When: 2006-10-16

Collection location: Menlo Park, San Mateo Co., California, USA [Click for map]

Who: Douglas Smith (douglas)

No specimen available

Found these in among the grass in the lawn in front of the building at work. They are exactly the same hight as the grass, and seem to come up with the watering.

Not exactly sure about these, but they look like the P. foenisecii photo in M. Demystified, and seems to fit all the discriptions. Except for the spore print, these come up black, or if not black, the darkest brown I’ve seen. And Arora says these are supposed to be brown, and not black, so dunno.


Proposed Names

28% (1)
Recognized by sight: Black spore print (?), blackish gills. These look a bit like observation 89608.
28% (1)
Recognized by sight: Current genus for P. foenisecii.

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= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
Hi Douglas
By: Byrain
2012-03-19 22:33:09 CDT (-0500)

I think this section, from the Gerhardt key is relevant.

“1 Spore print black; spores more or less flattened, in
cross-section oval, smooth to fine asperulate (fig.
2 b-k), in microscope dark reddish-brown, black,
anthracite or olivaceous, transparent to opaque, in
potash lye always lightened …………………. Panaeolus
- Spore print dark brown; spores not flattened, round
in cross-section, distinctly rough (fig. 2 a), in micro
scope translucent yellowish-brown, in potash lye not
lightened……………………………………………. Panaeolina”

Through my observations this seems accurate, Panaeolina spores are definitely not brown as in Agrocybe or Inocybe, the color is much darker and sometimes with blackish tones. I’m not sure if there is any significance with collections which print very dark or those that print clearly dark brown, but Panaeolus always seems to print utterly black. Its quite distinct when compared side by side with Panaeolina spore prints, especially in person, otherwise this can be quite confusing. It would be nice to see more observations with both spore prints and microscopy to confirm this, they’re starting to fruit here so will see what I can do.

From where I am sitting, this collection looks like it could go either way and if I understand correctly you had a look at the spores? How roughened were they? Also, I think we shouldn’t forget P. castaneifolia, here is section of the key relevant to Panaeolina.

“Key: Species of the genus Panaeolina
1 Spores normally with 1 to 2 big oildrops (also at
exsiccatum); nearly cosmopolitan species
……………………………….. Panaeolina foenisecii (30)
- Spores normally without oildrops ………………………… 2
2 Breadth of spores not more than 10 Lim, ornamenta
tion like foenisecii; basidia constantly 4-spored; robust
Northamerican species Panaeolina castaneifolia (31)
- Breadth of spores up to 12 Lim, ornamentation more
coarsely as foenisecii; basidia 1- to 4-spored; Indian
species …………………………….. Panaeolina indica (32)”

The descriptions also indicate that there may be some differences in smell/taste, cap color (?), and how wide the epicutis cells are.
“Epicutis celled, cells 15-25 microns wide.” for P. foenisecii and “Epicutis celled, cells 25-35 microns wide.” for P. castaneifolia.

I have a collection which seems to match P. castanaeifolia which I will ask Mike Davis to sequence, maybe that can shed more light on this. I’ll upload it in a bit.

For Byrain…
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2012-03-19 17:23:16 CDT (-0500)

I am pretty sure these are Panaeolus foenisecii. I have a kinda problem with how people say the color of the spore print here. I’ve looked at the spore print quite a few times on these, and it is always black for me. And I’ve looked at the warted spores, deeply pigmented with a germ pore, and it is clearly Panaeolus foenisecii.

The problem might be that I usually look at brown spored species, and these are way, way darker than brown. The people who seem to care about the spore color here are usually look at black spored species, and I think they might be trying to say, this is a brown-toned black, instead of a grey-toned black. Which I don’t buy, its still black.

But I haven’t seen any other obs. yet that show the brown spore print with the warted spores of Panaeolina. I’ve been waiting for a couple years for one yet I think… And every time this comes up, there is also an argument about spores prints on white paper, or glass, or aluminum foil, or some other detail that will make some difference, and I’m still waiting for a clear obs. of this species, with a clear brown spore print…

Looks like what I call P. foenisecii…
By: Nathan Wilson (nathan)
2006-10-17 23:16:54 CDT (-0500)

but there are other species that are similar. I’ve never put the work into figuring out exactly what the differences are. For example, see P. subbalteatus in Mushrooms of Hawaii by Hemmes and Desjardin.