Observation 20901: Laccaria Berk. & Broome

There were a couple of groups of these fungi growing in the sand. I removed a section to check the underside of the cap and show the gill structure. I thought it was unusual for such a fungi to be growing in sand. It would get very hot when the sun was on it. I am not sure how long these were actually above the ground, but they were in good condition. There was no smell. The tops were not sticky, but were very soft to touch.

[admin – Sat Aug 14 01:59:55 +0000 2010]: Changed location name from ‘Diamond Head National Park Port Macquarie NSW Australia’ to ‘Diamond Head National Park, Port Macquarie, New South Wales, Australia’


Copyright © 2009 Ian Dodd Kundabung NSW Australia
Copyright © 2009 Ian Dodd Kundabung NSW Australia

Proposed Names

4% (2)
Recognized by sight
6% (4)
Recognized by sight: I have found something very similar growing in sand in Bonny Doone, CA.

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Add Comment
from Ian’s description of habitat…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-05-10 11:46:13 CDT (-0400)

sounds like these mushrooms could be MR with one of the adjacent trees or shrubs. they are growing in a sandy substrate, not really a dune habitat. no grass noted or seen in photo. still no way to really pin this one down…

on a third (or fourth?) close-up viewing of gills, only the largest, oldest fruit body showed erroded edges…could just be age related. I agree that gill color is not consistant w/psaths or panaeolus.

Ian, you need a field assistant who can help carry and preserve all of your great finds, the only way that we can put more satisfying names on these things!

Debbie? mottled gills?
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2009-05-10 07:13:25 CDT (-0400)

That’s what you’d find in a look-alike, Panaeolus dunensis, not particularly in Psathyrella (though they can be somewhat mottled in some of them).
Concerning eroded gill edges – remember that these photos are extreme closeups(!)

I have seen doubtful pictures of Psathyrella dunensis on the web, but here’s (parts of) the description I have:
“Cap 8-20 mm, convex to bell-shaped, when moist dark brown, 3/4 from cap margin striate, hygrophanous, drying pale brownish grey and slightly sulcate. Veil absent or as rudimentary fibres on cap margin.
Gills broadly adnate, distant, with a reddish edge, stem 20-65 × 1-2 mm.
Cheilocystidia of two types, length up to 50 resp. 60 microns, scattered to rather numerous. Growing in grassy paths in sand dunes.”

They are probably saprobic on roots of particular grasses.

Psathyrella dunensis is one that I have been hoping to find for many years in suitable habitats, and expected to look something like the ones in these pictures, but without microscopy, no positive ID. We don’t even know the spore colour, and I would have liked to see darker gills to even be confident with Psathyrella – otherwise I would have proposed it…

Substrate question

The fungi were found on a track (fire track) in the National park. The pathway was totally sand, but the track was about 3 meters wide. On the sides of the track was native shrub, tea-tree and some banksia’s. The area was separated from the coastal strip by a coastal (Bitumen-tar) road. The area could not be described as consisting of sand dunes. I dug into the sand about 200mm and reached the black component under the top sand. There were no roots (visual) that I could see. I do believe that this area had the coastal strip mined for minerals many years ago. (Bauxite I think.)
The actual area I was in is about 1.5 klms from the shoreline.Hope this helps, kk


I forgot to add the dimensions of the fungi which could have a bearing on the ID. (It was late & I was tired, that’s my excuse.) The caps varied in size, but 15mm would be the most accurate. The clusters were grouped into about between 3 & 10 single fungicaps, but these fungi when removed from the soil showed they were co-joined..

By: Shane Marsh (Mushane)
2009-05-10 00:17:47 CDT (-0400)

were they growing on a beach?
what was the exact substrate they were growing from?
theres a few psathyrella species, one in particular Psathyrella arenulina that grows on the roots of dune grass.

your Psath dunensis looked pretty good too, Irene…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-05-09 22:12:42 CDT (-0400)

but this mushrooms gills aren’t mottled.

in fact, Ian’s mushroom shows very erroded gill edges; not sure how that fits into a Laccaria description either…

Psathyrella dunensis?
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2009-05-09 11:21:12 CDT (-0400)

Created: 2009-05-09 08:36:05 CDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2011-04-01 15:47:29 CDT (-0400)
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