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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

09 November, 2016

Psathyrella piluliformis: the common stump brittlestem

With fungi being something of a challenge to identify unless you specialise in them it is always good to find one that has a distinctive feature. The two tone cap here, dark around the edges and lighter in the centre marks this out as the common stump brittlestem (Psathyrella piluliformis). 
A widespread and common species it is found in autumn growing on decaying wood of mainly beech and oak trees. It starts with a conical cap which gradually flattens out with age and the differentiation in colour becomes slightly less obvious. It usually grows in a small cluster.
It apparently has a rather bitter taste so it is best left where it is to spread its spores and create new fungi. 
Psathyrella piluliformis: the common stump brittlestem