Tricholoma caligatum

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Tricholoma caligatum
Tricholoma caligatum.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Agaricales
Family: Tricholomataceae
Genus: Tricholoma
Species: T. caligatum
Binomial name
Tricholoma caligatum
(Viv.) Ricken (1915)
  • Agaricus caligatus Viv. (1834)
  • Armillaria caligata (Viv.) Gillet (1874)
  • Sphaerocephalus caligatus (Viv.) Raithelhuber (1979)
  • Sphaerocephalus caligatum (Viv.) Raithelhuber (1979)

Tricholoma caligatum is a mushroom of the agaric genus Tricholoma. It is a large species with a distinct sheathing ring on the stem, found in mycorrhizal association with various trees throughout the Mediterranean. It is sometimes referred to as the European Matsutake,[2] though it is certainly gastronomically inferior to the true Matsutake (Tricholoma matsutake), a related species highly prized in Japan.


Tricholoma caligatum was originally described in 1834 as "Agaricus caligatus" and was transferred to genus Tricholoma in 1914. Considerable controversy exists regarding the application of this name to Central European and North American collections, which likely represent different species.[3][4]


The cap (pileus) is hemispherical at first, soon becoming convex to flat, reaching 12–15 cm in diameter, and it is covered in large, chesnut to dark-brown scales. The gills (lamellae) are adnate to sinuate, crowded, whitish to cream. The stem (stipe) is 4–12 cm long, tapering and somewhat rooting at the base, and has a well-developed cottony ring covering the gills when young. Below the ring the stem is covered in dark bands of scales, which are the same colour as the cap. The flesh is thick and fibrous, and has a distinct, spicy, penetrating smell resembling nutmeg or allspice. The spore print is white.[5][6][7][8][9]

Ecology & Distribution[edit]

Tricholoma caligatum is a strictly Southern species, locally common in Mediterranean woods. It is associated with several conifers, such as Pinus pinea, Pinus halepensis, Pinus nigra, Pinus brutia, and Pinus pinaster, but also with evergreen oaks, strawberry trees and terebinth bushes.[10][11][12][13] It appears in coastal and high altitude woods in autumn and winter. According to Christensen & Heilmann-Clausen, North American reports of this fungus likely represent a different species.[14]


Tricholoma caligatum is edible, although fruitbodies are often bitter. The bitterness seems to vary from one collection to another and is removed by parboiling. It is regularly consumed along the Mediterranean coast, and is highly valued in the island of Cyprus, where is considered a delicacy pickled and preserved in brine or vinegar.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Tricholoma caligatum (Viv.) Ricken 1915". MycoBank. International Mycological Association. Retrieved 2013-03-23. 
  2. ^ Roger Phillips (2006). Mushrooms. Pan MacMillan. pp. 45–46. ISBN 0-330-44237-6.
  3. ^ Kuo, M. (2004, December). Tricholoma caligatum. MushroomExpert.Com:
  4. ^ Murata H., Ota Y., Yamaguchi M., Yamada A., Katahata S., Otsuka Y., Babasaki K., Neda H. (2013). Mycorrhiza 23 (6): 447-61. doi: 10.1007/s00572-013-0487
  5. ^ Galli R. (2003). I Tricholomi 2nd Edition. Med. Fit.
  6. ^ Riva A. (2003). Fungi Europaei 3: Tricholoma. Edizioni Candusso, Italia.
  7. ^ Marchand A. (1971). Les champignons du Nord et du Midi. Tome 1. Perpignan. ISBN 8449906490
  8. ^ Courtecuisse R. (1995). Collins Wild Guide: Mushrooms of Britain & Europe. Harper-Collins.
  9. ^ Loizides M, Kyriakou T, Tziakouris A. (2011). Edible & Toxic Fungi of Cyprus (in Greek and English). Published by the authors. pp. 270–71. ISBN 978-9963-7380-0-7.
  10. ^ Kytövuori, I. (1988). The Tricholoma caligatum group in Europe and North Africa. Karstenia 28:65–77.
  11. ^ Loizides, M. (2011). Quercus alnifolia: The indigenous golden oak of Cyprus and its fungi. Field Mycology 12 (3): 81–88. doi:10.1016/j.fldmyc.2011.06.004.
  12. ^ Zervakis G., Dimou D., Balis C. (1998). A check-list of the Greek macrofungi including hosts and biogeographic distribution: I. Basidiomycotina. Mycotaxon 66:273–336.
  13. ^ Malençon G., Bartault R. (1970). Flore des Champignons Superieurs du Maroc. Tome I. Trav. Inst. Sci. Chérifien et Fac. sci. Rabat.
  14. ^ Christensen, M. & Heilmann-Clausen J. (2013). Fungi of Northern Europe 4: The Genus Tricholoma. ISBN 978-87-983581-8-3
  15. ^ Loizides, M. (2008). A secret world: The fungi of Cyprus. Field Mycology 9 (3): 107-109. doi:10.1016/S1468-1641(10)60420-3.

External links[edit]