Index
Practical ecological knowledge for the temperate reader.

Chroogomphus Sp. - Pine spikes

Family: Gomphaceae [E-flora]

"Identifying Chroogomphus species ranges from fairly easy to fairly difficult, requiring microscopic analysis. The late Orson Miller published treatments of the genus throughout his esteemed career, and in recent years he was able to begin redefining species on the basis of preliminary DNA evidence (2003, 2006). One recent development of particular interest is Miller's discovery that "Chroogomphus rutilus" does not occur in North America." [ME.com]

"A FLAGRANT fungal feature of our coastal pine forests, Chroogomphus (crow-oh- gom-fus) is easily recognized by its decurrent gills, ochraceous to orange, salmon, buff- colored, or reddish flesh, and smoky-olive to black spores. The fruiting bodies, in contrast to Gomphidius, are very attractive: brightly colored with a lean, clean look and a ten- dency to become reddish or wine-colored in old age. The stem and gills are typically yellow- orange to orange to orange-buff, but the latter blacken as the spores ripen. Chroogomphus species grow exclusively with pine in our area and usually mingle with slippery jacks (Suillus pungens, S. fuscotomentosus, etc.). They have an unusually long growing season-from the onset of the fall rains through the spring-and may even turn up in the summertime." "Medium-sized terrestrial mushrooms associated with conifers." [Mushrooms Demystified]

"Suillus and Chroogomphus species often fruit together in enormous quantities, along with the green and orange Lactarius deliciosus and the bright red or pink Russula rosacea." [Mushrooms Demystified]

"Chroogomphus differs mainly [from Gomphidius] in being less viscid, having orange to yellowish or pinkish flesh, and hyphae in the flesh that turn blue in Melzer’s reagent. The spores in both genera are narrowly ellipsoid (fusoid, fusiform, or “boletoid”) and evidence the fact that these genera are more closely related to the boletes than they are to the other gilled mushrooms. Both genera also are characterized by having large, often crystal-encrusted, pleurocystidia. Both are ectomycorrhizal and are common in the conifer forests of western North America. Some European species have been shown to parasitize the mycelia of species of the ectomycorrhizal bolete, Suillus. Here in the PNW, Chroogomphus and Gomphidius mushrooms often can be found in the company of suilluses, so it is likely that similar sorts of parasitism are at work here too." [Trudell MPNW]

Local Species

  1. Chroogomphus leptocystis [E-flora]
  2. Chroogomphus ochraceus - ochre Chroogomphus[E-flora]
  3. Chroogomphus tomentosus -Woolly Pine Spike [E-flora]
  4. Chroogomphus vinicolor - Pine Spike [E-flora]

Edibility
"They do not decay as rapidly as their cousins the Gomphidii and are usually free of maggots. However, they are susceptible to attack by a greenish mold. Chroogomphus is an excellent genus for beginners because all of its species are edible and highly distinctive. True, fresh specimens are slimy and insipid when cooked (not to mention purple), but they acquire a pleasant, chewy texture that is perfect for tomato sauces if they are chopped up finely and then dried.... Dr. Frank Dutra of Los Gatos, California, reports that eating them can turn one's urine red" [Mushrooms Demystified]

References


Chroogomphus leptocystis

"Summary: features include dry drab cap with salmon center, pale orange flesh, decurrent orange-gray to gray gills, cinnamon-buff to ochraceous stem whose fibrils become reddish from handling, smoky gray spore deposit, large spores, and (compared to C. tomentosus) thinner-walled cystidia; found in BC, WA, OR, ID, according to Bessette; uncommon and the differentiation from the common Chroogomphus tomentosus is primarily microscopic, although cap according to Arora(1) "usually grayish, at least at margin" (also says cap is "grayer" than C. tomentosus) whereas in C. tomentosus, it is "pale to dull orange, yellow-orange, or ochraceous" [E-flora]

"Spore deposit: smoky gray (Bessette)" [E-flora]

"Habitat / Range from 2500-4500 feet, under Pinus monticola (Western White Pine) and Tsuga heterophylla (Western Hemlock), and mixed conifers; generally fruiting from September through late October, (Miller), fall" [E-flora]

"Similar Species Chroogomphus tomentosus has somewhat larger spores, thicker walls on cystidia, and the hyphae of the cap cuticle are amyloid, mostly 7-9 microns wide, and the same size as the hyphae of the cap trama, whereas in C. leptocystis the cap cuticle hyphae are colorless, not amyloid, and distinctly narrower than the cap trama hyphae, (Miller), cap of C. tomentosus pale to dull orange, yellow-orange, or ochraceous, whereas cap of C. leptocystis usually grayish, at least at margin, (Arora)" [E-flora]

"Edibility edible (Bessette)" [E-flora]

Synonyms: Gomphidius leptocystis Singer [E-flora]

References


Chroogomphus ochraceus - ochre Chroogomphus

"Habitat / Range single to abundant, only under conifers, especially pines; summer and fall, (Miller(14)), on ground in needles and moss under conifers, (Miller(1) for C. ochraceus), single to scattered, occasionally gregarious, on ground under conifers especially Pinus (pine), August to November, (Miller(1) as C. rutilus)" [E-flora]

"Similar Species Chroogomphus rutilus (Fr.) O.K. Miller is similar but is considered to be a European species not occurring in North America, (Miller(14)), Chroogomphus vinicolor has a conic cap with a pointed or papillate umbo, convex in age, dark red-brown in color, and cystidia are thick-walled, whereas C. ochraceus has a convex cap (sometimes with a small pointed umbo), ochraceous orange to reddish brown in color, and cystidia thin-walled, (Miller(14)), Chroogomphus vinicolor has been differentiated from C. ochraceus primarily on the basis of having thick-walled (up to 5-7.5 microns thick at the widest part) cystidia ... "However, deciding to which species a particular collection belongs can be problematic, as cystidia often are intermediate in thickness, perhaps as a result of thickening that occurs as the mushroom ages", (Trudell(4)); Chroogomphus tomentosus is similarly colored when C. ochraceus is ochraceous, but the cap of Chroogomphus tomentosus is dry and downy rather than smooth and viscid, and spores are 15-25 x 6-9 microns rather than 14-22 x 6.0-7.5 microns, (Miller(14))" [E-flora]

"Edibility yes (Miller(14))" [E-flora]

Synonyms: Gomphidius ochraceus Kauffman [E-flora]

References


Chroogomphus tomentosus - Woolly Pine Spike

Summary: "Distinctive features are the overall dull orange to ochraceous color, the dry woolly-fibrillose cap with orange flesh, decurrent gills, growth with conifers, and smoky-black spore deposit. It is very common in the Pacific Northwest. Collections were examined from WA, OR, ID, CA, and it has also been reported from Japan, (Miller(1)). C. tomentosus is common also in BC and there are collections at the Pacific Forestry Center and the University of British Columbia." [E-flora]

Spore Deposit: "smoky-gray to blackish (Arora)" [E-flora]

Similar Species: "Chroogomphus leptocystis has somewhat smaller spores and thinner walls on the cystidia, and the cap cuticle hyphae are colorless, not amyloid, and distinctly narrower than the cap trama hyphae, whereas in C. tomentosus the hyphae of the cap cuticle are amyloid, mostly 7-9 microns wide, and the same size as the hyphae of the cap trama, (Miller(1)). C. leptocystis has a cap that is usually more grayish, at least at the margin, (Arora). Chroogomphus pseudovinicolor is also dry but has a shorter thicker stem, deep red cap, cespitose habit, greenish spore deposit, and a "well developed lipoidal layer beneath a densely packed trichodermium" in the cap, (Miller(1)). Chroogomphus ochraceus can be similarly colored, but the cap of C. ochraceus is smooth and viscid rather than dry and downy, and spores are 14-22 x 6.0-7.5 microns rather than 15-25 x 6-9 microns, (Miller(14)). Chroogomphus vinicolor has a viscid cap that is relatively smooth and is variable in color (orange-brown to dark red-brown)." [E-flora]

"Chroogomphus tomentosus is unusual for this group in being dry and somewhat fibril-lose-wooly, rather than viscid, which makes it easy to identify once the spore color and decurrent gills have been noted. It is ochraceous orange when young, at which point it could possibly be mistaken for a golden chanterelle, and later may develop wine-reddish or purplish colors." Trudell MPNW

Habitat / Range "single to widely scattered or gregarious under conifers, late summer through early winter, (Arora), on needles or in deep moss under conifers, late August to late October, (Miller(1)), summer, fall, winter." [E-flora]

Edibility

"yes, but better dried than fresh, (Arora)" [E-flora]

Synonyms

References


Chroogomphus vinicolor - Pine Spike

"Traditionally, Chroogomphus vinicolor, C. rutilus, and C. ochraceus have comprised the pine spikes, a common fungal element of pine forests throughout North America. They are quite similar to each other, having ochraceous to wine-red viscid caps that are convex or umbonate in age. Chroogomphus vinicolor has been differentiated from the other two species primarily on the basis of having thick-walled (up to 5–75 μm at widest part) cystidia" [Trudell MPNW]

"Molecular analyses by Orson Miller and Cathy Aime support recognition of the three species but suggest that C. rutilus occurs only in Europe, C. ochraceus only in North America, and that all three species vary too widely in color for it to be useful in species determination. Thus our PNW pine spikes belong to C. vinicolor and C. ochraceus. However, deciding to which species a particular collection belongs can be problematic, as cystidia often are intermediate in thickness, perhaps as a result of thickening that occurs as the mushroom ages." [Trudell MPNW]

Summary: "features include viscid cap with variable colors or mixture of colors (orange, gray, brown, wine-red), pale orange flesh, decurrent gills, and smoky-black spore deposit; collections examined from ID, CA, MI, MT, UT, distribution widespread in USA and Canada from ME to WA, south to CA, UT, TX, TN, AL, and NC, (Miller(1)), collections from OR at Oregon State University, collections from BC at University of British Columbia " [E-flora]

Spore Deposit: "smoky-gray to smoky-black, sometimes with an olive tinge, (Arora)" [E-flora]

Similar Species: "Chroogomphus ochraceus has a convex cap (sometimes with a small pointed umbo), ochraceous orange to reddish brown in color, and cystidia thin-walled, whereas C. vinicolor has a conic cap with a pointed or papillate umbo, convex in age, dark red-brown in color, and cystidia are thick-walled, (Miller(14)); Chroogomphus vinicolor has been differentiated from C. ochraceus primarily on the basis of having thick-walled (up to 5-7.5 microns thick at the widest part) cystidia ... "However, deciding to which species a particular collection belongs can be problematic, as cystidia often are intermediate in thickness, perhaps as a result of thickening that occurs as the mushroom ages", (Trudell(4)); Chroogomphus pseudovinicolor is more robust, with cap dry and convex (never turbinate to subumbonate), and unlike C. vinicolor may be cespitose, as well as having microscopic differences (cuticle with scattered amyloid hyphae, well developed trichodermium with a thick lipoidal layer directly beneath the cuticle), (Miller(1)), Chroogomphus tomentosus has light orange to orange-buff cap that is dry and downy rather than smooth and viscid, and spores are 15-25 x 6-9 microns rather than 15.5-23 x 4.5-7.0 microns, (Miller(14))" [E-flora]

Comments: "Chroogomphus vinicolor is recognized by a mahogany-colored cap, salmon-orange flesh, orange-brown stipe, decurrent gills and a tapering stipe. Chroogomphus ochraceus with which it is often confused has a more greyish-brown cap and paler gills at maturity. (for additional differences see Comments under Chroogomphus ochraceus). Microscopically, Chroogomphus vinicolor differs from Chroogomphus ochraceus in possessing thick-walled rather than thin-walled cystidia." [Mykoweb]

"Anyone who hunts our coastal pine forests will come across this common mushroom and its equally edible look-alike, C. rutilus (see next page). The variable color or mixture of colors (orange, gray, brown, and/ or wine-red) plus the pale orange flesh, decurrent gills, and smoky-black spores make it as distinctive as it is attractive. The fruiting body is often quite slender and long-stemmed, but robust forms also occur. C. rutilus (formerly Gomphidius viscidus) is a very similar, widespread species with thin-walled rather than thick-walled cystidia. It can often be told in the field by its slightly duller or less vinaceous color and broader or flatter cap, but both species are so variable in shape and color that a microscopic examination is often necessary to positively distinguish them. Both differ from C. lomenlosus and C. pseudovinicolor in their smoother cap that is viscid or slimy when wet and often shiny when dry. Other smooth, viscid-capped species: C. ochraceus, widely distributed, is closely related to C. rutilus (i.e., it has thin-walled cyst i- dia), but is smaller, with a yellow-orange to buff, ochre, orange, or grayish cap, at least when young; it also occurs in our area with pine. See also C.j1avipes (in the key)." [MushDemyst]

Habitat/Range
"single to scattered or gregarious, under conifers especially Pinus (pine), (Arora), single to gregarious or sometimes cespitose [in tufts], recorded under nine different species of pine, other conifers have also been in many habitats; fruiting August to early October, (Miller(1)), summer, fall" [E-flora]

"Solitary to scattered or gregarious on ground under conifers, particularly pine; widely distributed, but especially common in northern and western North America. Along with C. rutius (see comments), it is a prominent fungal facet of our pine forests and is also frequent in yards and lawns where pines have been planted. The major crop is usually in the late fall or winter and is often accompanied by masses of mushy slippery jacks (Suillus species), but it can be found most any time. It is quite sporadic in its fruiting habits- overwhelmingly abundant some years, very sparse during others." [MushDemyst]

Edibility

"yes, better dried than fresh, (Arora) Edible, generally considered mediocre fresh; best when dried.[Mykoweb] Edible, but like all pine spikes, better dried than fresh" [MushDemyst]

Synonyms

Gomphidius vinicolor Peck [E-flora]

References


Other non-local Chroogomphus Sp.

Chroogomphus fulmineus (R. Heim) Courtec.
Palmitic Acid (C16:0) 12.59 ± 0.38
Stearic Acid (C18:0) 2.47 ± 0.06
Oleic Acid (C18:1n9) 47.09 ± 0.94
Linoleic Acid (C18:2n6) 31.54 ± 1.47
Total SFA 16.89 ± 0.52
Total MUFA 49.77 ± 1.00
Total PUFA 33.33 ± 1.52
Chroogomphus fulmineus (R. Heim),Courtec.
Mannitol: 7.21 +/- 1.18
Trehalose: 5.61 +/- 0.84
Total Sugars: 16.11 +/- 2.67
(g/100 g dw) Reis et al., 2011

(SFA, Saturated fatty acids; MUFA, Monounsaturated fatty acids; PUFA, Polyunsaturated fatty acids.) Reis et al., 2011 [Zied EMM]

"Some Rhizopogon spp. can also influence the development of other ECM fungi. For example, Agerer (1990, 1991) and Agerer et al. (1996) describe the close association of Chroogomphus and Gomphidius spp. within ECM formed by Rhizopogon spp." [Cairney EF]

"There are several reports of fungi growing only in association with Suillus, for example Gomphidius roseus (Fr.) P. Karst in association with S. bovinus (Singer 1949; Agerer 1990). Agerer (1990) found that mycelia of Chroogomphus spp., potentially forming ECM individually, can be detected within the mantle and rhizomorphs of Suillus ECM and also as haustoria within root cortex cells. The study provides detailed descriptions of the three-way relationships between Chroogomphus helveticus (Sing.) Moser with S. plorans and S. sibiricus on Pinus cembra as well as Chroogomphus rutilans (Schaeff.: Fr.) O. K. Miller with S. bovinus, S. collinatis and S. cf. variegatus on P. sylvestris. Agerer (1990) suggested that the growth of Chroogomphus may be dependent upon the presence of hyphae of Suillus or Rhizopogon (which also forms this kind of threeway association). However, the functional significance of these associations remains to be investigated." [Cairney EF]

"Suillus pseudobrevipes and Chroogomphus pseudovinicolor grow with ponderosa pine in our area" [Mushrooms Demystified]

"In a few species of boletes, such as B. calopus, some hyphal fragments or special walls such as transverse septa appear to be truly amyloid (blue in Melzer's), a feature characteristic of Chroogomphus, a group of gill fungi apparently derived from the boletes and which, possibly, should be included in this family." [Smith TBM]

Phytochemicals: "Characteristic pigments of various members of the Boletales are pulvinic acids, terphenylquinones and cyclopentenones. Suillus and Gastroboletus, Gomphidius and Chroogomphus are characterized by the occurrence of polyprenylated phenols and quinones as additional pigments. Examples are e.g., suillin, the boviquinones and tridentoquinone (Fig. 9) [28]. Such pigments are also found in Rhizopogon, (e.g., rhizopogone; Fig. 9) [116,117]." [Zhiqiang HIM]

Zinc Remediation; "Most mycorrhizal fungi occurring on wastes have a broad range of hosts. Fungi forming symbiosis exclusively with pine include Chroogomphus rutilus, Suillus luteus and Rhizopogon roseolus, and are very common in all investigated localities." [Twardowska SWPMPR]


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