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Amanita ravenelii
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Amanita ravenelii

Common Name: Ravenel's Lepidella

Synonyms:

Substrate: Ground

Location: Hardwood Forests

Spore Color: White

Gill Color: Yellowish

Comments: 

Lepidellas are a large group of Amanitas that are often difficult to distinguish. That being said, they are some of the most impressive mushrooms that can be found in our area. Many can commonly grow to be over a foot tall.  If you plan to attempt an ID, it is always helpful to dig up any potential root along with the mushroom.

Several things that distingush this mushroom from other Lepidellas. The first thing you should notice are the large pyramidal warts on the surface of the cap, especially near the center. They should have a pale yellow to brownish orange color, becoming more and more brown with age. The main ID feature is that there should  be fibers radiating out from the base of the warts (See final picture). You will likely need a hand lens to see this. As you get towards the margin of the cap, the warts are more scale-like. 

The veil from this mushroom often stays attached to the gills, breaking up as the mushroom ages, leaving remnants still attached. This often occurs with a couple of the other Lepidellas.

This mushroom may also sometimes grow a bulb with a dogleg as in A. rhopalopus.

Somewhat strong smell of chlorine or decaying protein. Some say old ham or old tennis shoes. 

More on the warts which is a main distinguising feature from A. rhopalopus:

From Rod Tulloss: The upper parts of the warts have striations on their faces/sides suggesting ravines running down the sides of a hill. The fibrillose bases extends outward from the warts in all directions (approximately radially (but imperfectly so) from the approximate center of each wart. Toward the cap edge upper parts of the warts are smaller and fibrillose bases are more exposed.

From Bas (1969): In cases of doubt the microscopical structure of the base of warts has to be studied; in A. ravenelii the tissue there consists nearly completely of hyphae and only scattered, sometimes very large, inflated cells.” He previously mentions that rhopalopus has no clearly segregated base in its warts which comprise hyphae and inflated cells that are soon disordered and, hence, may form warts but not cleanly pyramidal ones.

From Steve Russell: It seems that the bulb style is somewhat interchangeable between A. ravenelii and A. rhopalopus. Both can have a narrower and/or dogleg bulb. Size and shape of the fruitbody is similar. Spore size is roughly similar. Similar odor and annulus. The only differentiation is the wart structure on the cap, which itself, can be tough to ascertain until you have studied both species.

Lookalikes:  

Amanita rhopalopus has scales that are less well formed than A. ravenelii (lacking radiating fibers), and a basal bulb that roots down in the shape of a dog leg. A. rhopalopus also generally has a narrower bulb, but this can be variable between the species.. Amanita daucipes has a large turnip shaped basal bulb, that is often vertically split. It usually has some slightly pinkish floccose material on stem that can rub off, especially when young, and pinkish tones to the cap. Also possibe pinkish remnants of a volva that have fallen above the bulb at the base of the stem or onto the ground.   Amanita polypyramis has a pure white cap with concentric rings of pyramidal warts around the bulb. Amanita cokeri has a persistent annulus, lacks reddish bruising, and lacks a strong odor. 

Pictures:

Amanita ravenelii

Amanita ravenelii

Amanita ravenelii

Amanita ravenelii

Amanita ravenelii

Amanita ravenelii

8/23/12 - Griffey Woods - Bloomington, IN

Amanita ravenelii

Amanita ravenelii

Amanita ravenelii

Amanita ravenelii

Amanita ravenelii

Amanita ravenelii

Took this closeup of the warts by putting a hand lens over the camera on a cell phone. Notice the radiating fibers.

7/12/12 - Griffy Woods - Bloomington, IN

Amanita ravenelii

9/19/12 - Griffey Woods - Bloomington, IN

Amanita ravenelii

10/3/12 - Griffey Woods - Bloomington, IN

 

Other Sightings:

9/1/12 - Paynetown SRA - Bloomington, IN