These gilled mushrooms are actually related to the Boletes and are therefore found in the order Boletales, which mostly otherwise have a soft pore sponge-like layer underneath the cap. As explained here, mushrooms with gills evolved many times independently. You will also find gilled polypores.
These species did not have the decency to evolve in a similar manner, so they cannot be recognized easily as a group, but rather you'll just have to learn all the different ones. Most are not hygrophanous.Choose a spore colour:
|White Spores||Brown Spores||Dark Spores|
White Spores - Hygrophoropsis (Hygrophoropsidaceae). (A similar mushroom, H. morganii, long thought to be another Hygrophoropsis, actually turned out to be a waxy cap once the DNA was studied. Oops). Grows on the ground on buried wood, probably saprophytic. From 2.5-10cm or more across. Easily mistaken for Clitocybe, but these gills are much brighter orange than any Clitocybe.
Brown spores - (Paxillaceae and Tapinellaceae) - the decurrent gills often get a little wiggly towards the stem, or sometimes fork or are joined together by interconnecting veins. All are saprophytic but Paxillus' association with birch suggests it is also mycorrhizal. They are 5-15cm or more across, except for the "oyster" species, which may be smaller. Luckily, there is something distinctive about each of these to help avoid confusion with other brown spored groups.
Paxillus sp. - undescribed species under alder or maple, yellow, pointy cap and much brown staining.
Tapinella atrotomentosa - Growing on conifer logs, with a beautiful velvety stem. Less tough than Panus conchatus.
Tapinella panuoides - <10cm "Oyster" mushroom on conifer logs with no real stem, the odd gills are wavy towards the "stem". Compare Crepidotus.
Phylloporus (Boletaceae) - the most famous genus of gilled boletes, with bright yellow gills, and sometimes bluing. Very closely related to Xerocomus subtomentosus. This one actually does look like a bolete with gills. Mycorrhizal, usually around 5cm across. Do not confuse with the few Tricholomas with yellow gills that are never as bright and never blue. Our local material often stains blue and is found outside of sand dunes and away from pine (unlike the description) and may be a new species.
Dark Spores - Gomphidiaceae - Having decurrent gills, Gomphidius is a slimy mushroom with white flesh, while Chroogomphus is not as slimy and has orange coloured flesh. They are often nicknamed "pine spikes" for their association with pine and resemblance to a tent spike. Long thought to be mycorrhizal, members of this family are now believed to be parasitic on other boletes (for instance Suillus, which are often found under pine, explaining the frequent association with pine). Usually from 2.5-10cm across unless otherwise specified.
G. maculatus - less slimy, without a veil, less yellow at the stem base and darker stem markings. All of these have white flesh.
Chroogomphus vinicolor/ochraceus (
C. tomentosus - dry, orange and fuzzy, but may stain purple. Found with many conifers, not just pine. Often mistaken for a chanterelle.
C. leptocystis - also dry and fuzzy capped, but a duller grey-salmon. Most closely resembles C. tomentosus, but the colours can be reminiscent of the viscid, smooth C. vinicolor.
Congratulations! You can now impress your friends by pointing out that these mushrooms, although they look like regular gilled mushrooms, are actually more closely related to boletes.