Calostoma ravenelii (Berk.) Massee
Family: Calostomataceae
[Mitremyces ravenelii Berk.]
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Walt Sturgeon  
Coker WC, Couch J. 1928. The Gasteromycetes of the Eastern United States and Canada. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill.

Calostoma ravenelii (Berk.) Massee

Rooting stem 2-5 cm. long, stout, rather compact, consisting of an interwoven mass of thick, gelatinous fibers of soaking clay color; exoperidium light clay or straw color, not gelatinous at any stage, not obviously two-layered, surface spongy or fibrous looking, less than 1 mm. thick; on exposure breaking up into small pieces except for a larger, fluted, apical part which lifts up and falls away, the larger particles on the sides also falling away usually, but some of the smaller ones remaining attached to the peridium for a long time until slowly worn away. In addition to these fragments which are the full thickness of the exoperidium, the endoperidium is covered with much thinner and smaller scales which are parts of the inner layer of the exoperidium from which the outer part has broken away. These scales are very persistent and are found on almost all herbarium specimens. When the exoperidial cap falls off, that part of the inner surface which was touching the mouth ridges is seen to be red, other parts of the inner surface are a distinct light yellow, as is also the freshly exposed surface of the inner peridium, the color being due to minute, inherent, bran-like scales. These scales get larger downward and merge into the larger scales above mentioned. Endoperidium tan or clay color, at length brown, the exposed surface dull and somewhat glaucous-looking, 7-18 mm. in diameter when fresh, 5.5-11 mm. when dry; mouth composed of about 5 rays, bright red when fresh, fading with age. Spore sac white.

Spores (of No. 1488) white, clear, with one or two large oil drops, variable in size and shape, usually oblong-elliptic, a few nearly spherical, 6.5-7 x 10-17 u; surface appearing smooth except under high power, then seen to be very minutely and closely pitted, showing faint radial lines through the walls.

This species is easily distinguished by the non-gelatinous exoperidium, clay colored endoperidium spotted with scales and particles, and the very faintly punctate spores. Mitremyces Tylerii Lloyd (Myc. Notes, p. 240) is probably only a small form of this species. One finds at times very small plants without obvious stalks mixed with the more typical ones.

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