Common Stump Brittlestem

Psathyrella piluliformis

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By Roger Phillips

Published 2006

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Common Stump Brittlestem Psathyrella piluliformis (Bull.) P.D. Orton. syn. P. hydrophila (Bull.) Maire (illustrated (a) 60% life size) Cap 2–3cm across, convex, becoming flattened, margin appendiculate with remnants of the fibrillose veil; tan to dark chestnut or date-brown, drying paler, often with a tan flush at the centre. Stem 40–100×5–10mm; white, flushed with cap colour below; fragile. Flesh whitish; thin; taste bitter, smell not distinctive. Gills crowded; clay-brown, becoming chocolate-brown with age. Spores 4.5–7×3–4¼, elliptical. Spore print dark brown. Cystidia fusiform, thin-walled, hyaline. Habitat in dense tufts in damp deciduous woodland; late spring to late autumn. Very common. Edible but bitter and not worthwhile.