Pileus: broadly convex becoming plane, with umbo and a leather-like texture, often hygrophanous
Stipe: long, 0.5-1 cm wide, often longitudinally striate
Stature: Tricholomatoid to Collybioid
Ecology: probably a saprophyte, always on the ground
Basidiospores: amyloid and finely warted, with plage
Hyphae: clamp connections absent
: "often with long projecting incrusted cystidia in hymenium" Largent and Baroni
, 1988, and for M. abloflavida, "cystidia harpoonlike" Lincoff
, 1981. Singer
, 1986 implies that a variety of lamellar cystidia are typically present, but may not always be.
Spore Print: white to cream
Lamellae: close, attached (sinuate or adnate to adnexed)
Lamellar Trama: regular
Pileipellis: a cutis
Not a common genus in our area. I have only collected it from one location (on the Simon's Rock College campus) to date. Others claim it is common.
This genus was transferred from Tricholoma primarily because of its warty, amyloid spores. In the field it looks like a scrawny Tricholoma or a huge Collybia.
It can be confused with Leucopaxillus, and I am not 100% certain that the specimens I have collected are not Leucopaxillus. The latter has clamp connections, while Melanoleuca does not. I have not found clamp connections, but that doesn't mean they are not there. Also, the cystidia I have illustrated do not match written descriptions of those present in the literature. However, the spores of my specimens do have a rather indistinct plage, and their stature is not as robust as most species of Leucopaxillus.
Singer, 1986 states that "…the cystidia and the verrucose spores are by no means constant." Nonetheless, the genus is well circumscribed by the lack of clamp connections and the amyloid spores…
My specimens very closely resemble the illustration of M. abloflavida in [[phillips-91]], and I am moderately happy with that identification.