Common Names: Sharp-scaly Pholiota, scaly Pholiota
Saprobic and possibly parasitic; growing in clusters (rarely alone or scattered) on the wood of hardwoods; summer and fall. Cap is 3 to 11 cm; convex, becoming broadly convex or broadly bell-shaped; usually sticky; whitish underneath conspicuous tawny scales. Gills are attached to the stem or beginning to run down it; close or crowded; whitish, becoming rusty brown; at first covered by a partial veil. Stem is 4 to 10 cm long; up to 1.5 cm thick; dry; with an ephemeral ring or ring zone; whitish, sometimes becoming reddish brown near the base; covered with conspicuous tawny scales. Flesh is whitish. Spore print is cinnamon brown.
Theoretically, Pholiota squarrosoides can be separated from the very similar Pholiota squarrosa without the use of a microscope, since its gills go from whitish to rusty brown without passing through a greenish stage, and its cap is often slightly sticky underneath the scales (as opposed to the always-dry cap of Pholiota squarrosa). Additionally, Pholiota squarrosoides never develops the garlicky odor that some collections of Pholiota squarrosa develop.