First described as Dermocybe sierraensis (Ammirati, 1989), it was later transferred to Cortinarius (Niskanen, et al. 2013).
A small to medium-sized mushroom with an orange-brown to reddish-orange cap, bright to deep red gills, and rusty orange spores. It grows with Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta ssp. murrayana) in summer and fall.
Rare; only known from four locations in higher elevation Lodgepole Pine forests in the Sierra Nevada mountains, often near lakes, streams or other water sources.
Known from four sites in the southern and central Sierra Nevada in California, USA
Currently known from four locations, two of which are historic. Populations are from high elevation Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta ssp. murrayana) forests near water sources.
Population Trend: Uncertain
Ectomycorrhizal. Fruitbodies scattered, growing from duff and soil under Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta ssp. murrayana). Only known from four locations in higher elevation Lodgepole Pine forests in the Sierra Nevada mountains, often near lakes, streams or other water sources. Fruiting in summer and early fall.
Too little is known regarding this species’ distribution and particular habitat preferences to properly assess possible threats. Mountain pine beetle outbreaks, leading to large scale dieback in Lodgepole Pine forest are likely detrimental to this species. Cortinarius sierraensis would likely be indiscriminately collected if found by dyers.
Targeted surveys of suitable habitat to assess presences or absents of this species.
Closely related species of Cortinarius are highly prized dye fungi. Cortinarius sierraensis would likely be collected if found by dyers.
Ammirati, J.F. 1989. Dermocybe, subgenus Dermocybe, section Sanguineae in Northern California. Mycotaxon 34: 21–36.
Niskanen, T., K. Liimatainen, J.F. Ammirati & K. Hughes. 2013. Cortinarius section Sanguinei in North America. Mycologia 105: 344–356.
Wood, M. & F. Stevens. 2017. Mykoweb, Fungi of California. http://mykoweb.com/CAF/species/Cortinarius_sierraensis.html