When: 2009-02-14

Collection location: Oakland Hills, Oakland, California, USA [Click for map]

Who: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)

Specimen available

tiny grass dweller w/mottled gills and hygrophanous, micaceous cap and upper stipe.


these were gi-normous, unstained spores with a plage. they have an elliptical shape.
microphotos by Dimitar Bojantchev; thank you for the thoroughness of your work, Dimi!
microphotos by Dimitar Bojantchev; thank you for the thoroughness of your work, Dimi!
microphotos by Dimitar Bojantchev; thank you for the thoroughness of your work, Dimi!
microphotos by Dimitar Bojantchev; thank you for the thoroughness of your work, Dimi!
these tiny psaths are within the size range of panaeolina foensecii. collected from same location as first batch. I am trying again for a spore print; might still be useful.
This was the most mature of the several fruit bodies, and the one that made the spore print.
a last close-up of the gill margins. possible red noted on gill margins to rear right(fruit body also brought into daylight and examined with a magnifying glass. again.)

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

= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
A graceful exit to a good thread, D.
By: Erin Page Blanchard (CureCat)
2009-02-22 05:09:53 EST (-0500)

The “pompous” and “pedantic” characters don’t concern me so much, since you are willing to assert an opinion, challenge it, and report the unbiased results.

I try to keep emotions apart from objective consideration, thus I rarely encounter social adversity with those who uphold the same standards.

Sorry I don’t have a microscope or I would certainly have assisted with the micro analysis.

By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-02-22 03:47:17 EST (-0500)

Psathyrella prona s.l. or Psathyrella prona complex sound like a good
middle ground at this stage

An observation about the observation, i.e. lessons learned:

We’re digging in the dark side of Mycology. This effort here shows
what it takes to get decent results. Most of the inconspicuous Genera
require going all the way. At the same time, we have to be reasonable
and understand that in many cases we’re dealing with species complexes
and shouldn’t be foolish to apply deeper names. Particularly if the
Genera hasn’t been studied well in the particular area. I have many
collections in which I have invested time, but did not end up with a
good name, simply because it can’t be done.

So much work and we’re still on speaking terms, that’s nice. Shows
that we can work as a team despite some heat at times. But that’s due
to passion, not malicious intent.

Technical things that I learned:

1) The translucent stipe that Irene and CureCat seized on ealy on is
quite important. I dismissed it too quickly. Of course, now I will
compare more collections.

2) The “relativity” of the mottled giils and even the white gill
edges — I do accept CureCat’s stance.

3) Size of the mushroom is an important characteristic to be evaluated
early on, particularly before trying to solidify an opinion. Some
backgrounds really tend to mask the size component.

I may have acted a bit like a pompous a** at times (according to my wife to
whom I showed bits and pieces of the discussion) and she rooted for
the ladies.

But, no regrets over being pedantic, particularly with folks who treat
mycology like a folk song — I much rather be like the bad teacher who
makes good students. At least, as you see, I’m not squimish about
admititng mistakes.

Anyway, this thread has really gone too long and not to a little
degree due to me… So, I’m positively out.

By: Erin Page Blanchard (CureCat)
2009-02-22 00:21:49 EST (-0500)

Well I would say that the described traits of either P. potteri or P. prona are too variable, and combined with the equally indefinite features of your little mushroom, it is hard to say that it is either species with any certainty.
Gee, all that work really payed off, eh?

I’m willing to call it P. prona s. lat. or P. prona sp. aff. …

As far as moving on to “macro fungi”, you know my point of view, haha.

maybe i’m hallucinating, but I seem to see a bit of red on those gill margins…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-02-21 19:59:00 EST (-0500)

if that and a slightly bulbous base is enough, combined with the other features, to make it P. prona, then I feel pretty darned confidant that’s what we have. time to move on to some more macro-ish fungi, eh?

The red tinges
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-02-21 12:42:13 EST (-0500)

Ok, here is a photo of what it should look like — the red tinges on
the tip.


In fact, I think I see it in one of your photos.

Anyway, you need more than one freshly collected fruitbodies to look
at and in order to make a reliable determination. But I understand the
limitations, sorry for pushing you too hard. I thought you liked
dancing with the LBMs. I’ll move on to other more fruitful endeavors now.


P.S. Good jokes you guys. Tell me when you’re serious.

if it’s material at age that produces the color you seek…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-02-21 12:14:48 EST (-0500)

why bother w/immature fruit bodies? we already have photos of those.

and the (white) margin, sans red “hues”, in the oldest fruit body is clearly visible in my photo, esp. the larger copy that I didn’t attach, cause it takes too bloody long to load. I also used a magnifying glass prior to taking the photo; no sign of red. Shockingly, I thought of that all by myself!

However, you are welcome to have at it YOURself…I’ll tell you exactly where they grow. And if you can get into the field, then good for you! what enthusiasm!

Psathyrella foensecii
By: Dan Molter (shroomydan)
2009-02-21 11:38:04 EST (-0500)

Yeah it was a joke. I’m glad Debbie got it. :)

Good on the bulb, need a macro shot on the gills.
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-02-21 11:35:09 EST (-0500)

Good job on the bulb. Need macro shots on the gills, several of them
at various ages, use deep focus (f16 and above).

Between a red margin and a “red hue on the margin” is a difference like
the sky and the earth. No, I’m not being pedantic here, it’s part of
the job — obviously the author refereed to a hint of red, which is
common to a couple of other Psathyrellas. Need a magnifying glass to
appreciate. This is standard procedure.

Thank you Debbie, good job, good enthusiasm.

tiny bulb si, red margin no. nice jet black spore print, too! see photos.
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-02-21 11:14:24 EST (-0500)
Need to see some fresh material now.
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-02-21 08:35:55 EST (-0500)

Thank you Erin.

The cheilocystidia drawing on Waveren’s book (Page 82) does show a
split apex. It doesn’t sound like a major attention vector to me

I’ve reached the stage when I need to see some fresh material. Per
Kits, there are a couple of macro features that sound interesting —
slightly bulbous base, the coloration of the margin gills (initially
white, but then reddish hue at age), etc.

Otherwise the habitat fits quite well — “grass by roadsides, parks,
manured meadows, muddy cart tracks…”

Have fun,

By: Erin Page Blanchard (CureCat)
2009-02-21 01:23:10 EST (-0500)

By the way Dimitar, always question. If no one questions and everyone just makes assumptions, we do not learn nor contribute to the understanding of mycology. And of course, all argument should be supported with good reason. In the end, opinion means very little. And of course, a good scientist accepts hard evidence and will shape their current understandings based on it, as you do.

Debbie, I didn’t even consider the possibility of a joke due to the fact that P. foenisecii used to be the actual name of the mushroom, and I figure Dan knows that. But then again, a lot of jokes fly over my head.
Oh, and I see you have made another collection, very cool.

Back to the mushroom-
I’ve been trying to find descriptions of the 4 forms (or more, depending on who you ask) so I can see if any of the other 3 are more fitting, but I’ve only been able to compare the P. prona f. cana and P. prona f. prona types.

“Look at his cystidia drawings, including the distinctive split necks.”

Yes, but what kind of cystidia???
See, I can’t find any descriptions of Psathyrella species with forked cheilocystidia, however, numerous species have forked pleurocystidia… And those species often list the cheilocystidia as looking similar or sharing characteristics of the pleurocystidia, so perhaps they didn’t feel the need to reiterate the particular (forked) similarity?
Furthermore, in a recently published article on Nordic Psathyrella by Larsson, the description of P. prona includes a description of “rarely forked” pleurocystidia, and 2 types (like you described) of cheilocystidia- one like the pleurocystidia, the other one smaller and slightly more common.
The basidia are also described as “often (1-) 2-spored, rarely 4-spored dominate”, so that also fits this mushroom, except that the 4-sterigmate basidia are more abundant (if I understood you correctly).

The description for P. potteri(=P. prona f. cana) according to Larsson’s 2008 article, only differs notably from P. prona by having a paler cap, faintly or without striations, without pink tones when it dries, gills which are not usually red marginate (P. prona typically marginate- white when young, changing to red), spores rarely(as opposed to sometimes) with a slight suprahilar depression, and basidia mostly 4-sterigmate, rarely 2-sterigmate.

I haven’t been doing any sequencing since last year, unfortunately, so I really have no strings to pull in that regard. I recall Tom saying he would have some material sequenced for you after a BAMS meet a while back, remember? It would probably take a while though. If I had the time and funds to go to the East Bay as frequently as I have in the past I would love to go back and help out with the sequencing and sorting, but I cannot now. Maybe there is a Psathyrella enthusiast out there at a university who has access to the technology.

Check the other sources too.
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-02-20 20:41:47 EST (-0500)

Checking the sources is the fun part now, once the data is there -
the analysis is incomplete without Kit Van Waveren’s work on “The
Dutch, French and British Species of Psathyrella” – as a member of
the Dutch Resistance during WW-2 there is the name of one country near
by that is not in his vocabulary.

Anyway, he lists a “gazillion” prona sub-epithets, more specifically
4 varieties and 4 forms of Psathyrella prona.

He mentions 1,2, and 4 spored basidia. This is one character that is
very important, but has to be used carefully and dealt with not in
absolute terms, but statistical.

Look at his cystidia drawings, including the distinctive split necks.

I am curious to be taken to the place where these were collected as
I’d like to make a photo on site.

I think that Psathyrella prona is a decent ballpark name. There are
reasons why not gracilis, for example. But drilling lower would not be
prudent at this point without more powerful means — c’mon Erin you’re
the molecular guru here. Help us out here.

I’m checking a few other European sources. A major new work on
Psathyrella by Eef Arnolds should be coming soon. It may provide a
good new foundation to re-evaluate some of our material in California.

Have fun,

By: Erin Page Blanchard (CureCat)
2009-02-20 19:59:55 EST (-0500)

The size of the spores is within range for P. prona, the description lists 13-15 × 7-8.5, and the rest of the spore description is virtually identical.

The description only mentions 4-sterigmate basidia, none 2-sterigmate. But it also mentions brachybasidia, and having seen one image with basidia next to brachybasidia, and the description as “cells that resemble basidia”, I cannot figure out how to distinguish the two…
The size of the Basidia is slightly smaller in the description, 18-24 × 10-14, and does not mention basal clamps.

Cheilocystidia is listed as “fusoid-ventricose; apex acute to subacute”, so that certainly fits. The size is again, a bit smaller, 38-56 × 10-16 , and there is no mention of forking… which seems like it would be mentioned if it had been observed, especially if it is regularly observed for the species.

Pleurocystidia the same, “rare and similar to cheilocystidia”.

The vertical cells of the pilleipellis are said not to form a true palisade, and the context hyphae walls are uneven (due to irregular pigment thickening or incrustations perhaps), so it sounds like it could definitely be periclinal in some areas, as you observed.

This is based on Smith’s description of course, and the only aspects which particularly bother me are the aspects of the basidia and cheilocystidia, otherwise it sounds very likely…

I’ll see if I can find a closer match, but the case for P. prona is not bad.

ask and ye shall receive…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-02-20 13:57:46 EST (-0500)

same species with metric measurement.

A good choice
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2009-02-20 12:09:13 EST (-0500)

of species to do the micro work on. Such distinct shape of the cystidia together with larger spores than the average Psathyrella ought to make it possible to get a name on. And the basidia are cute too!

Could still be some variety of P. prona, at least the closest I get with my books, but I’m afraid there are a lot more out there, waiting to be described.

I dunno guys, speaking of lightening up, I thought that Dan’s coinage of Psath foenesecii
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-02-20 10:17:04 EST (-0500)

was actually meant as a joke…ya know, combining the two to get a compromise name?

AS to macro measurements…I don’t see a lot of precise measurements with anyone’s posting. different standards for Deb? or
is it more of a covering one’s own butt kinda thing?

I applaud the more is more philosophy, and support it thru collections and photos on most if not all of my curious fungi. But I don’t particularly want to do the work at the scope for every collection, and in this, on this site, I am clearly w/in the majority. But I offer my herbarium for the edification of others at any time. Not trying to be you, Dimi; I’m perfectly comfortable being me. We all have our skill sets. I’m looking forward to seeing your fungal illustrations someday, another important and useful aspect of mycology!

And if you want a feel for “exact” measurement you coulda asked. Not withholding info here to trick you, or anyone else.

Perhaps in the interest of collegiality we could both lay our snark aside, altho that might make for far duller reading; 450 hits and counting! There can’t be that many LBJ fans out there…

By: Erin Page Blanchard (CureCat)
2009-02-20 03:45:51 EST (-0500)

Thank you! Incredibly thorough. I will look into the identity tomorrow and see what I can find.

As far as “Psathyrella foenisecii”- I deprecated the name in favour of Panaeolina foenisecii a few hrs ago when I realized exactly that. Good call.

Ok, here is the data. Photos on mushroomhobby.com (link below)
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-02-20 03:19:00 EST (-0500)

Here is the “hidden” (=micro) data on this collection.

SPORES: ELLIPTICAL, SMOOTH 13-16 (17.5) x 7-9 (11) µ, APICAL PORE -

RATHER CHUBBY, 25-33 × 13-16µ




CAULOCYSTIDIDA: NOT CHECKED. Generally stated not to be of significant
diagnostic importance for the Genus.


*Kits Van Waveren specifically excludes the cell structure of the
pileipellis from his analysis. I thought that the presence of a thin
layer of periclinal hyphae is of importance, as it limits the choices
significantly per some sources like Fungi of Switzerland, which
displays a pretty good collection of Psathyrella.

Here are the photographs — I can’t add them to this observation.
Debbie can download them from my site and upload them here.


I think that we have a pretty good case to investigate Psathyrella
prona further. A.H.Smith reports it from Washington. Most of the
characters seem to fit quite well.

Have fun, I’ll get busy with my other collections.

D. www.mushroomhobby.com

P.S. shroomydan above suggested Psathyrella foenisecii — it should be
mentioned that this is the same as Panaeolina foenisecii. Simply
A.H. Smith in his Psathyrella monograph (1972) took a broader view of
the Genus and included that Panaeolina as a Section within Genus

By: Erin Page Blanchard (CureCat)
2009-02-20 00:59:13 EST (-0500)

Yeeeaaah, tininess is a relative descriptor.

Aahaha, you guys crack me up.

How about units in the metric system?
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-02-20 00:16:46 EST (-0500)

Debbie> …what part of “tiny” didn’t you understand?

While tinkering with slides of the pileipellis of this tiny dry single
fruitbody in search of numbers, would it come as a surprise to you if
I admit that the tone of your clueless question irritated me? Ok, let
me take a deep breath, inhale, shake off the agitation and ask gently
— if “tiny” is a legitimate scientific unit of size in Debbie-talk then
what is the conversion ratio to millimeters?

Numbers and pictures coming soon.

ah, psath at last! as to the size of the fruit body in my original description, Dimi…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-02-19 12:45:58 EST (-0500)

what part of “tiny” didn’t you understand?

It is Psathyrella.
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-02-19 12:28:39 EST (-0500)

Surprising to me, of course, but I am not going to BS my way around or
be obstinate about it.

One thing that surprised me at the time of delivery yesterday was just
how tiny these guys are — the largest of the dried specimen was 5
millimeter. That might have made me think twice had the scale been
well displayed on the photographs.

I will post the micro shots when I have more time today and then you
can run with the species id if such can be extracted.

My quick attempt did not produce attractive names, but certainly
Psathyrella panaeoloides passed by the id list :-), but it is not
it. Looks somewhat like Psathyrella prona.

So your reward now — an official promotion to Mistress of the
Psathyrella Kingdom and Protector of all LBMs Known and Unknown! It’s
a heavy crown to wear so balance it well.

As far as me questioning things hard, I will have to do so, someone
has to, you see how nice it is when we all learn. But only when the
knowledge is “substantiated” (!) by hard evidence like we do now here.

By: Erin Page Blanchard (CureCat)
2009-02-19 08:38:28 EST (-0500)

“that’s an excellent learning opportunity to appreciate a beautiful Panaeolus!”

Hah. If I am incorrect, then yes, I will have learned something.

“Erin, the mottled gills are fundamental in all keys as a separating
characteristic between Panaeolus and Psathyrella — take Largent,
Moser, you name it.”

Here are some examples of Psathyrella with mottled gills:

1 http://mushroomobserver.org/14006
2 http://mushroomobserver.org/4536
3 http://mushroomobserver.org/13201
4 http://mushroomobserver.org/4591
5 http://mushroomobserver.org/9683
6 http://mushroomobserver.org/7397
7 http://mushroomobserver.org/13774
8 http://mushroomobserver.org/10711
9 http://mushroomobserver.org/7524
10 http://mushroomobserver.org/7003

“The gill attachment of Panaeolus is variable.”

I hardly disagree. :)
Nearly all traits are variable. I also tend to consider most descriptions as guide lines rather than rules. If one were to include every last detail of every possible variation….

By the way, I am sorry I missed you at the meeting! I have the collection (they sure are tiny!), yet as I do not own a microscope I cannot say when I will be able to take a look at it.

OK Kids, play nice!
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-02-18 10:38:17 EST (-0500)

I will bring my entire blackish spored collection of Psath/Panaeo-whatsis with me to the BAMS meeting tonight, and y’all can fight over it there. Or perform the “acid test”, as necessary.

And yes Erin, i realize that this is hardly a “rock star” LBJ, but of course, you are already a true believer and fan and student of these little guys. What’s remarkable is that others are actually paying attention. But no matter, it’s all good, and debate is positive and healthy. As long as it doesn’t get TOO contentious. Too much contention furrows my brow, and we wouldn’t want THAT.

And just so as tonight’s meeting doesn’t stay a one note song, bring lotsa other fleshy fungi too, wouldja? This one’s kinda hard to see, esp. dried…

Of course, that’s an excellent learning opportunity to appreciate a beautiful Panaeolus!
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-02-18 03:33:13 EST (-0500)

Of course Erin, I’ll be at the meeting where I will collect part of
the material. I will insist that you collect another part and do
independent analysis.

I will make quality micro photographs and expect the same if my
findings are not agreed to being a fair representation of the

I wonder how many people reviewed the Generic concepts prior to
voting. I have an extra copy of Largent’s “How to Identify Mushrooms
To Genus 1”, which I will donate to BAMS and expect people to be read
it carefully.

Erin, the mottled gills are fundamental in all keys as a separating
characteristic between Panaeolus and Psathyrella — take Largent,
Moser, you name it.

The gill attachment of Panaeolus is variable. There are other aspects
that I all address later.

Those BROAD, WHITE MARGINATE gills speak the language of Panaeolus so

The spores need not be rough.

But let’s do the full analysis and we will compare notes then.

We’ll treat the spores with sulfur acid if it comes to that :-)

By: Erin Page Blanchard (CureCat)
2009-02-18 03:09:24 EST (-0500)

The attention paid to this LBM is only impressive because it is a fairly indistinct Psathyrella… I love Psaths and all, though I find comparable collections nearly every time I go hunting. The unusual controversy over this little mushrooms identity does not make it particularly more interesting to me compared with other Psathyrella species.
But thank you for thinking of me, Debbie. I did find some very cool Psaths today, I’ll show you tomorrow.

I’d like to hear what Dimitar finds out from scoping it. Dimitar, will you be at the meeting on Wed?

I have requested to inspect the material.
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-02-18 01:01:48 EST (-0500)

1/2 fruitbody is enough. Need the stem too.

OK, fine. Psathyrella sp! who wants to work it up? Erin? Allen?
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-02-17 19:00:39 EST (-0500)

…on the other hand, guys, lookit all of the serious attention that we’re bringing down on a mere little brown jobber! not only do we have a marvelous meeting of fine myco-minds, expanding as we speak, but this tiny shroom ID has received over 200 hits! damn, who’da thunk it? so unprepossesing, too…

Comment on plage.
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2009-02-17 16:57:56 EST (-0500)

A “plage” is not a flattened area on the spore, but area of the spore laking ornamentation, usually near the apiculus. The flattened area I think you mean is a super-hilar depression.

By: Erin Page Blanchard (CureCat)
2009-02-17 16:23:02 EST (-0500)

Oh wow, this is a very amusing conversation!

Clearly a Psathyrella. I can tell just looking at the macro features. There is no way this is Panaeolus nor Panaeolina.

Panaeolus was my initial focus of interest before Psathyrella, and I have picked TONS of various Panaeolus and Panaeolina species to tell them apart from Psathyrella.

First off, the “micaceous” quality of the cap is not exclusive to any of the considered genera. This Psathyrella image shows the glistening aspect of the pileus, and here I took a photo of the pileus of some Panaeolina, where you can see the same glistening:

That aside, let me get into the defining features of this Psathyrella.

The stipe of this mushroom is nearly translucent, a common observation of the fragile stipes of Psathyrella species. Panaeolus and Panaeolina are opaque, often striate and somewhat twisted.

The attachment of this mushroom is not wide spread throughout the genus Psathyrella, but does distinguish it from Panaeolus. Panaeolus almost always have emarginate gill attachment, whereas Psathyrella usually have something near adnexed to ventricose, and is some species such as this one, the lamelle have a decurrent tooth that connects to the stipe. Generally speaking, Psathyrella have a more sloping curve to the lamelle, while Panaeolus have lamelle which often dip below the cap margin, and then a sharp slope creating an angle where they attach to the stipe farther up.

Also, the gills of Psathyrella tend to be more sparse, rather than the more abundant and more closely arranged gills of Panaeolus and Panaeolina.

ALL of these genera often display mottled gills.

Lastly, all of these genera also have a hygrophanous cap, however the pattern is typically less distinct in Psathyrella, with a more gradual, faded effect, as opposed to the dark/light colour banding characteristic of Panaeolus and Panaeolina as they begin to dry.

More micro
By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2009-02-17 13:23:59 EST (-0500)

Okay, so as Dimi has said, lets look at the cystidia, and get measurements of the spores. I agree with Doug about taking two spores as evidence – most appear to be in adequate focus (and smooth!).

Debbie, I have stepped away as per your request, but alas, I have returned. Mushroom Observer is both a blessing and a curse for those obsessed.

you people all need to step awaaaay from your computers…and scopes.
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-02-17 13:05:09 EST (-0500)

no seriously, I see where both Irene and Doug are coming from, but really I feel like a tiny spore myself, buffeted by the ID winds. yes, no, yes, no, maybe! and gosh, lookit how getting that material under the scope has closed the ID question…;)

Yes, those two spores in the best focus on the far left look kinda roughened, but the vast majority that I looked at that were in focus did not appear roughened (under oil immersion, 100x). And as Irene points out, the overall shape appears more narrow than that pictured for foenisecii by others online.

And aha! That “micaceous” aspect is just those pretty little cystidia catching the light!

But guys, what about those mottled gills? Panaeolus something? Is anybody out there?

I don’t agree with the spores
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2009-02-17 12:32:20 EST (-0500)

Looking at the spores, and comparing with other photos, see obs. 7372, I really don’t think the spores are the same as other obs. of P. foenisecii. There are only two that look like they have stuff inside causing speckling, but the surface looks smooth to me. I think most of the spores there are in good enough focus, not sure you can get away with looking at two different ones and ignoring the rest. Also the hygrophanous cap, are radially hygrophanous, and I think that we’ve seen P. foenisecii is hygrophanous in zones.

The microshot is rather yellow, and that is coming from the camera trying to match the light to “regular” indoor light, and usually light from the scope is more yellow. You can fix this by having the camera white balance to the scope light, like from some area without spores and tissues, then the spores and tissues and such should have a “true” color, and usually the image is sharper.

Oh, btw, love the photo of the caps, nice sharp high res. photos with plenty of pixels. Its like breathing again after so many small photos with hardly any pizels have been posted. Look at those gills! There is caulocystidia on the upper stipe! I can see the radial streaks in the cap as it dries out! I mean do most people have small, under 1M pixel cameras? I don’t understand why there are soo many small photos posted… just my pet peave, but Hurrah for sharp infocus photos with lots of detail to feast upon!

Smooth, slim, oval-shaped spores
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2009-02-17 12:23:13 EST (-0500)

I can’t see any similarity with the rough Panaeolina-spores pictured at
mushroomhobby, mushroomexpert, or anywhere else where they can be compared..
Neither do they fit well with Psathyrella gracilis, better with some variety of Psathyrella prona.
I’m looking forward to see surprising photos of cystidia too ;-)

Wow, long live diversity…
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-02-17 11:28:22 EST (-0500)

…but I’m surprised you don’t see Panaeolina.

The spores are clearly roughened on the shot with 1-2 that are in
focus. And the overall thing to me is a clean cut foenisecii.

BTW, here in grass we only see P. candolleana. Similarly in the parks
in Austria and Germany I used to see the same looking foenisecii and
P. candoleana. I can’t think of another common Psathyrella that hasn’t
been growing directly on some kind of lignicolous substrate.

Of course, Debbie can shoot the cystidia now, which is quite distinct
from Psathyrella, or we can do it together with her when we meet.

Excellent shot
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2009-02-17 08:06:14 EST (-0500)

of spores – that don’t seem to come from a Panaeolina foenisecii..
I still beleive in Psathyrella.

We have witnessed history! Amanitarita uses optical equipment!
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-02-16 23:28:18 EST (-0500)

A momentous event indeed – one East Bay biologist, known to some as
Debbie Viess used optical equipment to identify a mushroom. Can you
imagine such a bold move? Wow, way to go girl! Keep it up and no
mushroom will go by incognito from now on, no identity shall remain
hidden when Debbie’s on the case.

By: Alan Rockefeller (Alan Rockefeller)
2009-02-16 21:10:54 EST (-0500)

Ok looks more like foenisecii now.

I beg to differ. Can’t see P. gracilis at all. Debbie send me the material, please.
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-02-15 18:43:01 EST (-0500)

The more I look at it, the more I see Panaeolina with the mottled gills and all, but instead of having a fruitless debate, let’s take a closer look. Debbie, either send me the material, please, or check it out yourself. It is extremely easy, just look at the spores the way I taught you. Use some immersion to see whether they’re roughened.

not Panaeolina
By: Alan Rockefeller (Alan Rockefeller)
2009-02-15 17:49:56 EST (-0500)

The gills don’t look like Panaeolus/Panaeolina on this one. Neither does the cap. Its closer to P. gracilis.

Looks to me more like Panaeolina
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-02-15 15:44:56 EST (-0500)

Looks to me more like classic Panaeolina foenisecii. The stipe light
effect might be an illusion. I see the gills slightly mottled. Debbie,
just peek at the spores, if they’re roughened then it most likely is
P. foenisecii, which is the main (probably only) grass dweller in our

Compare (macro & micro):


even after soaking rains? this is a very tiny and delicate mushroom, in sopping wet grass.
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-02-15 13:13:23 EST (-0500)

and do you agree that the gills look mottled? and is that also a character of psathyrella? alas, my spore print attempt was unsuccessful, and the rest of the collection is now dried.

The translucent stem
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2009-02-15 12:24:34 EST (-0500)

makes it look more like Psathyrella than Panaeolus.

psathyrella was my first choice, but saw mottled gills once I blew up the photo…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-02-15 10:05:15 EST (-0500)

what macro characters make it a psath rather than a panaeolus? and do any of you dark-spored fans want the dessicata for further inquiry?