8 µm, Q 1.4-1.8, Qav~1.7, pip-shaped to phaseoliform,
smooth, amyloid. Cheilocystidia
27-80 x 9-20 x 0-5.5 µm, forming a sterile band, lageniform,
fusiform, subcylindrical, more rarely clavate, apically
narrowed into a longer or shorter neck, or rostrate to mucronate,
more rarely without a neck. Pleurocystidia
of the pileipellis 1.5-3.5 µm wide,
embedded in gelatinous matter, smooth or very occasionally
with an isolated, cylindrical excrescence. Hyphae
of the cortical layer of the stipe 2-3
µm wide, sligthly gelatinized, smooth, with cylindrical
to fusiform caulocystidia
up to 100 µm long. Clamp connections
absent or very rare.
Almost all the Norwegian collections are from
April and May. In this period of the year there are not
many Mycena species fruiting, and considering the
brown colour, the nitrous odour, and the growth on fallen
Picea cones, this species should be easy to identify.
In addition the smooth hyphae of the pileipellis and stipitipellis,
the caulocystidia, the shape of the spores, and the absence
of clamp connections are distinguishing characters. Mycena
another vernal, nitrous-smelling species with a brown pileus.
It is also associated with Picea, and it has even
been found growing on buried Picea cones (although
very rarely). M. silvae-nigrae can be separated
on account of 2-spored basidia, diverticulate hyphae of
pileipellis and cortical layer of the stipe, and differently
shaped cheilocystidia, usually with coarse excrescences.
Maas Geesteranus (1988: 289) claimed that
M. strobilicola was devoid of clamps, and that is the general situation. Robich (2003: 319), however, stated that
clamps were present, although very rare, in his material,
observed only in the hyphae of the cortical layer of the
stipe. Moreau (2003: 7) claimed that clamps are present
but rare at the base of the basidia and at the hyphae of
the trama in pileus and stipe. I have observed very rare clamps in the hyphae of the cortical layer of the stipe.
Moreau (2003) showed that Agaricus plumipes
Kalchbr. is an anteriour and prioritary synonym of M.
strobilicola and proposed the new combination Mycena
plumipes (Kalchbr.) P.-A. Moreau.