Inocybe fastigiata

November 13, 2007: Hamilton Mountain trail: Skamania County, WA: Inocybe fastigiata … am I sure of the species name? No. Most authors declare a microscope will be needed to positively identify all but a few species in this genus and I didn’t go to that extreme. But, it does look exactly like the picture in my copy of the Audubon Field Guide to North American Mushrooms. And, if it takes a microscope to separate the species I think I could call it what I wanted and no one would know the difference.

David Arora (Mushrooms Demystified) refers to the Inocybe genus as “a large, listless, and lackluster assemblage of mundane, malodorous brown mushrooms that are of little interest to the average mushroom hunter except that many are poisonous.”

Field characteristics easily place this mushroom in the genus Inocybe so perhaps I should identify it only as “Inocybe sp.” and let the experts worry about the species.

Ino = fiber; Cybe = head; Inocybe literally means “fiber head”. Fastigiat means “pointed”. Thus the name is descriptive of the mushroom.

As the mushroom matures the spores add brown to the color. These were found under Douglas fir trees along the Hamilton Mountain trail.


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