Guide to the macromycetes

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A preliminary guide to the macromycetes

in the Finse area, Hardangervidda, Norway

prepared for ISAM VII

by Gro Gulden
If you want to quote from this ‘guide’, please refer to it in this way:

Gulden, G. 2005: A preliminary guide to the macromycetes in the Finse area, Hardangervidda, Norway. – Draft presented at ISAM VII, Oslo

July 2005





Hygrophoraceae p. 6

Tricholomataceae p. 12

A. Arrhenia and Laccaria p. 13

B. Clitocyboid and tricholomatoid genera p. 19

C. Collybioid and marasmioid genera p. 27

D. Omphalinioid genera p. 36

E. Mycenoid genera p. 52

Entolomataceae p. 60 | Amanitaceae p. 61


Lactarius p. 62

Russula (list of species) p. 65

Dark-spored agarics (list of species) p. 66

Galerina, key p. 69

Gasteromycetales (list of species) p. 73

Aphyllophorales (list of species) p. 73

ASCOMYCOTA (list of species) p. 76


The Finse area is a part of the mountain plateau Hardangervidda in central S Norway. The plateau is the largest in northern Europe and covers an area of about 10.000 km2

mostly at altitudes from 1100 – 1300 a.s.l., but with peaks up to 1800-1900 m. The glacier Hardangerjøkulen and the community Finse are situated in the NW part of this plateau and Finse station is the highest situated on the railroad between Oslo and Bergen. The ‘Finse area’ itself is, somewhat arbitrary delimited, 50-60 km2 and lies entirely in the alpine belt; it has peaks up to ca 1600 m (Store Finsenut 1599, Sanddalsnut 1554, Lille Finsenut 1493, Jomfrunnut 1471, Kvannjolnut 1467 and Nordnut 1443. Blåisen and Middalsbreen are two arms of the Hardangerjøkulen glacier in the southern part of the Finse area.

The bed-rocks of the area are mostly Archaean, acidic granites, but in parts of the area there are schists of Kambro-Silurian origin which produce nutrient rich, basic soils rich in calcium. The climate in the area is transitional between oceanic and continental, with August as normally the warmest month (mean temperature + 6.8 º C) and January the coldest (mean temperature –10.1 º C). The mean yearly precipitation is 1030 mm; sporadic snow-falls may occur every month of the year (Sømme & Østbye 1977).

The area has scrubs of various species of Salix and in some places Juniperus, but no Betula nana. These scrubs and ericaceous heaths with e.g. Vaccinium, Empetrum and Phyllodoce dominate the low-alpine belt. In the mid-alpine belt the grasses and various graminoids take over, while the high-alpine belt is characterized by the absence of a continuous vegetation cover. The dwarf willow Salix herbaceae grows all over the place, even on more eutrophic ground, where, however, S. reticulata and S. polaris indicate the riches sites. The vegetation is a veritable mosaic, with various eutrophic and oligotrophic plant communities, that to a very high degree reflect the variation in snow-cover during winter and spring. Also grazing has in some places influenced the plant cover by furthering grass at the costs of heather; since the 1970s, however, only small herds of sheep (and no longer cattle) are in the area. A survey of the plant communities at Finse have been accomplished by Dahl (1984) and the plant world of Finse has been described by Fægri (1967).

I have collected macromycetes in the area sporadically from 1972, most intensively in the period 1973-1983, when I regularly visited 16 permanent plots distributed in various plant communities considered to be representative of the area. The plant sociological units where most of the collections have been made are (following Dahl 1984):

Oligotrophic willow shrub (Rumiceto-salicetum lapponae)

Tall-herb meadow (Geranietum silvatici alpicolum)

Tall-herb willow scrub (Geranietum silvatici alpicolum, facies salicetosum)

Snow-bed meadow (Ranunculeto-Oxyrion)

Calcicolous mire (Caricion bicoloris atrofuscae)

Dryas heath (Dryadetum)

Blueberry heath (Phyllodoce-Vaccinietum myrtilli

Dwarf-willow snow-bed (Cassiopeto-Salicion herbaceae)

Bryophyte-sedge heath (Polytricheto-Caricietum bigelowii)

Ombrotrophic bog (Oxycocco-Empetrum hermaphroditum)

Oligotrophic wet fen (Caricion-canescentis fuscae)

Poor Sphagnum fen (Leuco-scheuchzerion)

Lichen heath (Arctostaphyleto-Caricion nivalis)
Severe problems with the identification of species in these plots soon led me in more taxonomic directions and some results have been published in Gulden 1980 (Galerina), Gulden & Jenssen 1982 (Mycena and related genera), and Noordeloos & Gulden 1989 (Entoloma).

Two students have accomplished master’s theses at the University of Oslo based on studies of macromycetes in the area: Sigurd Aandstad who investigated the corticiaceous species on wooden material (from fences, buildings and railway constructions), and Gry Alfredsen who studied the succession of terrestrial macrofungi along a deglaciation gradient at Blåisen glacier. Results from their theses appear in Aandstad & Ryvarden (1987) and Alfredsen & Høiland (2001). In 2002 the 7. International Mycological Congress was held in Oslo, and a pre-congress foray went to Finse. A species list from that event includes a few additional species identified by Mr. F. Bellu. This ‘guide’ resumes results from these studies, from my own collecting, and some additional collections in the herbarium at the Botanical museum of Oslo (O) mainly collected by T. Borgen. Only the white-spored Agarics have been dealt with in any depth in this ‘guide’. Many genera of dark-spored agarics, in particular the diverse and important mycorrhizal genera Cortinarius, Hebeloma, and Inocybe, have neither been critically sampled nor studied. Also other groups of macromycetes have been rather sporadically sampled. For this reason the ‘guide’ has only a list of species, more or less uncritically named, for these groups.

In the ‘guide’ common and well known species are often not described, but only given a short characteristic. For most species I have included a description based on the annotated material collected at Finse. In some instances data from other sources have been inserted, within brackets, in order to inform better on the variation within the taxon. Some descriptions include colour citations which refer to J.E. Lange’s colour plate published in Lange (1926) and Larsen (1932).
Collectors have been abbreviated as follows:

FEE = Finn-Egil Eckblad

GG = Gro Gulden

TB = Torbjørn Borgen

TEB = Tor Erik Brandrud
References to colour illustrations of the species are as follows:

AAF (1-4) = Arctic and alpine fungi, vols. 1- 4. Gulden, Stordal & Jenssen

1985, 1988, Senn-Irlet, Jenssen & Gulden 1990, and Schumacher &

Jenssen 1992.

A&N 1993 = Antonín & Noordeloos 1993. A monograph of Marasmius,

Collybia and related genera in Europe. Part 1.

A&N 1997 = Antonín & Noordeloos 1997. A monograph of Marasmius,

Collybia and related genera in Europe. Part 2.

A&N 2004 = Antonín & Noordeloos 2004. A monograph of the genera

Hemimycena, Delicatula, Fayodia, Gamundia, Myxomphalia,

Resinomycena, Rickenella and Xeromphalina in Europe.

Bon 1998 = Bon, M. 1998. Clé monographique des lactaires alpines.

B&K 3 = Breitenbach & Kränzlin Bd. 3, 1991. Pilze der Schweiz.

DB = Boertmann 1995. Vokshatte.

EL 1 = Ludwig Bd.1. Pilzkompendium. Abbildungen.

Favre ZA = Favre 1955. Les champignons supérieurs de la zone subalpine du

Parc National suisse.

Favre ZSA = Favre 1960. Catalogue descriptif des champignons supérieurs de

la zone subalpine du Parc National suisse.

FRIC = Fungi Rariorum Icones Coloratae.

H-C = Heilmann-Clausen et al. 1998. Mælkehatte.

R&H = Ryman & Holmåsen 1984. Svampar.



The family includes white-spored agarics, often with viscid to glutinous pileus and/or stipe, somewhat thickish and distant lamellae, and rather soft consistency of the flesh. Microscopically they are distinguished by long basidia, more than 5.5 times the spore length. The 10 species recognised in the Finse area belong all to the genus Hygrocybe.

Genus Hygrocybe (Fr.) P. Kumm.

The fruitbodies are generally vividly coloured (yellow, lilac, orange or red) or whitish (H. virginea). Hygrocybe species are not supposed to be ectomycorrhizal. Most of the species found at Finse typically grow in acid ericaceous- or in lichens heaths, while some grow in grasslands and meadows – a more characteristic biotope for Hygrocybe species.

The species belong in the three different subgenera, viz., Cuphophyllus Donk, Pseudohygrocybe Bon and Hygrocybe as circumscribed by Boertmann (1995) and Bon (1990).

Hygrocybe citrinopallida, H. lilacina, H. biminiata, and H. salicis-herbaceae are restricted to, or more common in, arctic-alpine than in boreal-temperate regions.
Species easy to recognise in the field:

  1. H. conica – blackening flesh

  2. H. pratensis – orange-yellow to peach-coloured, dry, chanterelloid

  3. H. virginea – a small, white Hygrocybe

  4. H. laeta – sticky, ochre to orange-brown, with viscid lamella edge

  5. H. salicis-herbaceae – orange red, somewhat viscid, acrid (after)taste

Key to the species of Hygrocybe


Flesh blackening, pileus ± acutely conic, red to orange, more rarely yellow

H. conica


Flesh not blackening, pileus convex to depressed



Fruitbody extremely sticky, lamellae edge viscid, smell of burnt rubber

H. laeta


Different (not sticky etc.)



Fruitbody with red shades



Fruitbody without red shades



Pileus bluntly conic to convex, smooth, ± viscid and shiny, red to orange, taste acrid (aftertaste)

H. salicis-herbaceae


Pileus convex-depressed, minutely scurfy (lens!), dry, matt, red to orange red, taste mild

H. biminiata


Lamellae adnate to shortly decurrent, pileus clear yellow

H. ceracea


Lamellae deeply decurrent, pileus yellow or otherwise coloured



Pileus fleshy, 2-8 cm wide, pale yellow to apricot-yellow, not translucently striate

H. pratensis


Pileus thin-fleshed to membranous, 1-4 cm wide, mostly translucently striate when moist, variously



Pileus whitish

H. virginea


Pileus with yellow, lilac or greyish colours



Pileus grey with ± violet tinge, 2.5-4 cm wide, stipe white

H. lacmus


Pileus and stipe yellow or ± lilac



Fruitbody lemon yellow, lilac shades absent

H. citrinopallida


Fruitbody deeper yellow and with ± lilac shades

H. lilacina

Hygrocybe biminiata Kühner

Characteristic: A dry, minutely scurfy (lens!), red to orange-red pileus, predominantly yellow lamellae and stipe, and spores that are ± constricted distinguish the species.
Pileus 1-2.5 cm wide, broadly conic to convex, becoming applanate to somewhat depressed, dry, smooth to minutely felty-fibrillose-scaly (lens!), faintly translucently striate, not hygrophanous, with warm, red to orange-red colours, when dry ± brownish especially at centre and at tips of the scales. Lamellae adnate to slightly decurrent, rather distant, young cream to yellow, becoming somewhat orange. Stipe 1.5-3.5 x 0.2-0.4 cm, becoming hollow, dry, smooth, often ± compressed, generally reddish in the upper part, for the rest yellow and white at base. Smell and taste indistinct.

Spores 8.5-12.1 x 5.5-6.4(-8.1) µm, elipsoid-cylindric and mostly constricted in the middle. Basidia 4-spored. Cystidia absent. Hymenophore trama of short-celled hyphae. Pileipellis a trichoderm with transition to a cutis towards margin, with fairly short, and ± cylindric end cells. Clamps present.
Grows in acid ericaceous heaths with species like Empetrum hermaphroditum, Carex bigelowii, Polytrichum and Cladonia spp., often seated deep in moss with only the pileus showing. In the Finse area found several times near the research station (GG 23/74, 56/80, 675/81, 248/83, 276/83). Not recognised in lowland habitats.
Notes: This is the only one of the red Hygrocybe species recognised in the area with a dry pileus (but a number of dry ones occurs in high altitude/latitude regions). Due to its principally adnate lamellae it is easily distinguished from Hygrocybe turunda (Fr. : Fr.) P. Karst. and H. cantharellus (Schwein. : Fr.) Murrill with long decurrent lamellae. Hygrocybe reidii differs by its smooth pileus and sweetish smell. Hygrocybe substrangulata (P.D. Orton) P.D. Orton & Watling is very similar, with a scurfy-subscaly pileus and constricted spores like in H. biminiata. According to Borgen & Arnolds (2004) the width of hairs present at stipe apex constitutes the best separating criterion. Hygrocybe miniata (Fr. : Fr.) P. Kumm. differs by generally more reddish lamellae, spores that are not constricted, and possibly by requirement of more baserich habitats. The newly described species from Greenland, H. rubrolamellata T. Borgen & Arnolds, differs from H. biminiata by reddish lamellae. Hygrocybe constrictospora Arnolds, also described from Greenland (Arnolds 1985), grows in similar habitats as H. biminiata but has a smooth pileus (a cutis).
Hygrocybe ceracea (Fr. : Fr.) P. Kumm.

Colour ill.: DB 121.

Characteristic: A small, yellow species with adnate to shortly decurrent lamellae and somewhat viscid pileus, but dry stipe.
Pileus 0.8 cm wide, convex, becoming plane to slightly depressed at centre, slightly viscid, smooth, translucently striate, hygrophanous, yellow to orange yellow. Lamellae adnate to decurrent, cream to yellow, edge whitish. Stipe 2 x 0.25 cm, smooth, dry, yellow to orange yellow (apex). No particular smell or taste.

Spores 6.5-8(-10) x 3.5-4.5 µm, narrowly ellipsoid-cylindric, many somewhat constricted Basidia 4-spored. Cystidia absent. [Pileipellis an ixocutis-ixotrichoderm. Stipitipellis a cutis]. Clamps present.
Only found once in the area, in a lichen heath on phyllitic ground at L. Finsenut (GG 310/83). A lowland species known from subarctic habitats in Greenland and from the Alps, up to 1900 m a.s l.
Note: The described material consisted of a single, small specimen. The fruitbodies may be somewhat larger and was for instance described from Greenland with pileus 0.5-1.2 cm and stipe 1.6-3.2 cm (Borgen & Arnolds 2004). The species differs from H. citrinopallida and H. lilacina by its dry stipe and less decurrent lamellae. Hygrocybe insipida (J.E. Lange) M.M. Moser, also occurring in arctic-alpine regions, differs by a fatty-viscid stipe, mostly with orange or red shades, and the common, yellow H. chlorophana differs clearly by its adnexed lamellae.
Hygrocybe citrinopallida (A.H. Sm. & Hesler) Kobayasi

Misapplied name: H. vitellina (Fr.) P. Karst.

Colour ill.: DB 65.
Characteristic: A bright yellow, viscid to glutinous, omphalinoid species.
Pileus 0.3 –3 cm wide, convex to depressed with incurved margin, glutinous to viscid and shiny (young/fresh), vividly yellow, lemon-yellow, soon drying up and becoming dull and faded to whitish, faintly translucently striate when moist. Lamellae deeply decurrent, subdistant, ± forked at margin, deep yellow, fading but mostly later and appearing darker than the pileus. Stipe 1-4 mm thick, fistulose, yellow, viscid-glutinous and drying/fading like the pileus, but often seen as paler and sometimes with a faint greenish tinge. Smell and taste indistinct.

Spores 6.5-11 x 3.5-6.0 µm, ellipsoid-ovoid-amygdaloid. Basidia 4-spored. Cystidia absent. Pileipellis an ixotrichoderm to ixocutis. Stipitipellis an ixocutis. Clamps present.
A north-atlantic/arctic-alpine species growing in acid Empetrum/lichen heaths and in snow-beds with dwarf willows. At Finse found between the research station and Jomfrunut (GG 601/80), between Finsebyen and L. Finsenut (GG 109/77), at Torbjørnsstølen (GG 73/74), and under Blåisen glacier (GG 99/77).

Note: This, and the closely related H. lilacina and H. xanthochroa (P.D. Orton) M.M. Moser can easily be mistaken for one of the yellow, lichen forming omphalinas (now referred to Lichenomphalia) in the field, especially when in dry and ± faded condition, but the Hygrocybe species can be recognised on their shiny and never pubescent stipe without a phycobiont at base. Microscopically they differ e.g. by presence of clamps, lacking in the Lichenompahlia species. Molecular studies indicate that H. citrinopallida and its close relatives phyllogenetically may approach Lichenomphalia and other omphalinoid genera (Redhead et al. 2002a,b).

The differences of H. citrinopallida as opposed to H. lilacina and H. xanthochroa is addressed under H. lilacina. The very similar, but deeper egg-yellow H. vitellina (Fr.) P. Karst. differs by having a viscid lamellae edge. This is an oceanic species occurring i.e. on the Faroes and the W coast of Norway, and not in the mountains.

Hygrocybe conica (Scop. : Fr.) P. Kumm.

Colour ill.: DB 159, 161, B&K 85.

Characteristic: The acutely conic, red, more rarely yellow pileus and the blackening flesh distinguish the species.
A temperate species reaching the mid-alpin belt at Finse. It is quite common in the tall-herb and alpine meadows in the area and has also been found in a Kobresia-heath, in rich Salix scrubs, and in grassy sites along the roads and paths.
Fruitbody size and colours of this species varies a lot in the area, and material referable to the var. chloroides (Malençon) Bon has been collected in the area

(TB52.89, TB37.89).

A temperate species that reach the mid-alpin belt at Finse. The species is quite common in the tall-herb and alpine meadows in the area and has also been found in a Kobresia-heath, in rich Salix scrubs, and in grassy sites along the roads and paths.
Hygrocybe lacmus (Schumach.) P.D. Orton & Watling

Colour ill.: DB 57, B&K 88.

Characteristic: A ± greyish-lilac, small to medium Hygrocybe, without yellow colours.
Pileus 2.5-6 cm wide, convex to umbonate, becoming expanded and often with reflexed margin, smooth, fatty, translucently striate up to half way to centre, greyish with ± violet tinge. Lamellae decurrent, greyish, paler than pileus. Stipe 3-5 x 0.3-0.5 cm, solid to hollow, dry, smooth, whitish with shades of violet grey, pale at base. Flesh greyish in pileus and stipe, with a farinaceous to disagreable smell/taste.

Spores 6-9.5 x 4.5-6 µm, broadly ellipsoid. Basidia 4-spored. Cystidia absent. Pileipellis an ixocutis. Pigments incrusted. Clamps present.
At Finse found in a lichen heath between Kvannjolnut and Jomfrunut, in the mid-alpine belt, 1310 m a.s.l. (GG 555/80).
Note: The very similar H. flavipes (Britzelm.) Arnolds has a yellow stipe base and almost globose spores, and is typical of natural grasslands. Hygrocybe cinerella (Kühner) Arnolds is a smaller grey species with dry pileus that also occurs in arctic-alpine regions. The species may also be confused with greyish Clitocybe species.
Hygrocybe laeta (Pers. : Fr.) P. Kumm.

Colour ill.: DB 85, B&K 89.

Characteristic: Glutinous and very sticky, orange brown, with viscid lamella edge and smell of burnt rubber.
The species is reported from the Finse area by Alfsen & Høiland (2001), from established vegetation between the Blåisen glacier and Finsevatn. In the lowlands it typically grows in natural grasslands on acid ground. A yellow variety has been reported from subarctic Greenland (Borgen & Arnolds 2004).
Hygrocybe lilacina (C. Laest. ex P. Karst.) M.M. Moser

Colour ill.: DB 69.

Characteristic: An omphalinoid species, yellow with ± lilac shades, and a glutinous to viscid surface.
Pileus 0.5-3 cm wide, convex to depressed with incurved margin, glutinous to viscid and shiny (young/fresh), lilac or ochre yellow with ± lilac shades, soon drying up and becoming dull and faded to whitish, faintly translucently striate when moist. Lamellae deeply decurrent, subdistant, ± forked at margin, yellow, often with lilac shades, whitish at the edge. Stipe 10-40 x 1-3 mm, fistulose, lilac to greyish lilac and often more yellow towards base, viscid-glutinous and drying like the pileus. Smell and taste indistinct.

Spores ca. 6.5-10 x 3.5-6.5 µm, ellipsoid-ovoid-amygdaloid. Basidia 4-spored. Cystidia absent. [Pileipellis (young) an ixotrichoderm, later a cutis. Stipitipellis an ixocutis.] Clamps present.
A north-atlantic/arctic–alpine species growing in acid Empetrum/ lichen heaths, snow-beds with dwarf willlows, and also on tussocks in bogs. At Finse found near the research station and between Finsebyen and Jomfrunut, in the low-alpine belt (GG 305/80, 742/80, 593/81, 330/83).
Note: Sometimes the lilac colours are scarcely traceable in H. lilacina and then confusion with H. citrinopallida is likely, but the yellow shade is deeper and more brownish to orange in H. lilacina. The two species have ± indistinguishable anatomy. This deeper colour of H. lilacina is more like that of H. xanthochroa, which is another north-atlantic/arctic-alpine species that not yet has been found at Finse. Occasionally this species may also have lilac shades, but it may be distinguished on somewhat shorter (and relatively broader) spores than both H. lilacina and H. citrinopallida. About confusion with the brightly coloured Omphalina species, see under H. citrinopallida.

Hygrocybe pratensis (Pers. : Fr.) Murrill

Colour ill.: DB 41, B&K 76.

Characteristic: The largest species of the genus, ± orange yellow (peach, apricote), dry to fatty, and somewhat reminiscent of a chanterelle.
A temperate species, at Finse reaching the low-alpine belt. Found in a tall-herb meadow at Nordnut at ca 1250 m a.s.l. (GG 303/78, GG 494/80).
Note: Kühner (1977) described a similar, but smaller species occurring with Salix herbacea/reticulata in the Alps: Camarophyllus hygrocyboides (= Hygrocybe hygrocyboides (Kühner) Arnolds) - with distinctly larger spores (8-10.5 x 4-5.7 µm versus 5.5-6.5(-8) x 4-5(-6.2) µm in H. pratensis).
Hygrocybe salicis-herbacea Kühner

Colour ill.: DB 126

Characteristic: A medium sized, mainly orange, initially conic Hygrocybe, with a moist to slightly viscid pileus and stipe, and with an acrid (after)taste.
Pileus 1-4.5 cm wide, broadly conic to convex-umbonate, smooth, viscid, soon dull and dry, not or shortly translucently striate at margin, young blood red, fading to orange or orange yellow. Lamellae adnexed to adnate-emarginate, pale yellow, becoming orange to salmon-coloured with age, edge paler. Stipe 20-40 x 3-9 mm, cylindric or attenuated at base, becoming hollow and often terete, smooth, moist to faintly viscid, orange, often more yellow in lower part and white at base. Taste acrid after a while and long lasting, smell indistinct.

Spores 7.5-10.0 x 4.8-6.0 µm, ellipsoid and not or very few constricted. Basidia 4-spored. Cystidia absent. [Pileipellis an (ixo)cutis to (ixo)trichoderm. Stipitepellis an (ixo)cutis.] Clamps present.
Found in alpine meadows, in snow-beds with Salix herbaceae, and with Empetrum, Salix lapponum and lichens, in the low-alpine and the mid-alpine belt (Nordnut – Finsenut (at 1350 m) and at Finsevatn (GG 376/80, 377/80, 362/81, 66/04). Only known from arctic-alpine regions.
Note: The species differs from the likewisely acrid, but smaller and more slender H. mucronella (Fr.) P. Karst. by being orange, not red, and by the spores. They are distinctly constricted and broadbased in H. mucronella.
Hygrocybe virginea (Wulfen : Fr.) P.D. Orton & Watling

Syn.: Camarophyllus virgineus, C. niveus

Colour ill.: DB 49, B&K 103.
Characteristic: Small to medium, whitish and ± translucently striate when moist, hygrophanous, with a fatty to slightly viscid surface.
Both two- and four-spored specimens occur in the area.
A temperate species; at Finse found up to mid-alpine levels, e.g. in tall-herb and alpine meadows under Nordnut and Lille Finsenut (GG 315/78, 379/80, 380/80, 460/80, 286/83).


The family includes the main part of the white-spored agarics. The genera Cystoderma, Ripartites and Pseudobaeospora, with an uncertain systematic position, have also been included here.

The spore deposit colour varies from white to cream, pinkish, and pale brown (Ripartites). Most species have a central stipe and normal lamellae on the under side of the pileus. Some species are however ± ‘reduced’, e.g. they lack a stipe or have a lateral stipe, or the lamellae may be reduced to veins or ribs, or be fully lacking.

Lamellae thickness (due to basidium length) constitutes the main morphological difference towards the Hygrophoraceae. The white-spored genera of the families Amanitaceae and Agaricaceae differ fundamentally from the Tricholomataceae and can easily be recognized in the field on their free lamellae.

This is the family with most genera in the Finse area. For practical purposes I have divided this large family in groups of genera under the separate headings:

A. Arrhenia and Laccaria

B. Clitocyboid-tricholomatoid genera – including Clitocybe,

Lepista and Melanoleuca

C. Collybioid-marasmoid genera – including Collybia,

Cystoderma, Flammulina, Gymnopus, Lyophyllum, Marasmius

and Pseudobaeospora

D. Mycenoid genera – including Hemimycena, Mycena and


E. Omphalinoid genera – including Fayodia, Lichenomphalia,

Omphaliaster, Omphalina, Rickenella and Ripartites

Genera of Tricholomataceae recognised in the Finse area:

Arrhenia – see Arrhenia and Laccaria

Clitocybe – see ‘The clitocyboid/tricholomatoid genera’

Collybia - see ‘The collybioid/marasmoid genera’

Cystoderma - see ‘The collybioid/marasmoid genera’

Flammulina – see ‘The collybioid/marasmoid genera’

Gymmnopus – see ‘The collybioid/marasmoid genera’

Hemimycena – see ‘The mycenoid genera’

Laccaria – see Arrhenia and Laccaria

Lepista - see ‘The clitocyboid/tricholomatoid genera’

Lichenomphalia- see ‘The omphalinoid genera’

Loreleia – see ‘The omphalinoid genera’

Lyophyllum - see ‘The collybioid/marsmioid genera’

Marasmius – see ‘The collybioid/marasmoid genera’

Melanoleuca - see ‘The clitocyboid/tricholomatoid genera’

Mycena – see ‘The mycenoid genera’

Mycenella – see ‘The mycenoid genera’

Myxomphalia – see ‘The omphalinoid genera’

Omphaliaster – see ‘The omphalinoid genera’

Omphalina – see ‘The omphalinoid genera’

Pseudobaeospora – see ‘The collybioid/marasmoid genera’

Rickenella – see ‘The omphalinoid genera’

Ripartites – see ‘The omphalinoid genera’

Sphagnomphalia – see ‘The omphalinoid genera’

A. Arrhenia and Laccaria
Genus Arrhenia Fr.

Syn.: Leptoglossum P. Karst.

Except for one species, A. griseopallida, the fruitbodies in this genus are reduced, lacking either stipe or lamellae, or both. The stipe, when present, is ± eccentric or lateral and the hymenophore, when not lamellate, is initially smooth and then acquires ± branched veins. The species can easily be identified in the field, but are small and may be difficult to spot. They are mostly bryophilous, growing on living mosses and on various debris; some typically occur in pioneer vegetation on ± barren mineral soil and small bryophytes. Most species of the genus occur in arctic-alpine habitats.

Referring to results of molecular studies Redhead et al. (2002b) included all the greyish-blackish former Omphalina species in Arrhenia – these are still kept in Omphalina in the present study.

Key to the species of Arrhenia


Stipe well developed



Stipe rudimentary to absent



Stipe central, hymenophore lamellate

A. griseopallida


Stipe lateral, hymenophore reduced

A. auriscalpium


Hymenophore lamellate

A. acerosa


Hymenophore smooth to veined



Fruitbodies 1-5 cm, greyish brown

A. lobata


Fruitbodies 0.5-1.5 cm, white to pale beige

A. retiruga

Arrhenia acerosa (Fr.) Kühner

Syn.: Leptoglossum acerosum (Fr.) M.M. Moser, Phaeotellus acerosus (Fr.) Kühner & Lamoure

Colour Ill.: AAF 2: 31, EL 1: 10.
Characteristic: Fruitbody shaped as a small, ± convex, laterally fixed pileus with proper lamellae on the underside, bluish grey.
Pileus 1.5-2.2 cm wide, convex and semicircular to flabelliform-spathulate, submembranous, margin ± down bent, crenulated to lobed, white pubescent, faintly translucently striate, smooth, fatty-shiny, opaque on drying, hygrophanous, dark grey-brown to brown. Lamellae adnexed-decurrent, moderately close, occasionally forked, up to 1.5 mm high, concolorous with the pileus. Stipe absent or rudimentary (up to 2.5 x 2.5 mm), solid, pubescent, concolorous with the pileus and ± white tomented. Smell and taste indistinct.

Spores 10-15 x 5.7-9.5 µm, ellipsoid with prominent appendage. Basidia 2-spored. Cystidia absent. Pigment incrusting. Clamps present.
A temperate species reaching arctic-alpine regions. Grows on soil, gravel, woody and herbal debris, bryophytes, often in disturbed/trampled sites.
Note: The description above refers to a 2-spored variety collected in Svalbard, GG 159/86) and belongs in var. tenella (Kühner) Aronsen. Four-spored specimens are generally referred to var. acerosa. They may have spores of varying shape/size and have been considered independent species. The material from Finse (GG 165/70) has 4-spored basidia, lacrymoid spores (8.5-10 x 5.5-6 µm) and may be identified as A. latispora (J. Favre) Bon & Courtec.
Arrhenia auriscalpium (Fr.) Fr.

Syn.: Cantharellus auriscalpium Fr.

Colour Ill.: AAF 2: 23 + coverpage, Favre ZA: 3, EL 1: 11
Characteristic: Fruitbody dark grey-brown and ± fan-shaped with a tiny, laterally fixed pileus on a ± upright stipe; hymenophore veined.
Fruitbody blackish to greyish brown in all parts. Pileus 0.5-1 (-2 cm) wide, initially cupulate and developing laterally to become circular to spathulate with inbent margin that later becomes crenulated to lobed. Hymenophore developing into thickish, anastomosing veins. Stipe 3-10 x 0.5-1.5 mm, rudimentary or prominent, laterally attached to the dorsal side of the pileus, with the lower pileus margin ± free, pubescent, ± white tomented at base. Smell/taste indistinct.

Spores 7.3-10 x 4.2-6.3 µm, broadly ellipsoid-lacrymoid. Basidia 4-spored. Cystidia absent. Pigment incrusting. Clamps present.
An arctic-alpine species growing on gravel, silt, mineral soils, among tiny bryophytes; basiphilous. Found e.g. at Finseosen (FEE 59/18), on Jomfrunut (GG 159/70), Sanddalsnut (FEE 60/2), and Lille Finsenut (FEE 1960), and on the Blåisen glacier forefield (GG 104/70, 107/70), up to 1470 m a.s.l. (high-alpine belt).
Note: Older specimens of A. auriscalpium may become quite irregular with the stipe rather small and insignificant compared to the pileus. The name A. glauca (Batsch) Bon & Courtec. probably refers to such old A. auriscalpium specimens. Arrhenia glauca was recorded from the Blåisen glacier forefield by Albertsen & Høiland (2001).
Arrhenia griseopallida (Desm. : Fr.) Watling var. tetraspora (Kühner & Lamoure) Bresinsky & Stangl

Syn.: Omphalina griseopallida (Desm. : Fr.) Quél. var. tetraspora, Phaeotellus griseopallidus (Desm. : Fr.) Kühner & Lamoure ex Courtec var. tetraspora.

Colour Ill.: B&K 3: 379, EL 1: 116.

Characteristic: Looks like a grey-brown Omphalina, but has forked and somewhat thickish lamellae, conspicuously pubescent stipe, and becomes very pale on drying.
Pileus 1- 2.5 cm wide, convex-depressed and becoming umbilicate with down-bent, fine crenulated, not or shortly striate margin, smooth to fine felty or minutely scurfy-scaly, hygrophanous, when moist dark grey-brown, drying up very pale. Lamellae decurrrent, subdistant,  forked, slightly paler than the moist pileus. Stipe 12-16 (-30) x 2-3 mm, central to eccentric, smooth to pubescent or minutely scurfy, concolorous with the pileus, base white tomented. Smell/taste indistinct.

Spores 8.4-9.5 (-12) x 3.6-6.5 µm, broadly ellipsoid-lacrymoid. Basidia 4-spored (or 2-spored). Cystidia lacking. Pigment incrusting. Clamps present.
A temperate species reaching the alpine belt. Found close by the research centre at Finse, on and among Drepanocladus, Scapania, etc. in a nutrient poor, stagnant Sphagnum-Eriophorum mire (GG 440/81) and on peat, on and among bryophytes on bank of small pond, (GG 10/91).
Notes: The pileus is less striate and more felty than in most Omphalina species and the frequently short and somewhat eccentric, often well tomented/strigose stipe is also characteristic. The type varity, Arrhenia griseopallia var. griseopallida, has 2-spored basidia. At Finse only the 4-spored variety has been found, but both varieties occur in alpine habitats of S Norway (cp. Kühner & Lamoure 1972).
Arrhenia lobata (Pers. : Fr.) Kühner & Lamoure ex Redhead

Syn.: Cantharellus lobatus (Pers. : Fr.) Fr., Leptoglossum lobatum (Pers. : Fr.) Ricken, Merulius lobatus Pers.

Colour Ill.: AAF 2: 25, EL 1: 11.
Characteristic: Fruitbody membranous, gelatinous-transparent, 1-5 cm wide, irregularly spathulate-flabelliform, centrally to laterally fixed, with veined hymenophore, greyish brown to brown. The selected synonyms reflect well the characters of the species.
An arctic-alpine species. Grows on various bryophytes in moist to wet habitats such as mossy banks of small streams, ponds, and mires; basiphilous and hygrophilous. Quite common in the parts of the Finse area influenced by phylitic soils and waters
Arrhenia retiruga (Bull. : Fr.) Redhead

Syn.: Leptoglossum retirugum (Bull. : Fr.) Ricken

Colour Ill.: AAF 2: 27, EL 1: 11.
Characteristic: A tiny, fan-shaped, whitish to pale beige species, growing on bryophytes; hyphae without clamps.
Pileus up to 1.5 cm, dorsally fixed, initially cupulate, then irregularly fan-shaped, with incurved, pubescent and ± lobed margin, membranous, innately fibrillose (lens!), hygrophanous, pale beige to pale greyish brown when moist. Hymenophore smooth to veined, concolorous with the pileus. Stipe absent. Smell and taste indistinct.

Spores 6.8-9.7 x 4.3-5.0 µm, ellipsoid-cylindric to lacrymoid. Basidia 4-spored. Cystidia absent. Pigment membranal-incrusting. Clamps absent.
Grows on various bryophytes; in the Finse area found near the mouth of Finseåi (GG 17/85), at Nordnut in lush tall-herb vegetation (GG 312/78, 45/79), and in non-established vegetation at the Blåisen glacier forefront (Alfredsen & Høiland 2001).
Note: This is the smallest and palest of the bryophilous Arrhenia species in the area. In contrast to the other species of the genus it lacks clamps. It is reputed to have a wide ecological amplitue, aslo growing in temperate regions and on wood and various plant debris. Another similar species, A. spathulata (Fr. : Fr.) Redhead (= A. muscigena Pers. : Fr.) Quél ss. auct.), grows in the lowlands, mainly on the bryophyte Tomentella tortuosa, and differs macroscopically by having a distinctly zonate pileus.

Genus Laccaria Berk. & Broome

The Laccaria fruitbodies in arctic and alpine regions are numerous and small, generally with 1-3 cm wide pilei and 1-5 cm tall stipes. Pileus and stipe are ± pinkish to orange-red, brick-red, or pale yellow-brown, flesh- brown, rarely deeper brown or even dark purplish brown. The pileus frequently starts convex or umbonate and becomes depressed, with or without translucent striation at margin when moist. They are ± hygrophanous and the surface is smooth to scurfy-scaly. Pinkish, thickish and (sub)distant (almost hygrophoroid) lamellae are characteristic for the genus, but paler (cream) and thinner lamellae also occur. In a few species an evanescent, lilac to blue shade can be seen in the lamellae and/or in the tomentum at basal parts of the stipe. There is no particular smell or taste. Warted to spiny, hyaline spores distinguish the genus. The basidia are quite long with stout sterigmata; cystidia are inconspicuous or absent; clamps are numerous in all tissues.

The few main gross-morphological characters listed above vary a lot also within species and to recognise the species in the field, except for a few distinct ones, is difficult. Results from culture experiments and molecular studies have helped defining the taxa, but to identify species on morphological characters is still difficult. The presented key is based on the species concept presented by Gregory Mueller on his home page on the Internet.

Laccaria fruitbodies are very common in pioneer or little established vegetation, but they are also found in Vaccinium and lichen heaths, in bogs among Sphagnum and in tall-herb meadows and with willows scrubs. They form ectomycorrhiza probably with all woody plants in the area and are extremely important for the establishment of the ‘microsylve’ in arctic and alpine regions.

Species easy to recognise:

L. bicolor – with bluish shades to lamellae and basal tomentum

L. pumilus – with 2-spored basidia and ± decurrent lamelleae and

L. purpureobadia – with purplish brown pilei and bluish shades to the lamellae
Key to the species of Laccaria


Basidia 2-spored

L. pumila


Basidia 4-spored



Bluish-lilac shades present in lamellae and/or basal tomentum of stipe



Bluish-lilac shades absent



Pileus pinkish brown to brick-red, basal tomentum and generally also lamellae with a bluish-lilac shade

L. bicolor


Pileus dark purplish brown, no bluish at stipe base, lamellae with ± bluish-lilac shade

L. purpureobadia


Spores broadly ellipsoid to subglobose



Spores (sub)globose, < 10 µm long

L. laccata var. pallidifolia


Most spores < 10 µm long, finely echinulate

L. proxima


Most spores > 10 µm long, with fairly long spines

L. montana
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