The members of the genus Pluteus are fleshy fungi with pink spores, and gills free from the stem. They have no volva or wrapper about the young plant, and no ring or annulus on the stem. Eleven species are known from the United States, of which Pluteus cervinus, the fawn-coloured mushroom, is the commonest.
The generic name Plutens means all that is joined together to make a cover for besiegers at their work, that they may be screened from the missiles of the enemy. The arrangement of the caps in the group pictured is suggestive of the meaning.
Fawn-coloured Pluteus (Edible)
Cap or Pileus - Light brown or fawn coloured, streaked with lines of darker brown. Surface dry and shining. Skin thin and papery. 3l/2 inches broad.
Gills or Lamella; - Almost white when young, flesh colour when mature. Broad, unequal in length, free from the stem.
Stem or Stipe - Creamy white, streaked with pale brown. Brittle, pithy in the centre when mature. 3-6 inches long. Spores - Pink, with suggestions of yellow; salmon colour. Flesh - White, tasteless. Time - Early in the season, May. Habitat - Mixed woods, on and around old stumps. New Jersey.
The members of this genus have pink spores, and the lamellae attached to the stem, or with a notch near the junction of gill and stem. The stem is fleshy, and not tough and hard as in Leptonia and Nolanea, genera with pink spores and adnate or sinuate lamellae. There are some twelve species in this genus, none of which have any economic interest.
The members of the genus Eccilia have neither volva nor annulus. The gills grow downward on the stem, the spores are pink, and the stems have a hard, tough rind, not fleshy as in Clitopilus. There are three species known in America.
The members of the genus Volvaria are fleshy fungi, soon becoming putrescent. The spores are salmon colour. A volva is present, but no annulus. Distinguished from Amanitopsis by having salmon-coloured spores instead of white.