On the Sussex Fungus Group foray at Seaford Head on Saturday (which I wrote about here) we spent some time fossicking about in the strip of scrubby woodland which flanks the eastern side of Hope Bottom.
It was here that we came across a number of charming Dapperling Lepiota -like species: a genus which I was trying very hard to get to grips with the other week. So, in a show of mycological bravado which I may come to regret, I offered to take the Seaford Head specimens home to ID.
Happily, via the magic of Twitter, I've had some tips from mycologist Andy Overall which should help to speed things along.
In terms of habitat, they were all found growing in soil in broadleaved woodland (dominated by hawthorn).
And they've all produced white spore prints.
Lepiota 1Suggested ID, based on photo: Lepiota subincarnata
Odour: some odour but not distinctive.
Lepiota 2Suggested ID, based on photo: Lepiota grangei or L. griseovirens
Lepiota 3Suggested ID, based on field observations: Cystolepiota seminuda
Cap colour: Young caps a rich, dark brown colour, breaking into (floccose?) patches against a white background. Cap colour paler in larger, more mature fruit bodies.
Stem: Cylindrical. White-cream and finely silky-fibrillose towards the cap. Very pronounced girdles of cap colour towards the base. No ring, or obvious ring-zone.
Gills: Free, crowded.
Odour: Not distinctive.
Spores: Length ~ 8 to 10 microns. Width ~ 3.5 to 4 microns. Shape ~ ellipsoid, or slightly amygdaloid and flattened at one end (truncate). Dextrinoid.
Following the key to the Lepiota in Funga Nordica takes me to question 15:
Pileipellis: Elongate cells.
Truncate spores and warm brown colours; and pileipellis elements without clamps takes me to 25 - the description of L. castanea. The pileipellis elements look like a good match. The spore size fits (but I'm concerned the spore shape doesn't match the drawing very closely). I think I found some clavate cheilocystidia, but I found it difficult to differentiate between them and the basidia.
With 'elongate cells' in the pileipellis, the only other route through the key takes me to 30... The description of L. cortinarius sounds like it could fit; except my collection doesn't have a clavate base. The spore shape also seems a better fit for L. cortinarius, based on this image I've found:
|Image (c) Herman L.|