The Santa Cruz Mycoflora Project

A Comprehensive Reference to the Macrofungi of Santa Cruz County

Genus: Chroogomphus

Family: Gomphidiaceae

Chroogomphus pseudovinicolor

Chroogomphus pseudovinicolor

Chroogomphus pseudovinicolor Chroogomphus pseudovinicolor~Suillus pseudobrevipes

Known Species in the County

Approximately 3 species in Santa Cruz County.

Chroogomphus Records from Santa Cruz County:

Chroogomphus are familiar mushrooms of pine forests, fruiting abundantly through the fall and winter. With the exception of sequestrate species, members of the genus are easily recognized by their widely spaced, decurrent gills, umbonate caps, orange flesh, dark olive-gray spore deposit and cowebby (but rather evanescent) partial veil.

The ecology of this genus is interesting - long thought to be obligate mycorrhizal partners of pines, it is now thought that they are parasitic on species of Suillus, that are actually obligate mycorrhizal partners of pine. Fruitbodies of the two genera are usually found fruiting in close spatial and temporal association (sometimes out of the same spot in the ground!).

Although there are relatively few members of the genus in California (and even fewer in Santa Cruz County), a few remain undescribed (but are usually 'identified' at fairs and forays with misapplied names). There seems to be some host specificity between species of Chroogomphus

and their host Suillus species. Always found around Pinus trees.

Important identification characters include overall coloration, stature, host Suillus species (and thus also the specific pine species nearby), as well as microscopic features.