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Thursday, 8 November 2012

The Stem (stipe, shank or stalk)

Size and shape: Is the stem thick, thin, short or noticeably tall (long)? Colour: Does it share the same colour (concolourous) as the cap or is it different? Are there coloured streaks? Does the colour differ at the base in relation nearer the apex (just before joining the cap)? Consistency: Is it smooth, flaky etc? Is it brittle, fibrous and flexible etc? Ring (Annulus): Is there a ring on the stem? Is it large, small, grooved, moveable? Does the stem have a different consistency above and below it? Markings: Any distinct markings? Pitting, freckling etc. Base: Is the base thicker where it joins the wood/soil? Does it have a sack or volva (remnants of the universal veil)? Does the stem appear to have an extension like a root below the soil etc? Other: Cut the stem. Is it hollow or solid? Is it darker near the base? Does the flesh change colour and where? Is it clustered and/or joined with other mushrooms at the base?