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Field characters

Pileus: typically dullish colors of brown, tan, off-white etc., smooth, viscid when wet
Annulus: usually absent, webby remnants may be present, but never a membranous veil.
Stipe: upper portion often powdery or granulose, often white
Stature: Tricholomatoid
Ecology: mostly Mycorrhizal, often with conifers ("The Corpse Finder" (H. syriense) is an exception).

Micro characters

Basidiospores: smooth or roughened, no germ pore. Dextrinoid at least in H. crustuliniforme, according to Roody, 2003
Cystidia: pleuro- and cheilocystidia abundant (see photos)
Spore Print: dull brown
Lamellae: attached, sinuate, edges whitish often fringed.
Lamellar Trama: regular
Pileipellis: ixocutis


Arora, 1986, as usual, says it bestů"This is yet another faceless and featureless collection of brownish mushrooms. Those that are too large to qualify as LBM's most certainly fall into the category of BUM's (Boring Ubiquitous Mushrooms)."

This mushroom looks just like a mushroom. Helpful? I am afraid to get this one right one has to do some thin sections of the gills to look for the very abundant cheilocystidia.

The common H. crustuliniforme (Poison Pie) is illustrated here.

This is a small genus. Bessette et al., 1997 only describe four common species.