I believe these were brought in with a bunch of stuff from a foray to Monterey for stuff before the fair. Looked to be some pine forest, and lots of stuff from pine needle duff. These were part of a bunch of them, maybe 20 caps brought in. Some quite large, stipes 10-12 cm long, 1-1.5 cm wide, caps of 4-8 cm in diameter. On the tops of some stipes could be seen grey-brown spore prints. The caps were radially fibrous and dry. No distinctive odor.

But other than that, I’ve no idea what they are…

3/8/2008 – Getting back to these guys. They suggest Psathyrella, but I’m not sure, and the spore don’t look right. The spores have a grey-brown color, which is ok. But as far as I can tell Psathyrella should have smooth spores with a germ pore, and are dark. These spores do not have a germ pore.

The first micro-shot is at 1000x in Meltzers, and is of a few spores from the gill. The spores are lightly grey, no germ pore, and it doesn’t come out in the photo, but lightly dimpled, like a golf ball. What this suggestion, I’ve no idea.

The second micro-shot is of the gill edge at 400x in Metlzers. This displays some cheilocystidia.

The third shot is of the pileipellis, which is a cutis without gelatin, which isn’t a surprise given the look of the shrooms.

The forth micro-shot is of the gill and pileus at 100x in Metlzers, and I shot this just to add another fact to the mix, that the lamellar trama is dextrinoid.

So, putting this together, I’ve got nothing. It doesn’t look like a Psathyrella, but I have no idea what it does look like.

Anyone have an idea here, to try and get these to genus?

Looking through Mushrooms to Genus VI, Largent and Baroni, I’ve still got nothing. Doesn’t seem to match anything there in the end. The closest I get is Melanomphalia, but those are supposed to be small, with decurrent gills. So, you got me what these are.

[admin – Sat Aug 14 01:56:51 +0000 2010]: Changed location name from ‘Santa Cruz Fungus Fair, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz Co., California, USA’ to ‘Santa Cruz, California, USA’


Proposed Names

0% (4)
Recognized by sight
29% (8)
Recognized by sight: The texture and color of the cap and stipe look right to me. However,, I’ve generally found this species with live oak rather than pine, but it is a saprotroph and Monterey generally has a mix of pines and oaks.
Used references: Arora, 2nd Ed. has a black and white photo on page 363. However, both the comment on the photo and the key couplet mention it occurring with oak in California.
-90% (5)
Recognized by sight
Based on microscopic features
42% (6)
Recognized by sight
-72% (4)
Recognized by sight: Spores roughened and lack a germ pore

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

= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
Psathyrella uliginicola?
By: Oluna & Adolf Ceska (
2013-03-16 21:49:29 PDT (-0700)

I posted my drawing of what I identified as Psathyrella uliginicola:
It was colleted on May 10, 2003 by Buck McAdoo. This was the first and also the last time I have seen it. Oluna

By: Byrain
2013-03-16 19:27:16 PDT (-0700)

What do you think about P. luteopallida? I think the hyaline spores without a germ pore is a much better match, but its one of the species Smith based off only the type and I have issues with the macro description.

P. uliginicola should have a have darker (Non-hyaline) spores with a visible germ pore. Smith has an illustration of the spores & germ pore on page 460 of his Psathyrella book (or page 466 in my pdf).

There are other large Psathyrella that look like this….
By: Byrain
2012-10-14 10:55:47 PDT (-0700)

P. subagraria is supposed to be quite similar, but has pleurocystidia. Did this have pleurocystidia? I dont see any mention of it in the notes. Also, Douglas, are you sure your micro pics are in melzers? Some Psathyrella species have spores turning hyaline in KOH, some are supposed to do it rather quickly and is considered distinctive by Smith, others do it slowly. Seeing the spore deposit on the stem and the gill color, I would of thought you could find at least some mature spores.

Bottom line, I don’t think there is enough information to call this P. uliginicola or for any of the other observations at MO. It would be cool to do some complete microscopy on them to see just exactly how many large species can look similar, the habitat doesn’t seem to match either of the two species listed. If anyone wants to send me some collections I could try to work on them. :shrug:

By: Erin Page Blanchard (CureCat)
2011-03-27 11:21:45 PDT (-0700)

Judging by the fact that all of the spores in one micrograph are still attached to the basidia, and that in the other spore micrograph they are bunched up, suggesting they got knocked off the basidia during mounting, I’d say that the spores are quite immature, owing to their pale colour.

Alan, P. uliginicola has smooth spores with an inconspicuous apical pore. Douglas reports a dimpling to the spores here, but I can’t see it, and if it is that subtle than it may have gone unnoticed by Smith. Douglas also notes that there is no germ pore, but if it is inconspicuous, and in this case immature, it makes sense that it is not noticeable.
Also, if you think the spores are not pigmented enough, then why did you propose Hebeloma- another brown spored species??

Smith notes in his description:
“This is a large species with gray evident in the pileus before the color changes occur which are associated with maturation of the spores.”
I am not sure exactly how to interpret that, but I think it is pertinent to this discussion…

Furthermore, the longitudinal striations at the top of the stipe, brittle texture of the cap (you can see it falling apart), way that the soft pileus gets matted down when you barely scratch it (matted scratch marks are pretty evident in the photos), all point to P. uliginicola.
I saw a ton of this species in the Winter, and it is unmistakable.

Totally P. uliginicola

I know the deposit isn’t light
By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2011-03-27 08:31:21 PDT (-0700)

but the microscope shots show really light spores.

look at the top of the stipe in the first pic
By: Noah Siegel (Noah)
2011-03-27 08:08:54 PDT (-0700)

Those aren’t light spores…

By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2011-03-27 07:56:50 PDT (-0700)

Two years later I have to agree with Nathan and As If! my old vote.
No way these are Inocybe, and they look very good for P. uliginicola, the spore color still troubles me a bit – perhaps a light-spored variant?
By this age, there should have been some mature spores.

Psathyrella spores
By: Alan Rockefeller (Alan Rockefeller)
2011-03-27 05:55:10 PDT (-0700)

have a germ pore and are smooth. Also these spores appear to not be pigmented enough for Psathyrella.

By: Erin Page Blanchard (CureCat)
2011-03-26 22:32:56 PDT (-0700)

These are totally P. uliginicola.

Looks like a Psathyrella to me…
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-02-11 17:20:24 PST (-0800)

Superficially these look like Psathyrella sp. Not uliginicola
though. As far as I can gather from the shape of the cystidia, it
looks like Psathyrella too. The Psathyrella spores can have very
tiny apical pores, hard to see. Those in the spadiseogrisea and
candolleana group in particular (if memory serves me right) Was
the mushroom brittle with a hollow stipe? The size and number of
fruitbodies speaks Psathyrella too. I can’t see Inocybe based on
the available information so far. Resolving to species can be
tricky and most likely will require following Smith’s key to the

Also, can we see a good immersion oil shot of the spores where
all parts are in focus. I can’t see if there’s some angularity
present or not, plus they seem pretty smooth from this
photo. Some Psathyrella have non smooth spores. What is the spore
size? I am saying all this because this collection reminded me
slightly of an unresolved one that I have here (at the top).

By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2009-02-11 14:02:53 PST (-0800)

These collections look just like Inocybe, and that’s how they key out in Mushrooms to Genus VI.
The habitat notes support this determination. I’m guessing that Inocybe was not considered because of the large size of the basidiomes, but Largent and Baroni list the upper limit cap size for the genus as 6 cm wide, occasionally up to 10 cm.

By: Erin Page Blanchard (CureCat)
2008-02-16 01:21:24 PST (-0800)

Yes, it certainly does look like a Psathyrella.
I’m not familiar with P. uliginicola, but it does look fairly consistent with other observations of that species on this site.
Doug, if you have these, please save them. :)