Gomphidius glutinosus, commonly known as the slimy spike-cap, is a gilled mushroom found in Europe & North America. Although it has gills, it is a member of the order Boletales, along with the boletes. The fruiting bodies sprout in pine, fir and spruce woodland in Europe in autumn. Initially, are completely covered with a slimy veil, breaking through to reveal a greyish or brownish-capped mushroom with decurrent greyish gills which sometimes resembles a child's top. Opinions differ on the suitability of this mushroom for the table, some guides hold it in high regard, while others view it with caution.
Agaricus mucosus Bull., 1812
|gills on hymenium|
|cap is flat or convex|
|hymenium is decurrent|
|stipe has a ring|
|spore print is blackish-brown|
|ecology is mycorrhizal|
Gomphidius glutinosus was initially described by German mycologist Jacob Christian Schäffer as Agaricus glutinosus in 1774, in his series on fungi of Bavaria and the Palatinate, Fungorum qui in Bavaria et Palatinatu circa Ratisbonam nascuntur icones. The father of mycology Elias Magnus Fries gave it its current genus and binomial name in 1838. The genus name is derived from the Greek 'γομφος' gomphos meaning "plug" or "large wedge-shaped nail". The specific epithet glutinosus is the Latin adjective "sticky".
British botanist Samuel Frederick Gray described Cortinaria viscida the "viscid curtain-stool" in his 1821 work A natural arrangement of British plants, concluded by Orson K. Miller Jr. to be the same species.
In 1971, Miller described two varieties: G. glutinosus var. purpureus from a specimen collected near Nordman, Idaho. More drab purple to wine-coloured, this taxon is native th the Rockies in Idaho, Montana and Alberta. G. glutinosus var. salmoneus was described from Kaniksu National Forest in Idaho. With a salmon-coloured cap, it is native to northern and central Idaho as far south as Payette National Forest.
Said to resemble a child's top, the mushroom has a dull dark purple, dark brownish or greyish cap ranging from 3–12 cm (1+1⁄8–4+3⁄4 in) in diameter; it has a central boss and an inrolled margin, and is initially convex and later flattens and may develop blackish markings. The cap surface is smooth and sticky. As with other members of the genus, the whole mushroom is often covered with slimy or sticky veil when young. The fungus tears free of the veil as it grows, leaving some strands and an indistinct ring. The white stipe is 4–10 cm tall and 0.7–2 cm wide, and narrows toward the base, which is yellow. The yellow segment stains dark green to black with Melzer's reagent. The whitish flesh may have a wine-coloured tinge and has little taste or smell. The widely spaced decurrent gills are waxy in texture, with a hairy surface from the cystidia. Sometimes branched, they are initially whitish, then grey and later blackening with spores. The spore print is brownish-black. The large spores are spindle-shaped and measure 17–20 μm long by 5.5–6 μm wide.
Brownish specimens may be mistaken at a glance for Suillus luteus, but a look under the cap will see there are gills rather than pores. Another similar-looking species is Hygrophorus hypothejus, found in similar habitat though with yellow gills which do not separate from the cap. The North American species Gomphidius smithii is similar but has a pale purple to wine-coloured cap.
Distribution and habitatEdit
Gomphidius glutinosus is found in Eurasia and North America up to elevations of 9600 ft, and is generally abundant across its range. It occurs in autumn under various species of conifer—both in natural woods and plantations—such as balsam fir (Abies balsamea), Norway spruce (Picea abies) and grand fir (Abies grandis). The mushrooms may be single, scattered, or occasionally growing in clumps. Fruiting bodies sprout in the autumn, to as late as December in northern California.
Like other members of the family Gomphidiaceae, Gomphidius glutinosus has been thought to be ectomycorrhizal, forming symbiotic relationship with their host trees. However, there is now evidence that many (and perhaps all) species in this group are parasitic upon ectomycorrhizal boletes, in relationships that are often highly species-specific, such as Gomphidius roseus upon Suillus bovinus.
G. glutinosus is a hyper-accumulating fungus that absorbs and concentrates elements such as cesium more than 10,000-fold over background levels. This property can be used to decontaminate sites contaminated with radioactive cesium-137.
Opinions differ on the suitability of this mushroom for the table, some guides hold it in high regard, while others view it with caution. Gomphidius glutinosus has a mild flavour well-suited for cooking with other mushrooms, and in soups and stews. It is not suited for drying. Removing the slime and skin of the cap is recommended as soon as possible after picking. Maggots only rarely attack this species.
- Schäffer JC. (1774). Fungorum qui in Bavaria et Palatinatu circa Ratisbonam nascuntur icones, nativis coloribus expressae (in Latin). Vol. 4. Erlangen, Germany: Apud J.J. Palmium. pp. 17–18.
- Liddell HJ, Scott R (1980). Greek-English Lexicon, Abridged Edition. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. ISBN 978-0-19-910207-5.
- Nilson, Sven; Persson, Olle (1977). Fungi of Northern Europe 1: Larger Fungi (Excluding Gill-Fungi). Penguin. p. 112. ISBN 978-0-14-063005-3.
- Gray, Samuel Frederick (1821). A natural arrangement of British plants : according to their relations to each other as pointed out by Jussieu, De Candolle, Brown, &c. (part 1). Vol. 1. London: Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy. p. 629.
- Miller, Orson K. (1971). "The Genus Gomphidius with a Revised Description of the Gomphidiaceae and a Key to the Genera". Mycologia. 63 (6): 1129–1163. doi:10.2307/3757989. JSTOR 3757989.
- Zeitlmayr, Linus (1976). Wild Mushrooms:An Illustrated Handbook. Garden City Press, Hertfordshire. pp. 93–94. ISBN 978-0-584-10324-3.
- Davis, R. Michael; Sommer, Robert; Menge, John A. (2012). Field Guide to Mushrooms of Western North America. Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 202–203. ISBN 978-0-520-95360-4. OCLC 797915861.
- Phillips, Roger (2006). Mushrooms. Pan MacMillan. p. 270. ISBN 978-0-330-44237-4.
- Haas, Hans (1969). The Young Specialist looks at Fungi. Burke. p. 52. ISBN 978-0-222-79409-3.
- Lamaison, Jean-Louis; Polese, Jean-Marie (2005). The Great Encyclopedia of Mushrooms. Könemann. p. 34. ISBN 978-3-8331-1239-3.
- Olsson, Pal Axel; Münzenberger, Babette; Mahmood, Shahid; Erland, Susanne (2000). "Molecular and anatomical evidence for a three-way association between Pinus sylvestris and the ectomycorrhizal fungi Suillus bovinus and Gomphidius roseus". Mycological Research. 104 (11): 1372–1378. doi:10.1017/S0953756200002823.
- Stamets, Paul (2011). "How Mushrooms Can Clean Up Radioactive Contamination - An 8 Step Plan". Permaculture - Practical Solutions for Self-reliance.
- Media related to Gomphidius glutinosus at Wikimedia Commons