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When: 2013-05-22

Collection location: Lake Almanor, California, USA [Click for map]

Who: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)

Specimen available

Found at local burn by Phil Carpenter; scoped by me at home for ID.

Species Lists


pseudoplectania nigrella asci and spores.jpg

Proposed Names

-78% (3)
Recognized by sight: not really. blown-out dark sessile cup, very brittle, wrinkled hymenium (like a Discina).
Based on microscopic features: perfectly round spores; asci with amyloid tips.

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= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
Seaver’s “The North American Cup Fungi”
By: Robert Sasata (Sasata)
2013-05-27 18:30:36 PDT (-0700)

is available online:


By: Noah Siegel (Noah)
2013-05-27 17:14:20 PDT (-0700)

has the info you want.

Plicaria endocarpoides
MICROSCOPIC spores 8-10 microns in diameter, “round, smooth, typically with several small oil droplets”, (Arora), spores reaching 10-12 microns in diameter, smooth, colorless or slightly yellowish, rather thick-walled, usually containing one large central oil droplet, 2-seriate becoming 1-seriate; asci reaching a length of 350 microns and a diameter or 15-18 microns, cylindric or subcylindric in upper part, tapering in lower part into stem-like base; paraphyses, slender, rather abruptly widened in upper part, densely granular within, reaching width of 7 microns, showing a tendency to stick together in bundles, (Seaver), spores 8-10 microns in diameter, round, smooth, with granular contents; asci 190-200 × 9.5-11 microns, J+; paraphyses filiform [thread-like], slightly expanded at tip, up to 4 microns wide and covered by an amorphous yellow-brown incrustation; medullary excipulum of textura globulosa and filamentous cells, up to 2 microns wide, ectal excipulum of textura globulosa, the cells smaller than in medullary excipulum, (Tylutki), spores 8.5-9.5 microns in diameter, smooth, (Hansen), spores 8-9 microns in diameter, smooth, colorless or faintly brownish, containing numerous small oil droplets, (Dennis)

Plicaria carbonaria
MICROSCOPIC spores 11-14 microns in diameter (not including ornamentation), round, with coarse, blunt, spike-like, colorless warts, spores pale brownish when mature, sometimes with one droplet; asci 8-spored, to 270 × 20 microns, I+; paraphyses cylindric, septate, tips thickened to 10 microns and encrusted with brown, (Breitenbach), spores 11.5-13 microns, with prominent, irregular 2 micron high spines or warts (illustrated), (Hansen)

Plicaria trachycarpa
MICROSCOPIC spores 10-11 microns in diameter, with low, rounded, regular, 1 micron high warts, (Hansen with illustration of spores), spores reaching 15-18 microns in diameter, at first smooth, developing minute warts or short interrupted ridges, uniseriate, (Seaver), becoming pale yellow or smoky; asci reaching a length of 250-300 microns and a width of 14-16(18) microns, cylindric or subcylindric in upper part; paraphyses about 3-4 microns wide in lower part, sparingly branched, widened at tips where they reach 8 microns wide, sticking together, yellowish brown, (Seaver), spores 12-16 microns in diameter, round, finely warted, colorless to pale brown; asci 320-350 × 17-20 microns, J+; paraphyses “clavate, the tips up to 8.5 microns wide, encrusted with a yellowish amorphous material”; medullary excipulum “a mix of hyphal cells and globose to polyhedral cells”, ectal excipulum “of smaller globose to polyhedral cells”, (Tylutki), spores 11-15 microns in diameter, round, covered with minute colorless warts, colorless then becoming pale brown; asci about 200-250 × 14-18 microns; paraphyses slender, slightly clavate and up to 8 microns wide at tip, apical cell with brown oily contents and coated with a thin brown epithecial crust, (Dennis), spores 10-16 microns, round, finely warted, (Trudell)

there ya go Darv…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2013-05-27 16:29:26 PDT (-0700)

I’ll bet that your book on Discos even has the micro details that I am seeking, something a bit beyond “has round spores.”

I’m hoping to find something on the order of the Swiss series, with lots of micro details actually illustrated, not just described.

Don’t own the Seaver book, alas.

Maybe Oluna has a drawing somewhere? That would be perfect.

Thanks for the feedback fellas, at any rate. I’m sure that something will pop up.

Another reference
By: Darvin DeShazer (darv)
2013-05-27 14:54:58 PDT (-0700)

Everyone on the West Coast should have this small book. It’s full of info on spring time ascos.
Tylutki, E. E. 1979. Mushrooms of Idaho and the Pacific Northwest Discomycetes. Univ. Press of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho. 133p.

By: Noah Siegel (Noah)
2013-05-27 14:23:04 PDT (-0700)

“somewhere accessible”…
Arora, MD and Trudell, Mushrooms of the PNW

Not as accessible for some…
Seaver, The North American Cup-Fungi

thanks, Noah.
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2013-05-27 08:04:19 PDT (-0700)

that explains why the macro was such a dodgy fit.

is there a good description of both macro and micro for this species somewhere accessible?