North American Species of Crepidotus


During the years of our joint endeavors on the study of fleshy fungi one feature has stood out clearly from all others, and that is that all groups of fleshy fungi in North America have been in need of critical study. Though our published efforts to date have been mostly on Hygrophorus (1963) and Lactarius (1960a, 1960b, 1962), we have not neglected other groups in our collecting. We had no particular motive in singling out Crepidotus for critical study other than that the literature on it seemed to be more inadequate than usual as far as being able to use it accurately to identify specimens. In our attempt to correct this situation we have pooled our resources and the result is a treatise which we hope will put the concept of the species in Crepidotus in a more meaningful light than it has been heretofore. The following treatment is organized along the lines of our other presentations, and on the basis of morphological and anatomical characters. The coverage for North America, though more complete than in any other previous treatment, is not to be considered adequate on any ultimate basis.

Any extensive taxonomic revision depends not only on the accumulation of much new material, but also a critical restudy of the type specimens of species already described, as well as studying much material as preserved in herbaria to fill out patterns of distribution. Without help from the numerous curators of collections containing specimens of Crepidotus, this work could not have been completed. We are indebted to Dr. G. Taylor, Director, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, England; Director Dr. Albert Pilát, The Botanical Department of the National Museum of Prague, Czechoslovakia; Curator C. Bas, The Riisherbarium, Leiden; Curator Dr. Sten Ahlner, The Riiksmuseum, Stockholm; Dr. Clark T. Rogerson, Curator, Cryptogamic Herbarium, The New York Botanical Garden; Mr. Stanley J. Smith, The Herbarium of the New York State Museum, Albany; Dr. Richard P. Korf, Plant Pathology Herbarium, Cornell University; Dr. Howard E. Bigelow, The University of Massachusetts; Dr. C. R. Benjamin, The National Fungus Collections, Beltsville, Maryland; Dr. Erdman West, The University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station Herbarium; Dr. Clifford C. Gregg, Director, The Chicago Natural History Museum; Dr. I. Mackenzie Lamb, The Farlow Herbarium of Cryptogamic Botany, Harvard University; and Dr. D. P. Rogers, The University of Illinois Herbarium.

For support of field expeditions and the herbarium studies we both are indebted to the National Science Foundation for assistance over a period of many years. The Faculty Research Fund of the University of Michigan financed much of Smith's work in the Western United States prior to the aid received from the National Science Foundation. The University of Michigan Biological Station, A. H. Stockard, Director, was the base of operations for work in the Upper Great Lakes region from 1946 to the present. The junior author wishes particularly to acknowledge the aid received from the Huron Mountain Club's Wildlife Foundation for facilities furnished and the great privilege of collecting in the virgin forests on the south shore of Lake Superior. These are being maintained as a natural area under control of the Club.

The various herbaria in which cited specimens are deposited are indicated by the abbreviations recommended in Index Herbariorum except for those by Smith which are at Michigan and those by Hesler which are in the Herbarium of the University of Tennessee. Color terms within quotation marks indicate that the color was found to match that of the color plate by that name in Ridgway, Color Standards and Color Nomenclature, Washington, D. C. 1912. Ridgway color names not in quotes indicate that the color was an approximation of the Ridgway plate of that name.