3. Amanita spreta, graying ring, Great Smoky Mtns. Nat. Pk., North Carolina, U.S.A.
The cap of A. spreta is 58 - 154 mm wide, whitish or with pallid tints of gray and/or brown at
first, often darkening to gray-brown or brown-gray, often darkest in the
center, often white or nearly white at the margin, having minute colorless
spots and/or giving the impression of densely placed radial fibers
embedded in the cap skin. In addition, the cap is broadly campanulate to plano-convex,
and eventually has a large umbo in a slight depression. The cap is viscid to
tacky and dull to shiny to subshiny with drying, and it has a
decurved, nonappendiculate and short-striate margin (striate region
occupying 5 - 20% of the radius). The volva is absent or present as white to pale gray, scant,
irregular patches, soft to smooth, easily removable, and membranous. The
flesh is white, pale brown under the cap skin in the center, 8 - 17 mm
thick over the stem, and thinning evenly towards the margin.
The gills are free, receding at maturity, very crowded to crowded, pale cream to cream to white, 8 - 19 mm broad,
broadest at the midpoint, anastomosing, with faint and short decurrent
lines on the top of the stem, and with a minutely powdery edge. The short gills are
truncate to rounded truncate to subtruncate, unevenly distributed, of
diverse lengths, and plentiful (sometimes more plentiful than full-length
gills). The short gills can be adjacent to the stipe or adjacent to
the cap margin or neither.
The stem is 63 - 190 × 8 - 18 mm,
slightly narrowing upward to totally elongating, just barely flaring at
the top, white, with distinct even layer of pulverulence above the ring,
with longitudinally oriented darkening fibrils below the ring, and subsquamulous near
the top of the saccate volva. The ring is membranous, flaring, white to
off-white to sordid, somewhat grayish at the edge, often darker gray with
aging, persistent, superior, collapsing on the stem, finely striate above, and subfibrillose to finely
pulverulent on the underside. The flesh of the
stem is pale cream, hollow, and lined with loosely interwoven glistening
white fibrils. The saccate volva is 18 - 68 × 11.5 - 31 mm, soft and
smooth to leathery, white, membranous, tough, with the interior sometimes
having a water-soaked appearance, with a small limbus internus, and
eventually becoming appressed to the stem. The volva is white on the
outer surface and faintly brown on the inner surface.
The spores measure (7.7-) 9.4 - 13.1 (-15.5) × (5.2-) 5.9 - 7.8 (-9.0) µm, and are ellipsoid to elongate (infrequently cylindric) and inamyloid. Clamps are present at bases of basidia.
This species is known from Prov. Québec, Canada to the US states along the Gulf of Mexico in mixed hardwood and hardwood-conifer forests in association with oaks (Quercus alba, Q. ruber, etc.), Birch (e.g., Betula populifolia), Carya, Ostrya, pines (e.g., Pinus rigida), American Beech (Fagus grandifolia), in a variety of soils. So far as is known, its range is limited to North America. [For information about past errors regarding distribution of A. spreta, see A. bresadolana Neville & Poumarat.]
This species is the only species of stirps Caesarea [see A. caesarea (Scop.) Pers.] known to occur north of Mexico in the Western Hemisphere.—R. E. Tulloss and L. Possiel.
The editors of this site owe a great debt to Dr. Cornelis Bas
whose famous cigar box files of Amanita nomenclatural information
gathered over three or more decades were made available to RET for computerization
and make up the lion's share of the nomenclatural information presented on this site.
The following text may make multiple use of each data field.
The field may contain magenta text presenting data from a type study
and/or revision of other original material cited in the protolog of the present taxon.
Macroscopic descriptions in magenta are a combination of data from the protolog and
additional observations made on the exiccata during revision of the cited original
The same field may also contain black text, which is data from a revision of the present
taxon (including non-type material and/or material not cited in the protolog).
Paragraphs of black text will be labeled if further subdivision of
this text is appropriate.
Olive text indicates a specimen that has not been
thoroughly examined (for example, for microscopic details) and marks other places in the text
where data is missing or uncertain.
The following material not based on the protolog of the present species or the work of a cited author is based on original research of R. E. Tulloss.
58 - 154 mm wide, whitish or with pale tints of brown and/or gray at first, becoming more saturated brown-gray or gray-brown with age, with colors most saturated over disc, with margin often remaining very pallid or white, often with pigmentation unevenly distributed (e.g., maculate to densely virgate), subovate to hemispheric at first, then convex or expanded convex, smooth, viscid to tacky and dull when moist, subshiny to shiny when dry; context mostly white, pale brown below pileipellis, 8 - 17 mm thick over stipe, thinning evenly to margin; margin usually distinctly, though briefly striate (0.05-0.25R), often tuberculate-striate, sometimes faintly striate, nonappendiculate, decurved; universal veil absent or as scant fragments or small patches up to 3 mm thick, white to pale gray, detersile, membranous to submembranous.
free to narrowly adnate with decurrent lines on stipe apex, close to very crowded, pale cream to cream to white, 8 - 19 mm broad, broadest at mid-radius, with edge minutely pulverulent; lamellulae truncate to rounded truncate to subtruncate, adjacent to stipe or margin or neither, unevenly distributed, of diverse lengths, more plentiful than full length lamellae.
63 - 190 × 8 - 18 mm, whitish, cylindric to slightly narrowing upward, just barely flaring at apex, smooth, with distinct even layer of pulverulence above partial veil at first, bearing longitudinally oriented darkening fibrils below partial veil; context pale cream, stuffed, becoming hollow and then lined with glistening white fibrils, with central cylinder 4± mm wide; partial veil superior, skirt-like, membranous, finely striate above and subfibrillose to finely pulverulent below, pallid at first, becoming gray with a dark gray to black edge and collapsing on stipe; universal veil as saccate volva, 18 - 68 × 11.5 - 31 mm, up to 3 mm thick, thin, soft, smooth, white on exterior surface, faintly brownish on inner surface, firmly membranous in dry weather, sometimes submembranous (and especially thick) after extensive rains, loose, eventually collapsing against stipe; limbus internus small, ????
Odor indistinct. Taste faintly, but distinctly, of typical commercial Agaricus.
Spot test for tyrosinase (paracresol) - positive throughout basidiome. Spot test for laccase (syringaldazine) - nearly instant positive response below pileipellis and in pileus context above stipe. Test voucher: Tulloss 9-9-99-N.
pseudoparenchymatous (cellular); inflated cells 11.2 - 25 × 10.5 - 17.5 μm, with (1-) 3 - 4 cells between bases of longest basidia and subhymenial base, with basidia arising from fully or partially inflated cells.
??, 4-sterigmate; clamps and proliferated clamps occasional.
from type study of Jenkins (1978a): [-/-/1]
10.2 - 13.3 × 5.5 - 7.0 μm, (Q = 1.62 - 2.11; Q' = 1.86),
hyaline, thin-walled, nonamyloid, elongate to cylindric, often adaxially flattened; apiculus sublateral, cylindric; contents guttulate;
color in deposit not recorded.
composite data from all material revised by RET: [214/10/10] (7.7-) 9.3 - 13.1 (-16.0) × (5.2-) 5.9 - 7.9 (-9.0) µm, (L = 9.9 - 12.8 µm; L’ = 11.4 µm; W = 6.2 - 7.4 µm; W’ = 6.8 µm; Q = (1.40-) 1.49 - 1.88 (-2.44); Q = 1.60 - 1.81; Q’ = 1.68), hyaline, colorless, thin-walled, smooth, inamyloid, ellipsoid to elongate, infrequently cylindric; apiculus sublateral, cylindric, proportionately small; contents granular to mono- or multiguttulate (when guttulate, additional small granules often present); white in deposit.
Solitary or to subgregarious. Connecticut: At 20 - 190 m elev. In Fagus-Quercus forest. Missouri: At 262 m elev. In Pinus-Quercus forest. New Jersey: At 15 - 100 m elev. On lawn with Quercus or in sandy Pinus-Quercus barrens or in dark loam of closed canopy deciduous forest including Quercus alba, Q. ruber, Carya sp., Ostrya, Betula, Acer, Liquidambar styraciflua, and Liriodendron tulipifera with little understory. New York: On "ground in open places."
from type study of Jenkins (1978a):
U. S. A.: NEW YORK— Rensselaer Co. - Sand Lake, 1878 C. H. Peck s.n. (holotype, NYS).
ONTARIO—Norfolk Co. - Port Dover
[42.7863°N/ 80.198° W, 180m], 25.vii.2014 Eva Skific
s.n. [mushroomobserver #171156] (RET 632-3, nrITS & nrLSU seq'd.).
CONNECTICUT—Middlesex Co. - E. Haddam, Devil's Hopyard St. Pk. [41°28’32” N/ 72°20’25” W, 72 m], 3.ix.2011 Sandy Sheine s.n. [Tulloss 9-3-11-O] (RET 490-5). Machimoodus St. Pk., 23.viii.2007 S. Rose s.n. [RET 8-23-07-B] (RET 440-1); Salmon River St. For. (South), [41°32'57" N/ 72°27'05" W, 20 m], 30.viii.1997 R. E. Tulloss 8-30-97-H (RET 267-10), 4.ix.2011 Bill Yule s.n. (RET 492-5). Tolland Co. - Gay City St. Pk., [41°42'17" N/ 72°26'31" W, 188 m], 31.viii.1997 R. E. Tulloss 8-31-97-M (RET 267-5); Interstate 84 westbound, Willinton Rest Area [41.894° N/ 72.296° W, 125 m], 14.ix.2013 Igor Safonov s.n. [mushroomobserver.org #145506] (RET 578-7). Unkn. Co. - NEMF 2000, Walk 11, 12.viii.2000 S. Sheine s.n. [Tulloss 8-12-00-C] (RET 315-10). Unkn. Co. - COMA 1999, Walk 3, 25.ix.1999 S. Hopkins s.n. [Tulloss 9-25-99-M] (RET 301-7). Unkn. Co. - Pratt Reserve, Deep R., 22.viii.2008 William Yule s.n. [Tulloss 8-22-08-C] (RET 420-3).
FLORIDA—Brevard Co. - Melbourne,
10.xi.1984 Aaron Norarevian s.n. [Tulloss 11-10-84#7]
(RET 234-6, nrITS & nrLSU seq'd..
GEORGIA—Gwinnett Co. -
unkn. loc., 25.viii.2011 Timothy Kewin s.n.
INDIANA—Monroe Co. - Bloomington, Griffey
Lake [39.2010° N/ 86.5188° W, 202 m], 19.ix.2012
Stephen Russell s.n. [mushroomobserver.org #110449]
(RET 534-3); SE of Bloomington, Lake Monroe, Paynetown
St. Recreation Area [39.0941° N/ 86.4476° W, 174 m],
1.ix.2012 S. Russell 3872 [mushroomobserver.org #108030]
(RET 534-4), 11.ix.2012 S. Russell s.n.
MAINE—Cumberland Co. - N. Yarmouth, Royal
R., 17.viii.1991 Samuel S. Ristich s.n. [Tulloss
8-17-91-SSR1] (RET 032-4). Oxford Co. - Twitchell
Pond, 21.viii.1989 S. S. Ristich s.n. [Tulloss
8-21-89-SSR1] (RET 045-8).
MISSOURI—Ste. Genevieve Co. - W of Ste. Genevieve, Hawn St. Pk. [37.8337° N/ 90.2416° W, 262 m], 9.vii.2011 Patrick Harvey et al. s.n. [mushroomoberver.org #71264] (RET 477-6), s.n. [Tulloss 7-9-11-A] (RET 477-3).
NEW JERSEY—Burlington Co. - Lebanon [=Brendan T. Byrne] St. For., 7.ix.1986 G. Kibby, B. VanSant, R. E. Tulloss [RET] 9-7-86-F (RET 117-10). Hunterdon Co. - Lebanon, Oakmoss Mycol. Preserve [40°38'50.07" N/ 74°47'50.92" W, 100 m], 29.vii.2009 Richard Ballsley s.n. (RET 442-4); Oldwick, 11.viii.1986 Roger Phillips & Susan Hopkins Kibby [Phillips 3367] (RET 088-2). Mercer Co. - Hopewell, 3.viii.1986 Bruce VanSant s.n. [Tulloss 8-3-86-A] (RET 468-7); Princeton, Mt. Lucas Rd. [40°22'36" N/ 74°39'23" W, 91 m], 9.ix.1999 N. Macdonald & R. E. Tulloss [Tulloss 9-9-99-N] (RET 296-10). Monmouth Co. - Roosevelt, Homestead Lane [40°13’06” N/ 74°28’04” W, 52 m], 26.viii.2011 M. A. & R. E. Tulloss 8-26-11-C (RET 487-2); Roosevelt, Municipal Cemetery [40°12'59" N/ 74°27'23" W, 67 m], 10.viii.2012 Lily, Owen, M. A., & R. E. Tulloss & C. Rodríguez Caycedo [Tulloss 8-10-12-A] (RET 506-6). Roosevelt, Tamara Dr. [40°12'52" N/ 74°28'39" W, 41 m], 18.vi.2011 M. A. & R. E. Tulloss 6-18-2011-A (RET 476-10); Shark River Co. Pk. [40°12’18” N/ 74°05’44” W, 17 m], ?. ? (RET ??-??).
NEW YORK—Dutchess Co. - ca. Stissing Mtn., 2.viii.1994 Wm. Bakaitis s.n. (RET 141-1). Nassau Co. (Long Island) - Hicksville, 14.viii.1986 Aaron Norarevian s.n. [Tulloss 8-14-86-AN3] (RET 669-8). Rensselaer Co. - Sand Lk., viii.1878 C. H. Peck s.n. (holotype, NYS). Suffolk Co. (Long Isl.) - Caumsett St. Pk., 2.ix.1999 George Davis s.n. [Tulloss 9-4-99-A] (RET 296-2). Ulster Co. - New Paltz, 13.viii.1986 Steve Daniels s.n. [RET 8-13-86-SD1] (RET 669-5).
NORTH CAROLINA—Swain Co. - GSMNP, Deep Creek Ranger Stn., 19.vii.2006 Karen Hughes s.n. [Tulloss 7-19-06-E] (RET ??-??; TENN ?? (=TFB 13297)).
OHIO—Ross Co. - Scioto Trails St. For., 20.vii.1969 B. Cooke 41039 (MU).
The original description of the volva as both "rather large" and subocreate seems contradictory. The second term might be the better of the two because it does not suggest that the volva encloses very much of the stipe. In fact, the volva of this species is often rather short compared to the proportions often depicted for such taxa as A. caesarea, A. hemibapha, A. jacksonii, etc.
Jenkins says that the holotype is implicit. However, there is a mention of Gansevoort in the protologue. Could there be another syntype?
The inflated cells of the subhymenial base are proportionately shorter and broader than in A. caesarea and A. jacksonii. The number of layers of cells and the very brief marginal striations on the pileus suggest the greatest affinity morphologically is to stirps Caesarea.
Peck apparently named this species "spreta" based on his belief that it "belongs to the Phalloidean section"—apparently thinking that it would prove toxic.
The positive test for laccase may be unique in section Caesareae. This character would be considered a "primitive" one according to the hypothesis of Marr (Marr 1979, Marr et al. 1986) that agarics in general appear to be evolving toward loss of laccase in their basidiomes.
A carrion beetle [Oiceoptoma (=Silpha) novaboracensis (Jaeger)] has been known to feed on A. spreta when it is decaying (S. S. Ristich, priv. corresp.). This may not be an unusual occurrence. A photograph of another carrion beetle [Necrophila (=Silpha) americana (Jaeger)] on a stinkhorn can be found on-line here.
Sporograph comparisons of A. spreta with a few other taxa having notably similar spore size and shape follow:
—R. E. Tulloss
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3. Amanita spreta, graying ring, Great Smoky Mtns. Nat. Pk., North Carolina, U.S.A.
RET - (1) Tamara Drive, Roosevelt, Monmouth County, New Jersey, U.S.A. (RET 476-10)
(2) Homestead Lane, Roosevelt, Monmouth County, New Jersey, U.S.A. (RET 487-2)
(3) Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina, U.S.A.
Each spore data set is intended to comprise a set of measurements from a single specimen made by a single observer;
and explanations prepared for this site talk about specimen-observer pairs associated with each data set.
Combining more data into a single data set is non-optimal because it obscures observer differences
(which may be valuable for instructional purposes, for example) and may obscure instances in which
a single collection inadvertently contains a mixture of taxa.