This section is from the book "Studies of American Fungi: Mushrooms, Edible, Poisonous, Etc.", by George Francis Atkinson. Also available from Amazon: Studies of American Fungi: Mushrooms, Edible, Poisonous, Etc..
The fatty pholiota usually forms large clusters during the autumn, on the trunks of trees, stumps, etc. It is sometimes of large size, measuring up to 15 cm. and the pileus up to 17 cm. broad. Specimens collected at Ithaca during October, 1899, were 8-10 cm. high, the pileus 4-8 cm. broad, and the stems 5-9 mm. in thickness. The plants grew eight to ten in a cluster and the bases of the stems were closely crowded and loosely joined.
Pholiota marginata. Cap and stem tan or leather color, gills dark reddish brown when mature (natural size). Copyright.
The pileus is convex, then expanded, the margin more or less in-rolled, then incurved, prominently umbonate, very viscid when moist, the ground color a saffron yellow or in the center burnt umber to wood brown. The cuticle of the pileus is plain or torn into scales which are wood brown, or when close together they are often darker, sometimes nearly black. The flesh is saffron yellow, thick at the center of the cap, thinning out toward the margin, spongy and almost tasteless. The gills are adnate, and sometimes a little notched, brown (mars brown), and the edge yellow, 6-7 mm. broad. The spores are 8x5 µ. The stem tapers downward, is compact, whitish then yellow, saffron yellow, flesh vinaceous, viscid, and clothed more or less with reflexed (pointing downward) scales. The stem is somewhat cartilaginous, tough, but snapping off in places. The veil is thin floccose and sometimes with coarse scales, soon disappearing.
Figure 146 is from plants (No. 3295, C. U. herbarium) collected on the Ithaca flats from a willow trunk, Oct. 10, 1899.
Pholiota aurivella Batsch, which has been found in the United States, is closely related to P. adiposa.
Pholiota squarrosa Mull., widely distributed and common in the autumn, both in Europe and America, on stumps and trunks, is a large, clustered, scaly plant, the scales "squarrose ", and abundant over the pileus and on the stem below the annulus. It is brownish or ferruginous in color.
Pholiota squarrosoides Pk., as its name indicates, is closely related to P. squarrosa. It has erect, pointed, persistent scales, especially when young, and has a similar habit to squarrosa, but differs chiefly in the pileus being viscid, while that of P. squarrosa is dry. P. subsquarrosa Fr., occurring in Europe, and also closely related to P. squarrosa, is viscid, the scales are closely appressed to the surface of the cap, while in squarrosa they are prominent and revolute.
Pholiota cerasina Pk., occurs on decaying trunks of trees during late summer. The plants grow in tufts. They are 5-12 cm. high, the caps 5-10 cm. in diameter, and the stems 4-8 mm. in thickness. The pileus is smooth, watery when damp, cinnamon in color when fresh, becoming yellowish in drying, and the flesh is yellowish. The stem is solid, and equal, the apex mealy. The annulus is not persistent, and the gills are crowded and notched. The spores are elliptical, and rugose, 5x8 µ.
Plate 48, Figure 148
Pholiota squarrosoides. Entire plant brownish or reddish brown; pileus viscid (three-fourths natural size). Copyright.
Plate 49, Figure 149
Pholiota johnsoniana. Cap yellowish to yellowish brown, stem whitish, gills grayish then rust-brown (natural size). Copyright.
Pholiota johnsoniana Pk. Edible. - This species was described from specimens collected at Knowersville, N. Y., in 1889, by Peck, in the 23rd Report N. Y. State Mus., p. 98, as Agaricus johnsonianus. 1 found it at Ithaca, N. Y., for the first time during the summer of 1899, and it was rather common during September, 1899, in the Blue Ridge Mountains at Blowing Rock, N. C. It grows in woods or in pastures on the ground. The larger and handsomer specimens I have found in rather damp but well drained woods. The plants are 7-15 cm. high, the cap 5-10 cm. broad, and the stem 6-12 mm. in thickness.
The pileus is fleshy, very thick at the center, convex, then expanded and plane, smooth, sometimes finely striate on the thin margin when moist, yellowish, or fulvous, the margin whitish. The gills are attached to the stem by the upper angle (adnexed), rounded, or some of them angled, some nearly free. In color they are first gray, then rusty brown. They appear ascending because of the somewhat top-shaped pileus. The spores are irregularly ovoid, 4-6 x 3-3.5 µ. The stem is cylindrical or slightly tapering upward, smooth, slightly striate above the annulus, whitish, solid, with a tendency to become hollow. The veil is thick, and the annulus narrow and very thick or "tumid," easily breaking up and disappearing. The plant is quite readily distinguished by the form of the pileus with the ascending gills and the tumid annulus. Peck says it has a "somewhat nutty flavor."
Figure 149 is from plants (No. 4014, C. U. herbarium) collected at Blowing Rock, N. C, during September, 1899.