What You Should Know
Peziza vesiculosa is a poisonous species of apothecial fungus belonging to the family Pezizaceae. This is a common species of Europe, with scattered records in other parts of the world. The pale, cup-shaped ascocarps can grow quite large and often form densely packed groups. It is found on nutrient-rich soils, rotting straw, and manure and can often be seen on compost heaps.
P. vesiculosa is paler brown than most pezizas. Its fruitbodies tend to be clustered together and remain strongly cup-shaped throughout their lives. The spores are smooth, ellipsoid, 18-24 x 9-14 µm, and lack oil drops.
Aleuria vesiculosa (Bull.) Gillet
Galactinia vesiculosa (Bull.) Le Gal
Helvella vesiculosa (Bull.) Bolton
Pustularia vesiculosa (Bull.) Fuckel
Scodellina vesiculosa (Bull.) Gray
Other names: Blistered Cup, Barnyard Cup, Bladder Cup, Common Dung Cup, Small Dung Cup.
Peziza vesiculosa Mushroom Identification
Fruiting body 2-5 cm broad, sessile, globose, becoming urn-shaped, often contorted when clustered; margin incurved, remaining so in age, at times eroded or cracked in age; hymenium (inner surface) light-brown, pale yellow-brown to medium brown, frequently convoluted or wrinkled; outer surface granulose to furfuraceous, sometimes indistinctly so when weathered, tan, pale-buff, to nearly white; flesh thin, pale yellow-brown, fragile; odor and taste mild.
Spores 20-24 x 11-13 µm, elliptical, smooth, lacking oil droplets; white in deposit.
Scattered to clustered on manure (especially horse manure), and composted straw; common around stables and horse pastures; fruiting fall, winter, and spring.
Asci is 8-spored, uniseriate, with rounded tips, positive to Melzer's reagent. Paraphyses are thin, hyaline, septate with slight constrictions at the septa. Spores are ellipsoid, hyaline, smooth, aguttulate (no oil drops). Excipulum is made up of rounded cells with occasional hyaline erect hyphae on the exterior part.
Peziza vesiculosa Medicinal Properties
Vesiculogen, a hot-water extractable mitogen from P. vesiculosa, was shown to be a polyclonal B cell activator in mice (Suzuki et al., 1985). This activity was shown earlier to be not due to polysaccharides (Yadomae et al., 1979). The mitogenicity of vesiculogen is due to the presence of anionic groups (such as aspartate and glutamate) (Ohno et al., 1984). Furthermore, the mitogen was determined to be a high-molecular-weight, acidic polypeptide, showing charge and weight heterogeneities (Ohno et al., 1986).
The immunomodulatory vesiculogen was shown to have antitumor activity against both solid and ascite forms of Sarcoma 180 in mice (Suzuki, 1982). Additionally, an antitumor β-1,3-glucan has been purified and characterized (Mimura et al., 1985). The glucan is branched at position 6 of every fifth 3-substituted β-glucosyl unit. The glucan was assayed against solid form Sarcoma 180 tumor cells in mice, and showed growth inhibition of more than 90% at 75, 150, 300 µg/dose x 10 days. A significant difference from the control was observed at all glucan doses.
Photo 1 - Author: Patricio Novoa Quezada from Valparaíso, Chile (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic)
Photo 2 - Author: Holger Krisp (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)
Photo 3 - Author: Lukas from London, England (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic)
Photo 4 - Author: Francesco Cecere (Public Domain)