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Psathyrella candolleana
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Basidiomycota
Class: Homobasidiomycetes
Order: Agaricales
Family: Psathyrellaceae
Genus: Psathyrella

See text

Psathyrella is a genus of mushrooms and is similar to the genus Coprinus, with a thin cap and white stem. But the caps do not self digest as Coprinus does. Some also have brown spores rather than black.

These fungi are often drab-coloured, difficult to identify, and inedible, and so they are sometimes considered uninteresting. However they are quite common and can occur at times when there are few other mushrooms to be seen.

Additional recommended knowledge



In order to identify the species it may be necessary to take into account the presence and nature of any veil remnants on cap (which may only be visible on very young fruiting bodies), the colour of young fruiting bodies, which is often more vivid than with older ones, whether the cap is hygrophanous (it can well be a translucent brown or ochre colour in a humid state but a pure opaque white on drying out), and the spore size and the presence and nature of cheilocystidia and pleurocystidia.


Lacrymaria group

The Lacrymaria group may be considered a sub-genus of Psathyrella, or may be regarded as a genus in its own right. The best known member of the group is Psathyrella lacrymabunda (= Psathyrella velutina = Lacrymaria lacrymabunda, etc.) which is common and quite easily recognizable from its shaggy cap and black ring area coloured by the spores. It gets its English name, "weeping widow", not from any poisonous nature, but from its tendency to exude droplets of moisture from the gill edges. Unlike many Psathyrella species, it is a good edible fungus.


  • Psathyrella ammophila (dune brittlestem)
  • Psathyrella candolleana (pale brittlestem)
  • Psathyrella corrugis (red edge brittlestem)
  • Psathyrella longipes
  • Psathyrella piluliformis = P. hydrophila (common stump brittlestem)
  • Psathyrella lacrymabunda = Lacrymaria velutina etc. (weeping widow)


  • Marcel Bon : The Mushrooms and Toadstools of Britain and North-Western Europe (Hodder & Stoughton, 1987). ISBN 0-340-39935-X
  • Contu, M. and G. Pacioni. 1998. Amanita cistetorum and Psathyrella liciosae, two new Mediterranean species. Mycotaxon 69: 437-446.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Psathyrella". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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