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Psathyrella spadiceogrisea

[ Basidiomycetes > Agaricales > Coprinaceae > Psathyrella . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

Psathyrella spadiceogrisea is a large, springtime Psathyrella, appearing in both hardwood and conifer forests. Aside from its larger size, it is virtually indistinguishable from Psathyrella pseudovernalis in macroscopic features; both species feature brown caps, wisps of veil material along the cap margin, dark brown spore prints, and snap-able white stems. Under the microscope, however, Psathyrella spadiceogrisea features utriform (rather than fusoid-ventricose) hymenial cystidia--and its gill edges bear inconspicuous (rather than conspicuous) sphaeropedunculate elements.


Ecology: Saprobic; growing scattered to gregariously or in small clusters in hardwood or conifer forests, often near woody debris; spring and early summer; apparently widely distributed in North America.

Cap: 2-8 cm; convex, broadly conical, broadly bell-shaped, or nearly flat at maturity; bald; the margin finely lined; medium brown to yellow-brown, fading markedly as it dries out to brownish buff; when young with wisps of veil tissue, especially along the margin.

Gills: Attached to the stem; close or nearly distant; pale brownish to whitish at first, becoming dark brown.

Stem: 4-12 cm long; up to 1 cm thick; equal; fragile; whitish; bald or finely silky; sometimes grooved near the apex; without a ring.

Flesh: Thin; fragile; brownish.

Odor and Taste: Not distinctive.

Chemical Reactions: KOH on cap surface negative.

Spore Print: Very dark brown with a hint of purple.

Microscopic Features: Spores 6-10 x 3-5.5 µ; ellipsoid; with a pore; smooth; dark brown in KOH. Pleurocystidia utriform; thin-walled; to about 50 x 15 µ. Cheilocystidia utriform; scattered; thin-walled. Sphaeropedunculate elements on gill edge inconspicuous; subglobose, without apical necks. Pileipellis hymeniform/cellular.

REFERENCES: (Schaeffer, 1774) Maire, 1937. (Saccardo, 1887; Smith, 1972; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1979; Moser, 1983; Hansen & Knudsen, 1992.) Herb. Kuo 04189501, 05040402, 05120606.

Kits van Waveren (1985) reduced a number of species to mere "forms" of Psathyrella spadiceogrisea, including Psathyrella vernalis. Like several authors (e.g. Orton, 1986 and Hansen & Knudsen, 1992) I disagree with this approach.


Psathyrella spadiceogrisea

Psathyrella spadiceogrisea

Psathyrella spadiceogrisea

Psathyrella spadiceogrisea
Spore Print

Psathyrella spadiceogrisea

Psathyrella spadiceogrisea

Psathyrella spadiceogrisea

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Kuo, M. (2011, January). Psathyrella spadiceogrisea. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: