Photos: © Sharmin Gamiet
© Steve Trudell
Laccaria bicolor
(R.Mre.) Orton

Pileus: 2 - 7 cm broad; convex to planar at first, then campanulate, often with a depression in the centre; margins initially straight and even, then becoming flaring and finally uplifted; surface dry, unpolished, with scales (at times very small) especially on disc; light brown to reddish orange on disc, becoming pinkish orange towards margins; context thin 0.5 - 1.0 cm at junction with stipe, firm, same colour as pileus; taste mild; odour distintive, variously described as ‘earthy’, ‘potatoes to radish-like’.

Lamellae: Horizontal to hooked (uncinate), at first average then distant and widely spaced, waxy, 1 cm broad, edges crisped to minutely serrate; purplish white when young fading to reddish white to pink when mature, often spotting darker red brown; 1 - 3 lamellulae.

Stipe: 2 - 15 cm long X 0.4 - 1.0 cm wide at apex, 0.4 - 1.5 cm wide at base, equal to tapering upwards, dry, flexuous, tough, fibrous, longitudinally striate; light brown, with stiff lilac bristle-like mycelium at base of stipe; contex solid at first becoming hollow, pale pink to greyish orange, hygrophanous, mottling with ivory to pale pink colours.

Microcharacteristics: Spore print white; spores subglobose to globose, with spine, 7 - 8 X 7 - 8 µm.

Comments: This species is very similar to L. laccata and is differentiated microscopically. L. laccata has larger spores than L. bicolor. L. bicolor often has a lilac-tinted mycelia on the stipe base, but the colour fades with age.

Further Reading:

Mueller, G. M. 1992. Systematics of Laccaria (Agaricales) in the continental United States and Canada, with discussions on extralimital taxa and descriptions of extant types. Fieldiana 30: 1-158.

Mueller, G. M. 1991. Laccaria laccata complex in North America and Sweden: Intercollection pairing and morphometric analyses. Mycologia 83: 578.

Mueller, G. M. 1982. The genus Laccaria in North America excluding Mexico. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Tennessee, Knoxville.