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Psathyrella incerta

[ Basidiomycetes > Agaricales > Coprinaceae > Psathyrella . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

Psathyrella incerta is very similar to the well known species Psathyrella candolleana, differing in a few subtle naked-eye features and, definitively, in spore dimensions. The young cap of Psathyrella incerta is usually more of a clear yellowish color than the honey yellow cap of Psathyrella candolleana, and the mature cap is more apt to be pale yellowish than whitish. In my collecting experience the cap of Psathyrella incerta is usually less conic over the disc, and more convex; the opposite is true for Psathyrella candolleana. However, while these macroscopic features sometimes overlap between the species, I have not collected specimens in which spore dimensions overlapped: the spores of Psathyrella incerta are smaller, measuring 6-7.5 x 3.5-4.5 µ.


Ecology: Saprobic; growing alone, scattered, or gregariously near recently dead hardwood trees, roots, and stumps in urban and forest settings; spring through fall; widely distributed and common in North America.

Cap: 2-7 cm; convex at first, expanding to broadly convex, broadly bell-shaped, or nearly flat; often becoming radially corrugated and wrinkled, especially in mature caps; bald or very finely hairy when young; pale yellow, changing color markedly to yellowish buff or pale tan (occasionally whitish); the young margin adorned with whitish partial veil remnants.

Gills: Attached to the stem or nearly free from it at maturity; close or crowded; white at first, becoming purplish gray to purplish brown.

Stem: 3-8 cm long; 2-6 mm thick; more or less equal above a slight basal bulb; whitish; hollowing; smooth or finely silky; occasionally with a fragile ring or loosely clinging partial veil remnants.

Flesh: Thin; fragile; brownish to whitish.

Odor and Taste: Not distinctive.

Chemical Reactions: KOH on cap surface negative to grayish, sometimes with a fleetingly pinkish to orangish stage.

Spore Print: Dark brown to purplish brown.

Microscopic Features: Spores 6-7.5 x 3.5-4.5 µ; ellipsoid; smooth; with an inconspicuous pore and a slightly truncated end; brown in KOH. Pleurocystidia absent. Cheilocystidia abundant; utriform, subfusiform, subclavate, or subcylindric; hyaline in KOH; thin-walled; to about 50 x 15 µ. Pileipellis hymeniform-cellular.

REFERENCES: (Peck, 1898) Smith, 1972. (Saccardo, 1887; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1979; Weber & Smith, 1985.) Herb. Kuo 08190202, 07090806, 07090807, 09140803, 05231001, 06161006.

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Psathyrella incerta

Psathyrella incerta

Psathyrella incerta

Psathyrella incerta

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Kuo, M. (2011, January). Psathyrella incerta. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: