T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network

Panaeolus (Genus)

Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Agaricales
Family: Psathyrellaceae
Genus: Panaeolus

Panaeolus is a genus of small, black-spored, saprotrophic agarics. These fungi are mostly found on decomposing grass litter, dung or forest litter. Most of the species of Panaeolus are little brown mushrooms and most require microscopic examination for accurate identification. These small mushrooms have dark brown to purple-brown or black spore print.
Their caps are usually conic or bell-shaped and are coloured grey/brown or blackish. The gills are mottled with shades of grey and black. This colour difference is caused by the way that the dark spores ripen together in tiny patches on the gill surface. different patches darken at different times.

The mottled gills.

Photograph showing a hygrophanous colour change of the pileipellis on the cap. The adjective hygrophanous refers to the colour change of mushroom tissue (especially the pileus surface) as it loses or absorbs water, which causes the pileipellis to become more transparent when wet and opaque when dry.

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