The following material is based on original research of R.E. Tulloss.
The slightly convex cap is 25 - 75 mm wide and black to midnight blue at first and then becomes mottled gray-blue with some greenish tones and is sometimes stained brown around the center. The flesh is off-white to yellow-tan and is reddish-brown in any damaged areas. Water soaked lines are present above the stem and gills. The cap is 4.5± mm thick above the stem. No volval remnants are present and the cap's edge is not grooved.
The crowded gills are free to narrowly attached and are connected to the top of the stem by faint descending lines on the upper stem (10x lens required). The gills are unchanging when cut or busied and have minutely tufted edges. They are 4.5 mm broad, and are broadest at their midpoint. The unevenly distributed short gills end gradually, are plentiful, and are of diverse lengths.
The white to off-white stem is 100 x 8.5 mm and lacks any obvious staining or bruising. The stem narrows upward and flares at its top. It is decorated with minutely tufted white scales. The bulb is 38 x 19 mm and sometimes has a knob like projection at its bottom. The stem's flesh is off-white and yellow-tan in areas that have been damages by tunneling insects. The white membranous rather large ring is skirt-like and persists on the stem. The skirt's upper surface is faintly lined (10x lens) and is evenly tufted below with an edge decorated by projecting white fibers. The volval is membranous and forms a free flap attached to the soft and easily compressed bulb; the volval flap commonly falls against the stem. The internal limb of the volva is small and wedge-like with a thin membrane extending upward from the top of the "wedge."
As a precaution, this mushroom should be considered deadly POISONOUS.
The spores are (8.0-) 8.5 - 13.5 (-15.5) × (5.0-) 5.2 - 6.5 (8.5) µm, amyloid, and cylindric or ellipsoid. Clamps are absent from the bases of basidia.
Collections of this species were found growing singly or scattered in North Carolina in a mixed hardwood forest, in Tennessee in a mixed forest containing Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) and Oak (Quercus), and in a Virginian flood plain in a mixed woods including Pine (Pinus) species.—R.E. Tulloss and N. Goldman
Tulloss nom. prov.
"Midnight Death Cap"
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The following material is based on original research of R. E. Tulloss.
35 - 75 mm wide, black to midnight blue at first, becoming mottled steely gray-blue with some greenish tones to grayish upon expansion, sparsely maculate in gray regions, sometimes with brownish stains around disc, ?? to planoconvex, dull when dry, ??; context off-white, becoming yellowish tan to pale reddish brown in damaged areas, with watersoaked lines above stipe and lamellae, 4.5± mm thick above stipe; margin nonstriate, nonappendiculate; universal veil absent.
free to narrowly adnate and connected to stipe apex by line, at least sometimes with faint decurrent line on upper stipe (10× lens), crowded, pale cream in mass and in side view, unchanging when cut or bruised, with edges minutely flocculose, up to 4.5 mm broad, broadest at about mid-point of radius; lamellulae subattenuate to attenuate, plentiful, of diverse lengths, unevenly distributed.
100 × 8.5 mm, white to off-white to pale sordid white, without obvious staining or bruising or with brownish stains (from handling?), narrowing upward, flaring at apex, with white scales floccose-fibrillose and moderately densely placed; bulb 38 × 19 mm, sometimes with knob-like projection at bottom; context stuffed or hollow, off-white, watery yellow-tan in areas damaged by insect larvae, with central cylinder 2.5 mm wide; annulus white, apical, membranous, skirt-like, persistent, proportionately rather large (e.g., about 5 mm wide), collapsing, faintly striate above (10× lens), evenly (smoothly) subfloccose below, with edge having projecting radially-oriented bundles of white fibers; universal veil: as limbate to subsaccate volva 38 × 21 mm, less than 1 mm thick at midheight of limb, white, sometimes with pinkish brown stains on limb exterior, smooth, membranous, with limb attached at top of soft and easily compressed bulb, with limbus internus proportionately small and wedge-like, attached at base of limb (unitangent) and having very thin membranous upward extension.
Odor fruit-like; taste not reported.
??; vascular hyphae 2.4 - 8.5 µm wide, sinuous, scattered and rather common
cellular (pseudoparenchymatous), ??.
longitudinally acrophysalidic; filamentous undifferentiated hyphae ?? µm wide, plentiful, sometimes in broad fascicles; acrophysalides up to 320 × 20 µm, dominant away from surfaces, very narrowly cylindric; vascular hyphae 6.3 - 12.7 µm wide, rather frequent locally, apparently most common near surfaces.
[85/4/4] (8.0-) 8.5 - 13.5 (-15.5) × (5.0-) 5.2 - 6.5 (8.5) µm, (L = 9.1 - 12.1 µm; L’ = 10.6 µm; W = 5.6 - 6.5 µm; W’ = 5.9 µm; Q = (1.40-) 1.52 - 2.09 (-2.42); Q = 1.54 - 1.89; Q’ = 1.78), hyaline, colorless, thin-walled, smooth, amyloid, dominantly elongate, also cylindric or ellipsoid, usually at least somewhat adaxially flattened but sometimes symmetric (ignoring apiculus) in lateral view, infrequently slightly constricted; apiculus sublateral, small, cyindric; contents mono- to multiguttulate; ?? in deposit.
Solitary or scattered, at ca. 650 m elev. North Carolina: In mixed hardwood forest. Tennessee: In mixed forest including Tsuga canadensis and Quercus spp. Virginia: In flood plain in mixed woods including Pinus.
U. S. A.: NORTH CAROLINA—Transylvania Co. - Pisgah Nat. For., Coon Tree Mtn., 22.vii.1995 Peek s.n. (RET 152-9). TENNESSEE—Sevier Co. - ca. Gatlinburg, GSMNP, 12.vii.2004 J. L. Mata s.n. [Tulloss 7-12-04-AA] (RET 376-1). VIRGINIA—Rockingham Co. - George Washington Nat. For., Jct. of Dry Fork and Rte. 33, 14.viii.2003 J. Sherry JSWV03-752 (DEWV 4422); George Washington Nat. For., S foot of Feedstone Mtn., ca. 90 m N of US Rte 33, ca. Dry River and For. Rd. 548, 14.viii.2003 J. Sherry JEWV03-1067 (DEWV 4423).
—R. E. Tulloss
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"Midnight Death Cap"
Spore data for collections provisionally identified as: Amanita mediinox Tulloss
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