Identity sought for Spring 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.
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flecc
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Identity sought for Spring mushroom

Post by flecc » Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:05 pm

Could someone please identify this from the two examples? The light periphery of the caps is very distinctive. They grew the night of 10th April on North Downs chalk grassland. I didn't see it or take the photograph, but the size can be judged from the adjacent clover.
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mollisia
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Re: Identity sought for Spring mushroom

Post by mollisia » Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:56 pm

Hello,

this looks like Panaeolus foenisecii, but it might be a species of Psathyrella too.

best regards,
Andreas

roy betts
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Re: Identity sought for Spring mushroom

Post by roy betts » Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:42 am

The droplets/pruinosity visible on the stem suggest a Panaeolus sp. rather than a Psathyrella.
It's interesting to look at the fruiting period of different Panaeolus spp. My own database has over 200 records of P. foenisecii and all collections were made between 19th May and 10th November. This doesn't mean you won't see one in April!
Two other common spp. occur all year round: P. acuminatus (syn. rickenii) and P. fimicola (syn. ater). However 70% of my acuminatus records are from Sept. to November and 72% of fimicola were between March and May (this species is usually thought of as a 'spring mushroom').
So statistically it is likely to be P. fimicola!
Of course you really need to check the spores of Panaeolus spp. under a microscope. P. foenisecii can be distinguished from other Panaeolus spp. by its warty spores. The other two mentioned have smooth spores but the spore size is different.
The pale margin of the cap is where they are drying out; this species is hygrophanous and will be considerably paler when dried out.

flecc
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Re: Identity sought for Spring mushroom

Post by flecc » Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:21 am

Thanks very much Andreas and Roy for your very helpful and informative replies.

best regards

Tony

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