What You Should Know
Psathyrella spadiceogrisea is a large edible springtime mushroom appearing in both hardwood and conifer forests. Aside from its larger size, it is virtually indistinguishable from Psathyrella pseudovernalis in macroscopic features; both species feature brown caps, wisps of veil material along the cap margin, dark brown spore prints, and snap-able white stems.
The genus Psatirella includes a huge number of species, extremely variable in appearance, so it is simply impossible to understand their similarity. In May, this species is much easier to identify as there is little competition.
Other names: Spring Brittlestem.
Psathyrella spadiceogrisea Mushroom Identification
Saprobic; growing scattered to gregariously or in small clusters in hardwood or conifer forests, often near woody debris; spring and early summer; widely distributed in North America.
2-8 cm; convex, broadly conical, broadly bell-shaped, or nearly flat at maturity; bald; the margin finely lined; medium brown to yellow-brown, fading markedly as it dries out to brownish buff; when young with wisps of veil tissue, especially along the margin.
Attached to the stem; close or nearly distant; pale brownish to whitish at first, becoming dark brown.
4-12 cm long; up to 1 cm thick; equal; fragile; whitish; bald or finely silky; sometimes grooved near the apex; without a ring.
Thin; fragile; brownish.
Very dark brown with a hint of purple.
Spores 6-10 x 3-5.5 µ; ellipsoid; with a pore; smooth; dark brown in KOH. Pleurocystidia utriform; thin-walled; to about 50 x 15 µ. Cheilocystidia utriform; scattered; thin-walled. Sphaeropedunculate elements on gill edge inconspicuous; subglobose, without apical necks. Pileipellis hymeniform/cellular.
Photo 1 - Author: Аимаина хикари (Public Domain)
Photo 2 - Author: Аимаина хикари (Public Domain)
Photo 3 - Author: Аимаина хикари (Public Domain)
Photo 4 - Author: Jerzy Opioła (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)
Photo 5 - Author: Tatiana Bulyonkova from Novosibirsk, Russia (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic)
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