Pluteus cervinus

Scientific name:  Pluteus cervinus (Schaeff.) P. Kumm.
Derivation of nameCervin- pertains to "deer" or "fawn-
colored" but according to the website authors below, the
reference to deer is not to their color but rather the antler-like
(horn-like) projections at the tip of the pleurocystidia - sterile
cells covering the gill surfaces.
Synonyms:  Pluteus atricapillus (Batsch) Fayod
Common name(s):  Fawn mushroom; Deer mushroom.
Phylum:   Basidiomycota
Order:   Agaricales
Family:   Pluteaceae
Occurrence on wood substrate:  Saprobic; solitary or in
small groups on or around decaying deciduous and conifer
stumps and logs, on sawdust and wood chips; May through
Dimensions:  Caps 3-12 cm wide; stipes 5-10 cm long and
0.5-1 cm thick.   
Cap: Smooth, sometimes streaked with radially oriented fibers;
variable in color: brown to grayish-brown to pale cinnamon-
Gills: Free; white at first, becoming salmon-pink.
Spore print: Salmon-pink.
Stipe: White to grayish-brown.
Veil: Absent.
Edibility: Edible.
Comments:  The picture of "horned" pleurocystidia (Figure 5)
is one of the very few microscopic traits pictured on this
website. While the use of a microscope to find these cystidia is
not necessary to identify this species, the picture does illustrate
the wealth of additional information at the microscopic level
which can be invaluable when working out mushroom
More information at   
More information at

Figure 1. Fawn mushroom fruiting on wood. Photo © William

Figure 2. A beautiful view of the pink gills and white stipe
of this specimen. Photo © Pam Kaminski.

Figure 3. The gills are initally white but become pinkish as
the pinkish spores mature. Photo © Gary Emberger.

Figure 4. The distinctly free gills of Pluteus cervinus.
Photo © Gary Emberger.

Figure 5. Microscope preparation of Pluteus cervinus
gill tissue. The long, projecting, hollow-looking cells are
pleurocystidia, sterile cells which cover the gill surfaces.
The horn-like (antler-like) projections at the tips of the
pleurocystidia help to characterize this species.
Photo © Gary Emberger.


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