Observation 35152: Psathyrella (Fr.) Quél.

When: 2005-01-08

Collection location: Santa Cruz, California, USA [Click for map]

Who: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)

No specimen available

I realized that these were psaths only last night as I scrolled through Courtecuisse’s Mushrooms of Europe book…the P. ammophila, found in coastal dunes, is similar, with its swollen but rooting stipe.

any ID-uhs black-spored IDers?

[admin – Sat Aug 14 01:56:56 +0000 2010]: Changed location name from ‘Santa Cruz Fungus Fair, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz Co., California, USA’ to ‘Santa Cruz, California, USA

Proposed Names

61% (2)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight: I had no clue what these were five years ago when they came in, but was intrigued enough to illustrate them. only a few centimeters high, clustered, with swollen, rounded bases, black spores, growing in sand (coastal?), in Santa Cruz CO.
Did they get vouchered? Probably not, and certainly not by me.

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


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By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2010-04-01 12:15:45 PDT (-0700)

Still no specimen/micro, and a so-so photo. Not as useful as the drawing that Debbie made – I agree that a good illustration sometimes will kick a photo’s butt, especially for single fruitbodies. But for most people, learning to make good illustrations is much harder than learning to take a good photo. That’s the key difference.

depends on both the photo and the drawing…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2010-04-01 08:27:00 PDT (-0700)

I just claimed a similarity with ammophila, not a perfect match. the bases are completely different (one rounded, one rooting) for one thing.

it’s all conjecture at this point w/out a fruit body, whether photo OR illustration as our only record.

Psathyrella ammophila
By: Darvin DeShazer (darv)
2010-03-31 21:28:49 PDT (-0700)

I’ve seen Psathyrella ammophila from both Clam Beach in McKinleyville and the Somoa sand dunes near Manilla in Northern California. They fruit in Feb & March and both are vouchered in the HSU Herbarium.

I would not make an ID based on this water color drawing but it could be Psathyrella ammophila. Photos are far superior for identification because they are very detailed and accurate.

yeah, distinctive macromorphology and location…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2010-03-31 16:05:09 PDT (-0700)

but nuttin beyond that.

do you guys agree to psathyrella as a genus, or is even that in question from what little we have to go on?

I don’t know…
By: Alan Rockefeller (Alan Rockefeller)
2010-03-31 15:52:38 PDT (-0700)

Could be anything. Though the swollen base and sand habitat is distinctive. Do you have any micrographs?

obviously the microscopy is out…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2010-03-31 06:38:15 PDT (-0700)

but I beg to differ over the photo issue. A detailed botanical illustration is often better than a photo, and annotated to boot. I draw exactly what I see. How many far less than adequate photos scroll thru this site? And even a good photo will only get some features, or can be off in color.

I was more curious as to whether you folks looking hard at the psath groups had ever seen its like before. Sounds like no?

By: Erin Page Blanchard (CureCat)
2010-03-31 02:22:37 PDT (-0700)

Without microscopy or an actual photograph, I can’t imagine trying to identify these…

Created: 2010-03-29 15:45:04 PDT (-0700)
Last modified: 2010-08-13 18:56:56 PDT (-0700)
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