Cortinarius microspermus J.E. Lange, Flora Agaricina Danica 5: iii (1940) [MB#271088]
Cap 35 – 50 mm wide, pileus tawny yellow to red-brown on the disc, margin cream to white, viscid, gills pale clay-colored then milky-coffee to light ochre, stipe 30 – 80 mm long, 8 – 15 mm at apex, white or creamy-yellow with white outer layer, clavate, flesh white to off-white or cream taste bitter.
Spores are small (microspermus means small spore), much smaller than most Cortinarius species. They are described as 5 x 3 microns by Lange and 3 – 4 x 4 -5 by Orton. My collections were 5-6.5 x 3-4 microns. More measurements and collections will be needed to check establish a mean in NAm collections and to check if this is significant for the species concept.
Cortinarius collectors in the PNW will be familiar with slight, orange to cream Cortinarius with bitter viscid caps. Often found growing from coastal to montane elevation in thick moss we used to call all of these Cortinarius vibratilis or Cortinarius vibratilis group (group in this case being shorthand for uncertainty). Since hearing that some local collections have been sequenced as Cortinarius causticus, some have been using that name. However, we lack points of differentiation and the morphology is unclear.
Soop’s recent article on Supraspecific Taxonomy showed that there are many species in a broader group called section Vibratiles. Preliminary analysis of my sequences and those analyzed and compiled by Harrower (2011) suggest we have several undescribed species in our area and it is worth collecting and examing these small bitter Corts in more detail. Work will be needed to confirm which of the EU species occur in our region and which novel species remain to be identified.
|Cortinarius species in section Vibratiles (Merlot) 91%||Region|
Matches 100% to UDB36990 from Norway, collected by Brandrud and 99.69% 638/639 base pairs (1 gap) for MG674293.1 another specimen from Norway. Using the UNITE species hypothesis SH1503949.
>SDA487 Cortinarius microspermus WA
Brandrud, T.E., Lindstroem, H et al. Cortinarius Flora Photographica vol.5 2012, (English) 2018
Harrower et al., “Cortinarius Species Diversity in British Columbia and Molecular Phylogenetic Comparison with European Specimen Sequences.” Botany, Vol. 89, 2011
Lange, J.E., Flora Agaricina Danica, Vol 5, Copenhagen 1935
Soop et al., “A Phylogenetic Approach to a Global Supraspecific Taxonomy of Cortinarius ( Agaricales ) with an Emphasis on the Southern Mycota.” Persoonia, Vol. 42, 2019