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Monday, 1 July 2019

Psathyrella ammophila - Dune Brittlestem

Psathyrella ammophila - Dune Brittlestem

Within 24 hours of arriving at Arbroath on the East coast of Scotland my friend took me to Carnoustie beach. A small sand and rock beach with some sand dunes remaining.  Some of the dunes have vanished over the years as sea defences have had to be built.

It's a real treat for me to visit the coastline and am always on the lookout for mushrooms that grow in such a habitat.  On the walk back to the car park I stumbled across a handful of Dune Brittlestem.  I find it amazing that fungus can survive in such a hostile environment surrounded by marram grass.  Anyway it made my day as they were at their prime and the photographs are below.

Characteristics:

Cap up to 3 cm across.  Clay coloured, slowly turning darker brown with ultra fine hairs that are only visible with a magnifying glass.  Gills initially pale then dark brown and finally black.  Quite broad and close.  Stem pallid brown, smooth, virtually equal, slender and slightly rooting.  No ring.  Can be hollow.  To be found in local dunes between May and September.



Showing the pale cap in the marram grass

Showing the crowded gills

Showing the pale stem and the slight 'root'

Showing the perspective group in the dunes




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