Observation 185988: Agaricales sensu lato

When: 2014-10-26

Collection location: Ricketts Glen State Park, Pennsylvania, USA [Click for map]

Who: Dave W (Dave W)

No specimen available

Spore print very dark brown.

On mossy humus-rich soil in mixed woods.

Spores 9-14 × 6-8.


Two specimens put back into spot where they were discovered. Photos show same two specimens as younger ones in original photos. Habitat photo shows green mossy well-decomposed log to which the mushrooms grew attached.
Two specimens put back into spot where they were discovered. Photos show same two specimens as younger ones in original photos. Habitat photo shows green mossy well-decomposed log to which the mushrooms grew attached.
Two specimens put back into spot where they were discovered. Photos show same two specimens as younger ones in original photos. Habitat photo shows green mossy well-decomposed log to which the mushrooms grew attached.
Two specimens put back into spot where they were discovered. Photos show same two specimens as younger ones in original photos. Habitat photo shows green mossy well-decomposed log to which the mushrooms grew attached.

Proposed Names

31% (4)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight
12% (6)
Recognized by sight
21% (7)
Recognized by sight
-9% (7)
Recognized by sight: Caps with broad umbo, seen late in the season on well decayed wood, bluing can be seen in image 475244 at the base of the stem, ellipsoid spores
-47% (3)
Recognized by sight: Just putting this out as a possible alternative.
Based on microscopic features: Spores match well with L. squamosus var. thrausta.
-83% (1)
Recognized by sight: Lack of bluing, but otherwise matching multiple Psilocybe features.
29% (1)
Used references: Spore size and habitat similar to obs 253146.

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

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
I have found this type mushroom…
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2016-01-29 19:21:38 GMT (+0000)

in the exact same spot (2 square feet) during two different years. Spores were all mainly above 10 mu in length (a few have been around 10 mu). Mushrooms were also robust, and showed little or no bluing, mainly just slightly bluish darkening on the cap.

Here’s a P. caerulipes observation of mine. Small fruit bodies and spores all under 10 mu is in agreement with other reports for P. caerulipes. I have also noted a lighter color in the spore print of caerulipes. obs 186113

I don’t think it makes sense to lump collections that diverge markedly in several ways… with macro-differences consistently correlating with spore morpholgy. IMO, there are two different species of mushroom currently being called “Psilocybe caerulipes” here in eastern NA, and I think there are multiple mis-applications of the name here on MO.

By: Erlon (Herbert Baker)
2016-01-29 18:37:31 GMT (+0000)

Spores from 2-spored basidia can be larger. They are robust but not outside the the range of P. caerulipes.

Spores are much too large for caerulipes.
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2016-01-29 18:29:53 GMT (+0000)

Not to mention, the fruit bodies are also much more robust that the smallish blue-staining caerulipes.

Between Psilocybe and Deconica
By: Image Sharer (image sharer)
2014-11-05 05:34:01 GMT (+0000)

Here’s a MycoBank list of species currently in the genus Deconica:


Mushroom Observer contributors should work on the Deconica species pages listed on Wikipedia. I’ll chip in, too.

There are wood and leaf decomposing species in Deconica. The best key I am aware of is currently applied to Europe. In time, I know this key will have at least some application to North American species. Here’s the URL: http://www.entoloma.nl/html/psilocybeeng.html

Searching for key words in the following document may also provide a lead or two, however, I think we need to see another collection to observe for psilocybin-related bluing: http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/...

By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2014-11-04 23:50:30 GMT (+0000)

I think we can confidently call these Psilocybe.
Leratiomyces is easily ruled out on morphology, Hypholoma is ruled out pretty easily as well (but more on gestalt, and thus more difficult to explain verbally).

Difficult to confidently pin a genus onto these.
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2014-11-04 23:36:56 GMT (+0000)

Initially, I posted as could be Hypholoma… basically for lack of better idea. Comparison with other Psilocybe obses and gestalt of fruit bodies seems to make Psilocybe believable.

I agree that the lack of both annulus and whitish veil remnants on the caps point away from L. squamosus. Also the gills are a bit widely-spaced for this type.

The only Deconica I know is D. coprophila, which is a small slender dung-inhabiting mushroom. Are there wood/litter-decomposing species?

By: Image Sharer (image sharer)
2014-11-04 18:19:26 GMT (+0000)

Leratiomyces squamosus can be distinguished away from this collection based on the following: 1. The consistent lack of an annular ring 2. The consistent lack of white scales on the stipes 3. The consistent lack of white partial veil remnants on the pileus surface.

It wouldn’t be a long shot to consider Deconica for this collection due to the burgandy-ish discoloration from the base of the stipe to about halfway up the stipe. However, I think Psilocybe is more of a fit – if in fact bluing can be observed (coerced) – or if chemosystematics can be performed using High Performance Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (HPLC/MS).

This is a very cool collection, Dave.

Thanks gsharp.
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2014-11-04 17:36:27 GMT (+0000)

Both Peck’s and Guzman’s descriptions of P. caerulipes which you have provided within the previous comment seem to agree fairly well with Lincoff’s description in Audubon. I believe I have found P. caerulipes in the past. obs 186113 is an example of a collection I had made very close to the collection site for this obs (185988), and which also agrees well with the available descriptions. This is a small slender mushroom with spore lengths mainly under 10 mu.

The mushrooms in this obs (185988) are larger, more robust and have larger spores than what one finds reported for caerulipes. The spores in this collection are mainly longer than 10 mu, with some approaching 14 mu. (I looked at the spores through an old scope that’s equipped with a micrometer.)

Thanks for the tips on observing bluing reaction. I no longer have any fresh material to view.

I suspect that there are at least two northeast NA woodland Psilocybes that have been lumped under the name P. caerulipes. other MO observations appear to bear this out. But this suspicion is partially based upon this obs (and obs 187220 collected in the same 0.25 square yard area). Perhaps this obs represents something other than a Psilocybe? Spores match very well with Leratiomyces squamosus, which I have often observed in the same general area as this collection. Cap surface here looks wrong for L. squamosus.

Descriptions of Psilocybe caerulipes (Peck) Saccardo
By: Image Sharer (image sharer)
2014-11-04 14:31:08 GMT (+0000)

I would revisit the collection location and attempt to view primoridia for bluing. Creating a vertical cross section down one or two entire fruits may also reveal bluing. Storing a freshly harvested collection in a sealed but breathable tupperware container (in the fridge for a day or two) can also help induce bluing.

Below: The original description by Peck of Psilocybe caerulipes

^ Agaricus caerulipes Peck, Annual Report on the New York State Museum of Natural History 38: 89 (1885)

Agaricus (Psilocybe) caerulipes, n. sp.

Pileus thin, subcampanulate, then convex and obtuse or obtusely umbonate, glabrous, hygrophanous, slightly viscid, watery brown and striatulate on the margin when moist, yellowish or subochraceous when dry, the disk sometimes brownish ; lamellae at first ascending, close, adnate, grayish-tawny, becoming ferruginous-brown, whitish on the edge ; stem slender, equal, flexuous, tenacious, hollow or containing a separable pith, slightly fibrillose, pruinose at the apex, bluish, some- times whitish at the apex ; spores elliptical, .0003 to .0004 in. long, .00016 to .0002 broad.

Plant single or caespitose, 1 to 1.5 in. high, pileus 5 to 10 lines broad, stem scarcely 1 line thick.

Decaying wood. South Ballston. Aug.

The species is easily recognized by the peculiar blue color of the stem. Sometimes the pileus also assumes a blue color where bruised.

Below: If someone can translate this page, this is the description of P. caerulipes provided by P.A. Saccardo published in Sylloge Fungorum V: 1051 (1887)


Here is a description of P. caerulipes by Dr. Gaston Guzman:

Description: Cap: 10-35 mm broad, wllen young obtusely conic to convex and with an incurved margin, becoming broadly convex to plane or retaining a slight umbo, at times quite irregular, surface glabrous, viscid, soon dry and shining, closely translucent-striatulate and watery cinnamon brown to dingy “Sayal brown” fresh, hygrophanous and soon fading to dingy ochraceous buff or cinnamon buff, sordid alutaceous in age and often with greenish stains along the margin or with a greenish tinge overall. Gills: sordid brown when young, becoming rusty cinnamon, close or crowded, narrow, adnate or arcuateadnate or with a decurrent tooth, edges whitish and slightly fimbriate. Stem: 30-60 mm long, 2-3 mm thick at apex, equal or slightly enlarged downwards, stuffed with a pith but becoming tubular or hollow, the pith fairly persistent, surface pruinose at or near the apex, downward appressedly white to grayish fibrillose, usually staining greenish blue where handled, whitish to buff at first, especially above, pallid to bluish when dried, lower part often dingy brown in age; veil-whitish, thin, forming an evanescent superior fibrillose zone; basal mycelium white. Microscopic Features: Spores: 7-9.8 × 4-5.3(-5.7) x 4-5.1 um, usually 8-8.5 × 4.4-5 um, but those from 2-spored basidia 10-11.2 (- 12) x 5.7 um, generally terete, only a small minority very slightly broader in face than in side view, ellipsoid, or elliptic in face view and inequilateral in side view, pale tawny to olive fuscous in KOH, truncate with an apical pore, smooth. Basidia: 15-28 × 5.2-7.5 um, either all 4-spored, or some 2-spored, often constricted in mid-portion, hyaline in KOH. Pleurocystidia: none, or present only near gill edge, and then similar to cheilocystidia. Cheilocystidia: forming a broad sterile band at gill edge (which is heteromorphous), 18-35 × 4.2-6.7 um, hyaline, with homogeneous contents, narrowly fusoid-ventricose, subulate, or ampullaceous, neck 1-2.2 um broad and, if ampullaceous, 7-20 um long, the tip sometimes slightly thickened to almost subcapitate (1.7-2.2 um diameter ), otherwise acute to obtuse, sometimes bifurcate. Habitat: Solitary or cespitose on debris of hardwood trees, especially Betula and Acer but also on their logs rotting on the ground. Distribution: It fruits (during the summer, more rarely in fall in the eastern and mid-western states of the U.S.A. and in Canada (Ontario), south to North Carolina and eastern Mexico (Guzman 1983).

See obs 186113
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2014-10-29 01:22:13 GMT (+0000)

for an example of what I have called P. caerulipes.

Same as this…?!

Looking through other MO obses…
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2014-10-28 15:58:13 GMT (+0000)

I see multiple high-confidence caerulipes proposals for collections very similar to these, made in eastern NA. For instance, the obs Christian mentioned below looks an awful lot like these. As explained in the previous comment, the ones in this obs seem much different that what I typically ID as P. caerulipes. I believe my concept is pretty much in line with Lincoff’s Audubon description. I’ll check later.

I suspect that the name Psilocybe caerulipes is currently being applied to more than one species of mushroom.

P. caerulipes…
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2014-10-28 11:47:20 GMT (+0000)

is a small slender mushroom that grows among twigs and leaf litter. Cap is pale/yellowish/straw-colored and there is usually considerable bluing on the cap and stipe… at least after about 30 minutes. Cap surfaces lack the oily feel of this collection. I have found it at this location, in August. It seems to be a warm-weather mushroom. I found one or two earlier this summer. If I have a decent photo I’ll post later.

The ones seen here are more robust, colored differently, with a large umbo, and obscurely translucent-striate. No bluing observed. Otherwise, the gestalt does suggest Psilocybe. But I can think of no candidate for a species. The only other one I know that occurs around here is P. ovoideocystidiata, which is a springtime blue-stainer. Spores from this collection lack the rhomboid profile of P. ovoideocystidiata. Weather at the collection site has featured several mornings below freezing, which to my knowledge favors the Hypholoma proposal.

To my memory, I have never seen this type of mushroom. Two specimens are at home, almost dehydrated.

Dark spores
By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2014-10-28 03:27:13 GMT (+0000)

Brown, umbonate cap translucent striate, why are these not Psilocybe, maybe P. caerulipes?
See observation 85542

I don’t think these are H. lateritium.
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2014-10-28 03:06:58 GMT (+0000)

I see hundreds of those every fall. The ones in this obs don’t have the brick-red color which fades toward the margin, and the gills are spaced more widely than lateritium. H. latritium has dry caps (except in wet weather). These have an oily feel, with obscurely striate margin. Bell-shaped/umbonate cap shape does not fit lateritium.

Seems somewhat like…
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2014-10-28 02:28:57 GMT (+0000)

what Phillips calls Hypholoma olivaceotinctum, except Phillips lists the gills separation as close, which does not fit these.

4th photo down is best representation of color.

Created: 2014-10-28 02:18:48 GMT (+0000)
Last modified: 2016-09-21 14:04:06 BST (+0100)
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