Inocybaceae: Inocybe

Inocybe curvipes P. Karst.

Hedwigia 29: 176 (1890)

  • Inocybe radiata Peck, Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 22: 488 (1895)
  • Inocybe variabilima Speg., An. Mus. Nac. Bs. As. 6: 125 (1899)
  • Inocybe decipientoides Peck, Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 34: 100 (1907)—Astrosporina decipientoides (Peck) Pearson, Trans. Brit. Mycol. Soc. 22: 28 (1938)
  • Inocybe astoriana Murrill, Mycologia 3: 104 (1911)
  • Inocybe jamaicensis Murrill, Mycologia 4: 82 (1912)
  • Inocybe ochraceoscabra Atk., Am. J. Bot. 5: 214 (1918)
  • Inocybe globocystis Velen., Ceské Houby: 368 (1920)—Inocybe curvipes var. globocystis (Velen.) Bon, Docs Mycol. 28 (109-110): 10 (1998)
  • Inocybe cinerascentipes Huijsman, Fungus 25: 26 (1955).—Inocybe curvipes f. cinerascentipes (Huijsman) Courtec. & P.A. Moreau, Docums Mycol. 34(135-136): 50.
  • Inocybe sericeopoda Furrer-Ziogas, Beih. Sydowia 10: 62 (1995)
  • Inocybe languinella (J. Schröt.) Konrad & Maubl., Icon. Select. Fung. 6: 137 (1937) sensu auct. div., non Konrad & Maubl.

PILEUS -27 mm diam, conical, hemispherical, or obtusely conical in youth, becoming subcampanulate, obtusely conical or more or less convex upon expansion, margin incurved when young, later decurved; velipellis absent, surface dry, appressed fibrillose with an unbroken center when young, later finely appressed scaly on and around the center and fibrillose towards the margin; margin torn and at times radially rimulose; dark brown (10YR 3/3) throughout or brown (10YR 4/3) or shading brown towards the margin, at times the edge of the margin is yellowish brown (10YR 5/4)—“Mummy Brown” to “Bister” to “Snuff Brown”, shading to “Snuff Brown”, “Saccardo’s Umber” to “Tawny-Olive” towards the margin; context pallid or white, not changing color where bruised, spermatic when first cut, later mixed with an acidulous component. LAMELLAE adnate to adnexed, moderately close, 34-48 L with several tiers of lamellulae, ventricose in age, up to 4 mm broad; light gray when immature to light yellowish brown or brown, eventually dark yellowish brown in age; edges pallid and fimbriate. STIPE 20-40 mm × 3-7 mm at apex, even or with a slightly swollen base; cortina fugacious, surface nowhere pruinose, finely-fibrillose to fibrillose or twisted fibrillose, generally pallid above shading to light brown or “Avellaneous” below, but brown to dark brown or “Bister” at the base and upwards in age; context solid, mostly pallid, at times with subtle pinkish brown cortex.

SPORES (7.5-) 8.0-10.0-12.0 (-13.5) ± 1.05 4.8-6.1-7.5 (-8.0) ± 0.65 mm (n=114/6), gibbous about a trapeziform or angular outline with 6-10 moderate to small-sized nodules, at times these merely corners, usually with a distinct apical nodule, yellowish brown. BASIDIA 26-38 × 8-13 mm, 4-sterigmate (2-sterigmate also observed), clavate, hyaline. PLEUROCYSTIDIA 47-73 × 19-25 mm, broadly fusiform or saccate and at times tapered towards an acute, crystalliferous apex, with a slender, long basal pedicel; thick-walled, walls 1.0-2.5 mm thick, hyaline. CHEILOCYSTIDIA shorter than pleurocystidia and at times ventricose, otherwise similar to pleurocystidia, mixed with thin-walled cells of intermediate size and shape as well as hyaline paracystidia. CAULOCYSTIDIA absent; sparse vesture hyphae observed on lower part of the stipe. PILEIPELLIS a cutis with scattered upturned trichodermial elements composed of cylindric hyphae, 4-25 mm wide, incrusted, end cells not differentiated, rusty brown to cinnamon brown in mass. CLAMPS present.

HABITAT: on soil under introduced Quercus or Pinus radiata, introduced to Western Australia, Australian Capital Territory, South Australia, Victoria, and Papua New Guinea. February, June-August.

SPECIMENS EXAMINED: AUSTRALIA: AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY. In grass at base of Pinus radiata, Black Mountain CSIRO, near the herbarium, 35° 17' S, 149° 07' E, 14-Feb-1990, leg. E. Cooper (CANB404918, EC4, JMxxxxxx-its, JMxxxxxx-lsu). VICTORIA: Templestowe [suburb of Melbourne], growing in lawn in rings under Salix (“Weeping Willow”), 29-May-1963, leg. P. Jenkins (P. Jenkins s.n., MEL1054882). WESTERN AUSTRALIA. Rose garden, Botany Department, campus of University of Western Australia, Crawley, 6-Jun-1973, leg. D. Waldie (PERTH00763578); gregarious on soil under Quercus, suburban backyard of W. Dunstan, Perth, 31-Aug-2001, leg. W. Dunstan (E7058, PERTH). JAMAICA: In a clay road at Cinchona, wet mountains area, 4500-5200 ft elev, collected between 25-Dec-1908 and 8-Jan-1909, leg. W.A. Murrill & E.L. Murrill (WAM & ELM 595, WTU [isotype of Inocybe jamaicensis Murrill]). PAPUA NEW GUINEA: along road under Pinus, near Massy, 27-Jul-2003, leg. R. Treu (TR37-03, M-0138268, JMxxxxxx-its, JMxxxxxx-lsu). UNITED STATES: MASSACHUSETTS: In open grassy ground, Aug and Sep, leg. W.D. Jackson (WTU [isotype of Inocybe radiata Peck]). WASHINGTON. On disturbed soil along side of road near Corylus, Prunus, and Populus, next to Burke-Gilman Trail near the Wall of Death, University District, Seattle, 18-Jun-1998, leg. P.B. Matheny (PBM1007, WTU); on grassy lawn under introduced Arbutus unedo with Pinus in the vicinity, 28-Oct-1998, leg P.B. Matheny (PBM1328, WTU); on ground under Betula, Green Lake, Seattle, King County, 15-Sep-2002, leg. J.F. Ammirati & M.T. Seidl (PBM2401, WTU).

COMMENTS: Only one collection labeled I. curvipes and of its numerous synonyms can be found in the Australian Virtual Herbarium ( We previously reported this species for the first time in Australia from South Australia (Matheny & Bougher 2010). Several other reports discuss the taxonomy or phylogeny of this species in North America and Europe (Esteve-Raventós 2001, Kropp & Matheny 2004, Courtecuisse 2008). Here we report I. curvipes from Papua New Guinea, Western Australia, Victoria, and the ACT for the first time. This species is likely introduced with imported north temperate ectomycorrhizal trees such as Quercus, Pinus radiata or other species of Pinus, and Salix. It may associate with Betula and possibly Arbutus and Corylus or Populus based on our personal observations of western North American collections.

Inocybe curvipes is widespread in the north temperate zone having been described numerous times in Europe, eastern and western North America, and Central America, in two cases more than once by the same authors (Peck, Murrill). The species is easily identified under the microscope due to the broadly fusiform or saccate pleurocystidia that are tapered at the acute apex and the oblong, angular spores with 6-10 moderate to small-sized nodules or merely corners.

While revising collections of Inocybe at MEL (Melbourne, Australia) we identified a collection (MEL1054882) from the 1960s (an undetermined Inocybe sp.) as I. curvipes, specimens of which were implicated in muscarine poisoning of a female who had gathered it in mistake of edible mushrooms. Inocybe curvipes is an introduced and a toxic species of Inocybe that can be expected to occur in urban or suburban habitats; to our knowledge it has yet to be recorded from forest plantations of non-native, north temperate ectomycorrhizal trees.

The extensive list of taxonomic synonyms above follows that of Kauffman (1924), Singer (149), and Stangl (1989). To this we add I. jamaicensis Murrill and I. radiata Peck, the types of which have been examined and determined as I. curvipes. Illustrations of I. sericeopoda Furrer-Ziogas (Furrer-Ziogas 1995) match the characteristic spore and cystidial morphology of I. curvipes. Thus, we include it as a synonym but have not examined the type, which resides in a private herbarium, and is described in association with maquis vegetation (Quercus, Arbutus, Cistus) from southern France.


  • Courtecuisse R (2008) 5 – Nouvelles combinaisons et nouveaux noms necessaries suite à la mise au point du referential des noms de champignons présents sur le territoire national metropolitain  (1 – Basidiomycètes). Documents mycologique 34: 48-52.
  • Esteve-Raventós F (2001) Two new species of Inocybe (Cortinariales) from Spain, with a comparative type study of some related taxa. Mycological Research 105: 1137-1143.
  • Furrer-Ziogas C (1995) Inocybe sericeopoda sp. n. Sydowia Beihefte 10: 62-66.
  • Kauffman CH (1924) Inocybe. North American Flora 10(4): 227-260.
  • Kropp BR, Matheny PB (2004) Basidiospore homoplasy and variation in the Inocybe chelanensis group in North America. Mycologia 96: 295-309.
  • Matheny PB, Bougher NL (2010) Type studies of Inocybe from Australia. Muelleria 28: 87-104.
  • Singer R (1949) The “Agaricales” (Mushrooms) in modern taxonomy. Lilloa 22: 5-832.
  • Stangl J (1989) Die Gattung Inocybe in Bayern. Hoppea 46: 5-388.