Nolanea holoconiota (pointed Cap)

Posted by Sava 5/8/12 --- Scroll Down to See the Discussion

Sava: Common Spring mushroom in our forests.
Try to guess the genus and species name.
Hint: spore print pink-brown

Richard T: I'm guessing Cortinarius actus.

Sava: Not a Cort.
There are no veils of any kind. Note the long (slim!) stem.
It's hollow too.

Richard T: Any hint on the smell?
My second guess is inocybe rimosa
Sava: No particular smell. No Inocybe!

Mike P: This is the sort of LBM I have never paid attention to in the past,
other than to tell hiking companions, "We don't eat that.
Look for some bigger ones." Thanks, Sava, for making it interesting.

Given the spore color, general shape, habitat,
striate hollow stem, and time of fruiting,
I'm guessing Entoloma vernum or a closely related species.
Also known as Nolanea verna.
Guidebooks say it's found under conifers in the spring.

Sava: Mike, your answer "Entoloma vernum
or a closely related species" is correct.
Of these "related species",
the most commonly occurring in the PNW is Nolanea holoconiota
(Entoloma holoconiotum)
and I suppose that without deeper analysis,
this is the most appropriate name to use for this mushroom.

The silky cap with a pointed umbo plus a slender striate
and hollow stem (and then gills that become pinkish) should suffice
to claim Nolanea holoconiota as an educated guess.
But please don't bet much on its absolute correctness.
Sometimes we have to be content with an approximate identification.
Maybe most of the times.

Mike P: Could you or another OMS member with taxonomic expertise
clarify the current status of Entoloma and Nolanea as genus names?
I am totally confused.
Index Fungorum prefers Entoloma for the few species I have looked up.
MatchMaker has both generics, but seems to prefer Nolanea.
Are the names synonymous, but with one preferred?
Or are both current,
but with uncertainty about which species belong in each?
Or are there competing taxonomies that haven't been harmonized yet?
Or something else?

Sava: I am no expert at all, but I believe that
(1) Nolanea is still a separate genus, and
(2) the experts agree that it should be treated as a subgenus
of a huge genus of Entoloma.