Blue-staining mushroom

Please try to include photos to show all parts of the fungus, eg top, stem, and gills.
Note any smells, and associated trees or plants (eg oak, birch). A spore print can be very useful.
Forum rules
Please do not ask for the identification of fungi for edibility or narcotic purposes. Any help provided by forum members is on the understanding that fungi are not to be consumed. Any deaths or serious poisonings are the responsibility of the person eating or preparing the fungus for others. If it is apparent from a post that the fungus is for eating or smoking etc, the post will be deleted and a warning given. Although many members do eat fungi, no-one would be willing to take someone else's life into their hands.
Post Reply
phazelwood
New user
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:30 pm

Blue-staining mushroom

Post by phazelwood » Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:49 pm

Hi - Please can you help id this mushroom ? I am trying to do a bio-audit of my local birding site, so just starting with fungi id :?
It was growing in open grass (cut regularly) on an embankment along the River Severn in Gloucestershire. Hedge 5 metres away mainly of Hawthorn. Horses often use embankment.
The blue staining at the base caught my eye, and after research online, it may be a Psilocybe ? But best id I could find was Psilocybe cubensis, which doesn't appear to be in UK ? (I realise the implications of this might mean I don't get a reply !)
Happy to do more research with any suggestions. Thanks.
Psilocybe.jpg
Psilocybe2.jpg

roy betts
Frequent user
Posts: 413
Joined: Mon May 18, 2015 9:28 pm

Re: Blue-staining mushroom

Post by roy betts » Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:31 pm

I'd be looking at 'washed out' specimens of Stropharia pseudocyanea or caerulea.

phazelwood
New user
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:30 pm

Re: Blue-staining mushroom

Post by phazelwood » Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:29 pm

Many thanks for the suggestion, Roy - yes, Stropharia pseudocyanea looks a distinct possibility.

roy betts
Frequent user
Posts: 413
Joined: Mon May 18, 2015 9:28 pm

Re: Blue-staining mushroom

Post by roy betts » Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:23 am

..... or caerulea!
In the key in FAN6 they are separated by the gill edge being white (pseudocyanea) or concolorous (caerulea). The descriptions suggest that pseudocyanea prefers more acid soils and is more likely to lose it's blue-green colouration when mature. Your specimens give a mixed message: very little blue colour but a concolorous gill edge.
There is only one way to be certain and that is to check the gill edge cystidia under a microscope (they are completely different).
I once took a number of collections away from a display table which had been carefully labelled as these two species (I think I checked 4, two labelled caerulea and two pseudocyanea): all turned out to be one species.

User avatar
Chris Yeates
Frequent user
Posts: 723
Joined: Tue May 26, 2015 7:01 pm
Location: Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

Re: Blue-staining mushroom

Post by Chris Yeates » Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:49 pm

Roy's caution is fully justified.
Under the microscope a look at the gill edge does make life simpler. Stropharia caerulea has the dauntingly named cheilochrysocystidia. It's just a useful word to explain to those in the know that:
(1) The toadstool has specialised cells (cystidia)
(2) These cystidia have specific contents which usually give a gold colour (chrysocystidia - chryso as in chrysanthemum, literally "golden flower"; and, less obviously, chrysalis.
(3) These chrysocystidia occur on the gill edge, which adds the Greek term "cheilo" to the mix, it means lip, edge or brim.
This is one of my "first generation" micro-photo's (back when I was using a Nikon Coolpix 4500) but which still gives an idea:
Stropharia caerulea.jpg
Stropharia pseudocyanea has very different cheilocystidia (gill edge cells) they form a sort of loose palisade of rather long cells with capitate (swollen) "heads":
Strpse98.jpg
It is these cells which give the distinctive contrasting pale edge to the gills, clearly seen with a x10 hand-lens. Stropharia pseudocyanea has a useful field character - young, fresh specimens have a distinctive smell of pepper, though your specimen looks a bit too mature for this to be reliable.

I wouldn't like to make a definite identification here (in the absence of microscopical info), but given that as a self-confessed beginner you are wanting to extend your knowledge, and also to explore the biodiversity of the site I would suggest you call this "Stropharia sp. probably Stropharia caerulea; this is chiefly down to the lack of a contrasting pale gill edge as Roy has pointed out." This would be analogous to saying that a "Commic tern" had been spotted at ones local reservoir - still a useful piece of information.
Please do feel free to post here - and we'll try to explain the technical terms if they are necessary/helpful. They are, after all, just convenient shorthand - I remember when I was mainly a birder many years ago having to come to terms with supercilia, lores, scapulars, culmens, speculums, median coverts etc.!

Hope that helps
Chris
"You must know it's right, the spore is on the wind tonight"
Steely Dan - "Rose Darling"

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests