Photo: © Steve Trudell
Laccaria laccata
(Scop.ex Fr.) Berk. & Br.

Pileus: 2.0 - 7.0 cm broad; conic at first then convex to planar and finally shallowly to deeply depressed; margins inrolled at first then straight and even, at times cracking and eroded; surface dry, unpolished, rough with minute scales, hygrophanous; reddish brown on disc, fading to pale red to pale pink towards margins, becoming paler when drying; context 2 - 4 mm at junction of stipe, thin, reddish white; taste mild; odour distinctive, variously described as ‘onion to garlic-like’, ‘earthy’, ‘radish-like’.

Lamellae: Ascending at first, then horizontal, becoming decurrent and at times free; average to distantly spaced, appearing waxy, thick or fat, pale pink to pale red; 1 - 3 lamellulae.

Stipe: 3 - 10 cm long X 0.3 - 0.5 cm wide, dry, equal and even, flexous, unpolished, striate to fibrous, ‘sinewy’, often twisted; greyish red to orange on apex, darkening on base, usually with downy white mycelium at base, but becoming bald with age; context solid at first then hollow with a thick pinkish red rind.

Microcharacteristics: Spore print white; spores 6 - 9 X 7 - 9µm, globose to subglobose, spiny, inamyloid.

Comments: This species is very similar to L. bicolor. L. bicolor has lilac to purple tints downy mycelium on the stipe base, and it may have some pale lilac tints especially on the gills when fresh. The spores of L. laccata are a little larger and more globose than those of L. bicolor.

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.