Pileus (cap): 3-7 cm broad, convex to broadly convex, expanding with age to broadly convex to plane. Gray to gray greenish, to blueish gray, darker towards the disc. Surface smooth to finely scaly near the center.
Lamellae (Gills): Free, not attached. Pallid to cream, soon pinkish to salmon coloured at spore maturity. Stem: 40-100 mm long by 2-6 mm thick. White to grayish green, often with bluish tones. Flesh often bruising bluish where injured, especially near the base. Base of stem bruising bluish.
Stipe (stem): 3 - 5(10) long, 0.2 - 0.6 cm thick, more or less equal or slightly swollen at the base, flesh white with grayish-green to bluish-green tones, especially near the base. Ring absent. Firm, full or stuffed.
Microscopic features: Spores pinkish in deposit, smooth, ellipsoid to egg shaped, 7-8.5 by 5-6 u. Pleurocystidia fusiform to lageniform, with or without hooked ends, 58-90 by 10-22 u and with an apex 5-10 u thick. Cheilocystidia pear shaped to clavate to cylindrical or slightly lageniform, 30-85 by 8-20 u.
Season: August through november.
Habitat and Distribution: Growing in the woods mostly on hardwoods in the forests of the pacific northwest however, reports have been found of this species growing on conifers in an old growth area. University of KentuckyMO Occurrence Map
Growth Habit: Mostly singularly, but sometimes in small groups or two or three in a cluster.
Bruising: The base will show obvious blue bruising, the cap may also have blue spots where handled.
Other Notes: P. salicinus for any other Pluteus sp. because they will be blue on the base or will blue almost immediately after picked. Weakly to moderately active. Stijve and Kuyper (1985) reported 0.05-0.25 psilocybin, no psilocin, and from zero to 0.008 baeocystin. Christiansen et al. (1984) found 0.35 psilocybin and 0.011psilocin. See also Saupe (1981) and Stijve and Bonnard (1986). The Field Guide to Mushrooms of Southern Africa by G.C.A. Van der Westhuizen and Albert Eicker (1994) lists Pluteus salicinus as edible although their description lacks any mention of a bluing reaction. This species may have races that vary in their chemical content from region to region.
Heres the differences between P. salicinus and P. cyanopus P. cyanopus- Cap wrinkled in the center; cap margin lined; gills well spaced, their edges not discoloring; odor and taste mild; spores 6-7 x 5-6 u; cystidia without spines. Pluteus cyanopus
P. salicinus- Cap center not wrinkled; cap margin not lined; gills crowded, their edges discoloring grayish; odor and taste unpleasant; spores 7-9 x 5-6 u; cystidia with spines.