Observation 160146: Peziza ammophila Durieu & Lév.

When: 2014-02-20

Collection location: Lanphere Dunes, Arcata, California, USA [Click for map]

Who: Christian (Christian Schwarz)

Specimen available

fairly common on oldest part of dunes, with dune mat vegetation (esp buckwheat and wallflower)

Species Lists



Proposed Names

28% (1)
Recognized by sight
-21% (3)
Used references: Arora, Mushrooms Demystified. Description p 847; photo p 935. Need to see microscopy to tell apart. Arora’s description of habitat: “Scattered to densely gregarious or clustered in sand or silt, disturbed ground, etc., usually immersed in the soil with only the mouth showing; widespread but not common, or at least not often noticed. I have found it once in our area, in the spring.” Without microscopy species is misleading and no identification possible. Spores should be “23-30 × 12-17 microns, elliptical to spindle-shaped, smooth, usually with one (rarely two) large oil droplets. Asci lining inner surface of cup, typically 8-spored, not amyloid.”
28% (1)
Recognized by sight: Sarcophaera & Peziza (Pezizaceae), Geopora (Pyronemataceae). All three in Pezizales.
Based on microscopic features: no micro

Please login to propose your own names and vote on existing names.

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
How can anyone call this P. ammophila
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2014-02-22 21:25:22 CET (+0100)

without microscopy? Similar is not same as.

Microscopy is required.

Seaver’s NA Cup Fungi
By: Noah Siegel (Noah)
2014-02-22 10:09:38 CET (+0100)

Nice photos
By: Parker V
2014-02-22 05:00:31 CET (+0100)

“Phylogenetic diversity in the core group of Peziza inferred from ITS sequences and morphology”

“Most authors have considered
the similarities in macromorphological development
between Sarcosphaera and P. ammophila to be a result
of convergent or parallel evolution. This is congruent
with our results based on LSU sequences (Hansen et al.
2001) and ITS rDNA sequences, which support P.
ammophila in Peziza s. str. Furthermore, the presence
of a distinctly amyloid ascus ring zone and an
Oedocephalum anamorph (Paden 1973) justify its
placement in the group. Sarcosphaera represents a
separate lineage (Hansen et al. 2001).” pg. 900

According to the new “Ascomycete Fungi” tome,
By: Ron Pastorino (Ronpast)
2014-02-22 00:25:36 CET (+0100)

Peziza ammophila, Geopyxis ammophila, Sarcosphaera ammophila and Tarzette ammophila are all synonyms. The authors seem to prefer the former.
“…anchored by a tuft of mycelial threads” is the closest they get to a stem or “tap-root type structure”.
In any event they look like what is pictured.

Arora says
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2014-02-21 21:14:26 CET (+0100)

the interior is “…pallid to creamy or grayish, often becoming yellowish, tan, or brownish in age; smooth. Flesh brittle to rather tough.” And fruiting body “…at first closed and buried in ground, then opening at the top and becoming more or less cup-shaped at maturity, the margin remaining incurved or often splitting stellately (in starlike lobes) in age; 1-4 cm broad. Exterior brown and densely clothed with flexible brown hairs that bind surrounding dirt or sand.”

Christian apparently feels this describes his observation poorly.

G. arenicola is primarily a European species, but at least one American collection is housed at the Harvard University Harbarium, collected from Michigan in June of 1969.

Other tentative collections have been described from Washington and Montana. I admit I have been waiting for it to show up on MO.

Microscopy necessary. Spore size would separate this readily from most Pezizales.

By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2014-02-21 19:38:44 CET (+0100)

the battle of the reference works!

yup, that drawing shows a rooted sarco with a … can it be? orange interior. so…who do you believe?

micro would help.

go to the University of Texas Press website, Byrain…there is a pre-sale on this book at around $30 off list!

How about
By: Byrain
2014-02-21 19:23:04 CET (+0100)

the drawing at mycobank?


I want that ascobook…

maybe none of the above…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2014-02-21 19:20:38 CET (+0100)

Sarcosphaera/Peziza ammophila has neither a stalk nor an orange interior.

See the wonderful new asco book by Beug et al for more details.

Hie thee to the scope!

back when I was a student at HSU
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2014-02-21 19:09:24 CET (+0100)

there was no public access to the Lanphere dunes.

has that changed?

By: Noah Siegel (Noah)
2014-02-21 18:05:34 CET (+0100)
By: Byrain
2014-02-21 17:56:17 CET (+0100)

This would be a good opportunity to scope this and then ask ascofrance how it compares with the European species. :)

Sarcosphaera vs Peziza
By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2014-02-21 16:46:55 CET (+0100)

I wasn’t sure which name to use, but in retrospect, Sarcosphaera seems more appropriate due to the cylindrical ‘taproot’-like structure (that has to be dug out carefully) and the very thick walls of the frb. There’s also an obvious developmental difference – the fertile surface is exposed by rupturing/splitting, rather than being formed in an typical discomycete shape.

Created: 2014-02-21 08:08:56 CET (+0100)
Last modified: 2014-06-04 04:09:08 CEST (+0200)
Viewed: 198 times, last viewed: 2018-02-06 13:37:09 CET (+0100)
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