Psathyrella candolleana: The Ultimate Mushroom Guide
About The Psathyrella candolleana Mushroom
This mushroom appears to vary considerably in color and robustness and it is possible if not likely that the species name is being applied to several closely related taxa. In general, Psathyrella candolleana is recognized by a smooth, yellowish-brown, hygrophanous cap which fades to pale buff, with an appendiculate margin when young and a white, shiny, fragile stipe.
Psathyrella candolleana is an edible mushroom, but not recommended due to its poor culinary value and consistency, as well as difficulty in identification.
Common and widespread in meadows, on lawns, and in woodlands throughout Britain and Ireland, the Pale Brittlestem is also found throughout the European mainland and in many other countries including North America.
Other names: Pale Brittlestem, Suburban Psathyrella, Fringed crumblecap, Common Psathyrella, Psathyrelle de De Candolle (French), Bleke franjehoed (Dutch).
Psathyrella candolleana Identification
Saprobic; growing alone or gregariously in lawns, pastures, and cultivated areas--also in woods; typically near recently dead hardwood trees, their roots, stumps, and so on; usually appearing in spring and early summer, but sometimes appearing in fall (or year-round in warmer climates); widely distributed and common in North America.
3-11 cm; rounded-conical or convex when young, expanding to broadly convex, broadly bell-shaped, or nearly flat; bald; often developing shallow radial wrinkles; dry; honey yellow when young, changing color markedly to pale brownish or nearly white as it dries out; the young margin adorned with hanging partial veil remnants; mature margin often splitting radially in places.
Attached to the stem or nearly free from it; whitish at first, becoming grayish and finally dark brown; close or crowded.
4-13 cm long; 3-8 mm thick; equal; fragile; white; hollowing; bald or slightly lined and/or silky; almost always lacking a ring, but sometimes with loosely clinging partial veil remnants in a ring-like zone.
Very thin; fragile; brownish to whitish.
Spore Print: Dark purplish brown.
Psathyrella candolleana Taxonomy & Etymology
The basionym of this species dates from 1818, when the great Swedish mycologist Elias Magnus Fries described the Pale Brittlestem, giving it the binomial scientific name Agaricus candolleanus. (French mycologist Jean Baptiste Francois (Pierre) Bulliard had described this mushroom nearly thirty years earlier, calling it Agaricus appendiculatus; however, the specific epithet appendiculatus had already been used and so under ICBN rules for botanical/mycological binomial names Fries' epithet takes precedence.)
The currently-accepted scientific name Psathyrella candolleana dates from a 1913 publication by French mycologist G. Bertrand. (Currently we have no biographical information about Bertrand other than publication date.)
Over the past 230 years Psathyrella candolleana has acquired numerous synonyms including Agaricus appendiculatus Bull., Agaricus candolleanus Fr., Psathyrella corrugis var. vinosa (Corda) Cooke, Drosophila candolleana (Fr.) Quél., Hypholoma felinum (Pass.) Sacc., Psathyrella appendiculata (Bull.) Maire, Psathyrella egenula (Berk. & Broome) M.M. Moser, Hypholoma incertum Peck, and Psathyrella microlepidota P.D. Orton.
Psathyrella, the genus name is the diminutive form of Psathyra, which comes from the Greek word psathuros meaning friable; it is a reference to the crumbly nature of the caps, gills, and stems of mushrooms in this genus. The specific epithet candolleana honours Swiss botanist Augustin Pyramus de Candolle.
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