Difficult psathyrella

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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Commonside
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Difficult psathyrella

Post by Commonside »

I found this small but rather smart, little fungi (cap less than a 1cm wide) under a fern in my garden at the end of August, looking like a miniature Amanita. Being in my garden I felt I should try to give it a name but it was not so easy.
The spore print is black but reddish brown under the microscope in water. The spores average is 9.5 x 4.7 microns (Q 1.9-2.0) with a rather wide central germ pore (1 -1.5 microns). The abundant veil residues form small spikes over the whole cap and comprise spherical cells 10-20 microns wide. When the cap is dry the surface has granular icing-sugar look and there are very fine granular crystals on the cap and on the stem surface. The gills are adnate/adnexed with both gill edge and gill face cystidia of a similar flask shape. There was no evidence of deliquescence. It appears to be growing on elements in my wood chip mulch.
Using the rather difficult key from Fungi Nordica to Psathyrella it’s clear from the spore size (>9 and <10.5) that this should key out in section C but nothing seemed to work. The closest species and the only one with round veil cells in this section is the rather unlikely P. albofloccosa. However I was happy to reject this on grounds the spores are described as having little or no germ pore which does not fit my sample and the fact it’s such an obscure species not apparently recorded in the UK.
I did however find a copy of the original species description (Mycotaxon 2003) on researchgate.net. Rather surprisingly in this the author describes the spores as having “a broad central germ pore of up to 2 microns “ and this ( as well as all the other features described) do seem to fit!
I think a sanity check may be required.

Bob S
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adampembs
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Re: Difficult psathyrella

Post by adampembs »

Did you rule out Psathyrella (syn Coprinopsis) canoceps?
Adam Pollard
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Commonside
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Re: Difficult psathyrella

Post by Commonside »

Thanks for getting back.

Yes, I did consider this but as for most other species in this part of the key the veil cells seem wrong (veil cells 30-180 x 4-24 μm for canoceps) and no reference to the fine crystalline material.

Bob
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