What You Should Know
Pseudoclitocybe cyathiformis is a species of fungus in the family Tricholomataceae, and the type species of the genus Pseudoclitocybe. The fungus is found in North America and Europe in late autumn and spring.
A medium-sized clitocyboid mushroom with a dark grayish brown cap that is depressed in the center, Pseudoclitocybe cyathiformis favors mossy stumps and logs and appears in fall or winter, depending on climate. In North America, it is distributed in northern, montane, and West-Coast forests. The stem is long in proportion to the cap and has a streaked and finely ridged appearance. The gills are gray at first but mature to whitish.
This mushroom must be well cooked before consumption and it has been reported that it can cause a reaction in a small number of people so only try a small amount the first time you eat it and wait to see if it affects you.
Other names: The Goblet.
Pseudoclitocybe cyathiformis Mushroom Identification
Saprobic; growing alone or gregariously, usually in moss on well-rotted wood but sometimes on the ground in moss or leaf litter; fall, or overwinter in warm climates; originally described from France and widely distributed in Europe; in North America widely distributed in northern and montane areas (including the Appalachians), as well as the West Coast and Mexico; also known from Japan.
3–5 cm across; planoconvex with a depressed center; bald; moist; dark grayish brown to very dark gray (nearly black), fading to grayish or brownish; margin incurred when young.
Beginning to run down the stem; close or nearly distant; short-gills frequent; grayish, becoming paler with age.
5–8 cm long; up to about 1 cm thick; more or less equal; bald, or finely fibrillose in places; mottled gray and whitish; finely lined longitudinally; hollowing; basal mycelium white.
Insubstantial; watery grayish; not changing when sliced.
Somewhere between mealy and "green corn"; rehydrated material with a strongly spermatic odor.
Spores 7–12 x 4.5–6.5 µm; ellipsoid to broadly ellipsoid, with a small apiculus; smooth; hyaline in KOH; inamyloid or weakly amyloid. Basidia 30–38 x 5–7.5 µm; subclavate; 4-sterigmate. Hymenial cystidia not found. Pileipellis a tangle of smooth, hyaline elements 5–7.5 µm wide. Clamp connections not found.
Provided the forking gills, long fibrous stem, and other identification characters described above are checked carefully, the Goblet is unlikely to be confused with any other species.
Pseudoclitocybe cyathiformis Taxonomy and Etymology
The Goblet mushroom was described scientifically in 1792 by French naturalist Jean Baptiste François Pierre Bulliard, who gave it the binomial name Agaricus cyathiformis.
Only as recently as 1956 was this distinctive woodland mushroom transferred to its present genus Pseudoclitocybe, when German-born mycologist Rolf Singer renamed it as Pseudoclitocybe cyathiformis.
Synonyms of Pseudoclitocybe cyathiformis are many, including Agaricus cyathiformis Bull., Agaricus tardus Pers., Omphalia tarda (Pers.) Gray, Clitocybe cyathiformis (Bull.) P. Kumm., Clitocybe cyathiformis var. cinerascens (Batsch) P. Karst., Cantharellula cyathiformis (Bull.) Singer, and Omphalia cyathiformis (Bull.) Kühner & Romagn.
Pseudoclitocybe, the generic name, implies that species in this group masquerade or look very much like Clitocybe (funnel) mushrooms, which indeed they do. The specific epithet cyathiformis means in the form of a chalice (a goblet!).
Because of the shape of its cap plus the long slender stem, this somber woodland mushroom has been given the common name of the Goblet. Although they are quite variable in cap color and texture depending on habitat, humidity, and exposure to sunlight, the combination of the funneled cap, forking gills, and long stem make this one of the easiest woodland mushrooms to identify.
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Photo 2 - Author: Strobilomyces (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)
Photo 3 - Author: Holger Krisp (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)
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