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

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