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Rhodocybe gemina (Paulet) Kuyper & Noordel. - Tan Pinkgill

Phylum: Basidiomycota - Class: Agaricomycetes - Order: Agaricales - Family: Entolomataceae

Entoloma lampropus

The robust stature of this rare (in Britain and Ireland, at least) mushroom is reminiscent of St George's Mushroom Calocybe gambosa or some of the stouter Tricholoma species.Entoloma lampropus

Distribution

This attractive mushroom is a rare and very localised find in Britain and Ireland, although it is quite widely but sparsely distributed across much of mainland Europe including Norway, Sweden, Germany, Holland and France.

Taxonomic history

When in 1793 French mycologist Jean-Jacques Paulet (1740 - 1826) described this species he gave it the scientific (binomial) name Hypophyllum geminum. Elias Magnus Fries sanctioned the specific epithet in 1838, remaning the species as Agaricus geminus. (In the early days of fungus taxonomy most of the gilled mushrooms were included initially in the genus Agaricus.) The scientific name Rhodocybe gemina dates from a 1987 publication by Dutch mycologists Thomas W. Kuyper (b. 1954) and Machiel Evert Noordeloos (b. 1949).

Synonyms of Rhodocybe gemina include Hypophyllum geminum Paulet, Agaricus geminus (Paulet) Fr., Tricholoma geminum (Paulet) S. Petersen, and Clitopilus geminus (Paulet) Noordel. & Co-David. (The latter name is currently favoured by some authorities.)

Etymology

The generic name Rhodocybe comes from ancient Greek words Rhodeos-, meaning pinkish, and -cybe, meaning head (in this instance referring to the mushroom's cap).

The specific epithet gemina is Latin for paired - presumably a reference to the fact that these mushrooms are rarely seen as singletons (although they are certainly not limited to twins!).

Identification guide

Cap of Rhodocybe gemina

Cap

Ochre with pale pink tinges, turning more brown with age; 3 to 10cm across; initially convex, flattening with a shallow umbo but retaining a downturned or slightly inturned margin; not hygrophanous; matt, not viscid; the cap margin is not striate.

 

Gills of Rhodocybe gemina

Gills

Fairly crowded, adnate/sinuate with a small decurrent tooth; very pale buff with a pink tinge.

Hymenial pseudocystidia: absent. Clamps: absent.

Stems of Rhodocybe gemina

Stem

Cylindrical or slightly clavate at base; white and mealy near the apex then rose pink and fibrous, becoming white towards the base; 4 to 8cm long and 0.8 to 2cm in diameter; longitudinally fibrillose; no stem ring.

Spores of Rhodocybe gemina

Spores

Isodiametrical (broadly ellipsoidal, angular), thin-walled with small irregular warts; 4.5-7 x 3-4.5μm.

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Spore print

Flesh pink to salmon pink.

Odour/taste

Mealy odour (like wet flour) or fruity; oily/nutty taste.

Habitat & Ecological role

Saprobic, usually in groups, on soil in scrubby grassland and woodlands, often with Stinging Nettles.

Season

Fruiting late summer and autumn in Britain and Ireland.

Similar species

Entoloma clypeatum lacks the reddish tints on cap and stem and has much larger spores.

Culinary Notes

Although reported to be edible, this is a rare find throughout most if not all of its range - sufficient reason, surely, for not collecting this species other than when necessary for research purposes.

Reference Sources

Rhodocybe gemina (Paulet) Kuyper & Noordel., Persoonia 13 (3): 379 (1987)

Flora agaricina neerlandica : critical monographs on families of agarics and boleti occurring in the Netherlands / 1, A, General part. B, Special part : 'Entolomataceae' by y Machiel Evert Noordeloos et al. (1988)

Dictionary of the Fungi; Paul M. Kirk, Paul F. Cannon, David W. Minter and J. A. Stalpers; CABI, 2008

Taxonomic history and synonym information on these pages is drawn from many sources but in particular from the British Mycological Society's GB Checklist of Fungi and (for basidiomycetes) on Kew's Checklist of the British & Irish Basidiomycota.

Acknowledgements

This page includes pictures kindly contributed by Simon Harding.

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