When: 2008-03-08

Collection location: Mountain View, Santa Clara Co., California, USA [Click for map]

Who: Douglas Smith (douglas)

Specimen available

Here is a little brown job for ya. Found outside the library in the grass. A whole bunch dotted through the grass, but pretty much invisible until you got down in there. I saw one in passing, and stopping I found about 100 more.

This was just grass, no moss, no woody debris of any kind. They are small, hygrophanous, lightly viscid, with a yellow-palid veil that leave remnants on the cap margin, non-striate, gills are palid to light-tan adnate to notched.

The spore print was brown, a kinda deeper brown, or grey-brown, a tobacco brown.

The first micro-shot is of the spore at 1000x in KOH, these are from the top of the stipe. The spores are marbled, lightly wrinkled. But the important point is the germ pore, that gives the pore a slightly truncated look. The average spore size at 11 spores is 7.5 × 5.0 microns.

The second micro-shot is of the gill edge at 400x in Meltzers. Here the cystidia are not capitate, long thin and pointed, although many somewhat blunt.

Also some more details: the pileipellis is a cutis, with a gelatin layer, the spores are dextrinoid, no pleurocystidia observed.

So, this all points to Galerina just fine. Looking at the Smith and Singer monograph, the germ pore and truncated spores this points to one species pretty quickly, G. subtruncata. There is a note that Singer thought these should be called Phaeomarasmius subtruncata. That is a new genus on me. In the spirit of simplicity, I’m not going to go there…

These differ from the monograph in that the spores are more tobacco brown, and that these are not striate.

Looking in Mushrooms to Genus VI, Largent and Baroni, there is also Phaeogalera, a genus created by Moser. That genus has more tabacco brown spores with a germ pore, but also those spores are smooth and not dextrinoid. So its not that.

7/31/2008 – Getting back to these. Looking these over after looking at more Galerina and comparing to Psilocybe, these now look clearly like Psilocybe to me.

Looking back through the Psilocybe monograph, there are two sections with non-blue staining temperate species, sections Psilocybe and Pratensae. The first has species with “thick” walled rhomboid spores, and the second with “thin” walled subellipsoid spores.

Then looking at the spore drawings I find, I can’t really tell the difference between the two… or how to make sure the spore walls are 0.5-0.8 um thick, or 0.8-1.2 um thick, or something like that. I mean they are thicker at the base, and thinner towards the pore, so where do I measure?

Anyway the ave. spore size : length – 7.62 +/- 0.42 (err 0.08) um, width – 4.99 +/- 0.34 (err: 0.07) – q : 1.53 +/- 0.08, on 34 spores.

In anycase, comparing to the micro-shots I took for P. montana, the cheilocystidia are very different. Here they are long, and mostly acute. Also P. montana is found with moss, and these were only on grass.

On grass, it looks like there is P. inqualina for the thick-walled rhomboid spores, and P. subviscida for the thin-walled subellipsoid spores. But in the notes for these species, P. inqualina has reddish-brown-gray lamellae when young, and P. subviscida has off-white to umber dingy lamellae when young. These have fairly light toned lamellae when young (that darken with spores as they mature). So, I’m going to go with P. subviscida here.

But I don’t know, those spores don’t look that thin-walled to me… I mean compared to Tubaria say… I just hate the use of relative descriptives.


Proposed Names

-58% (4)
Recognized by sight
46% (2)
Recognized by sight: Adding an I don’t know option to the vote.
10% (4)
Recognized by sight: Spores subangular, thick walled, with a germ pore and truncated apex. Cheilocystidia rel. short and pointed.
86% (1)
Recognized by sight
Used references: “Strophariaceae”, Noordeloos (2011)
Based on microscopic features: Light tan gills, ellipsoid spores ~7 × 5 um, pileus rather dry, lacking veil remnants.

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

= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
Yes, section Psilocybe
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2008-12-14 18:55:51 MST (-0700)

These are Psilocybes of section Psilocybe, or one of the related ones. Not one of the “blue staining” sections. I don’t find many of those actually, I’m in a slightly different habitat. I’m instead getting a growing collection of these Psilocybes in section Psilocybe…

By: Alan Rockefeller (Alan Rockefeller)
2008-12-14 17:58:33 MST (-0700)

Ok sounds good, I guess some of the Psilocybes in the “true” clade are a but more like Galerina wrt spore color / general appearance.

I’ll try to recollect this next time I go to the library.

Well, its Psilocybe, or you need a new genus…
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2008-12-14 09:14:45 MST (-0700)

With those spores, thick walled, truncate with germ pore, and subangular, those are Psilocybe spores. Its either that or you need to create a new genus here…

not Psilocybe
By: Alan Rockefeller (Alan Rockefeller)
2008-12-14 04:44:48 MST (-0700)

These are probably not in Psilocybe due to the lack of a purplish tint in the spore print and the wrinkled spore surface. All Psilocybe species have smooth, purplish spores.