Tricholoma (focale?) in Pine and Larch wood, Rhigos, 13/11/16)
I'm hoping that someone who is familiar with Tricholoma, and particularly this species, can help confirm this record (or otherwise). The fruiting bodies are quite large (caps up to 10cm in diameter), and they were growing on a reclaimed coal tip under Pines and Larch (and some Grey Willow and Birch). I couldn't detect any smell from the fresh fruiting bodies. Notably there is a prominent ring on the stipe and the white spores are rather small (4.0 -5.0 microns). The youngest fruiting body in the photo above shows the ring unfolding beneath the expanding cap. Only a few species of Tricholoma have rings on their stipes, e.g T. cingulatum (which it isn't) and those in the matsutake group (e.g. T. matsutake, which has a very noticeable sweet smell). Although T. focale is widespread in Europe it is not common. In Britain it is virtually confined to Scotland although I notice that the NBN distribution map includes one location in the south of England.
The substrate in this wood is clearly nutrient poor and the field layer is carpeted in Cladonia lichens in places. There is quite a diverse fungal community here which included conspicuous amounts of Mycena cinerella, Tricholoma scalpturatum, Inocybe geophylla, Collybia butyracea and Cortinarius brunneus. The wood also has the largest population of Common Wintergreen (Pyrola minor) that I have ever encountered in Britain. I suspect that the Wintergreen here is linked via mycorrhiza to Tricholoma scalpturatum, which is present in huge amounts.