Psathyrella gracilis

The graceful psathyrella, Psathyrella gracilis (Fr.) Quél.


Agaricus gracilis Fr.
  Syst. mycol. (Lundae) 1: 299 (1821)
Drosophila gracilis (Fr.) Quél.
Hypholoma gracile (Fr.) Hongo & Izawa
Prunulus gracilis (Fr.) Gray
  Nat. Arr. Brit. Pl. (London) 1: 630 (1821)
Psathyra gracilis (Fr.) Fr.
  Bull. Soc. mycol. Fr. 17: 277 (1901)
Psathyrella corrugis f. gracilis (Fr.) Enderle
  Beitr. Kenntn. Pilze Mitteleur. 3: 244 (1987)

Common name

Graceful psathyrella
Slender psathyrella


Kingdom Fungi
Phylum Basidiomycota
Class Basidiomycetes
Order Agaricales
Family Psathyrellaceae
Genus Psathyrella

Psathyrella has been shown through phylogenetics to be polyphyletic (Padamsee et al., 2008).

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Cap: 2-4 cm diameter, conical to campanulate to plano-convex to somewhat recurved in age, striatulate, hygrophanous, livid or brownish when wet, when dry the dull brown colour of buff leather, pink, and without striations; flesh light brown to yellowish.
Stem: 6-10 cm tall x 1-3 mm thick, straight, equal, whitish, naked, pallid, hollow, whitish mycelium at the base.
Gills: broadly adnate often seceding, close, usually 2 tiers of lamellulae, ash-grey then dull-purple brown in age; the margin is often rose-colored.

The gills of Psathyrella gracilis
Note the pink tint on the gills of P. gracilis.

Spore print: dark purple-brown to blackish.
Spores: elliptical, smooth, nonamyloid, 10-14 x 6-8 µm.
Habitat: scattered or gregarious on ground along roadsides, hedgerows, in wood chips; fruiting in summer and fall; common, wide distribution.
Odor and taste: mild.
Edibility: too small and fragile for substantive eating.

One of a complex of species with long thin stems and conical caps that decompose various types of organic material.

Medicinal properties

Anti-tumor effects

Polysaccharides extracted from the mycelial culture of P. gracilis and administered intraperitoneally into white mice at a dosage of 300 mg/kg inhibited the growth of both Sarcoma 180 and Ehrlich solid cancers by 60% (Ohtsuka et al., 1973).



Ohtsuka S, Ueno S, Yoshikumi C, Hirose F, Ohmura Y, Wada T, Fujii T, Takahashi E.
Polysaccharides having an anticarcinogenic effect and a method of producing them from species of Basidiomycetes.
UK Patent 1331513, 26 September 1973.

Padamsee M, Matheny PB, Dentinger BTM, McLaughlin DJ.
The mushroom family Psathyrellaceae: Evidence for large-scale polyphyly of the genus Psathyrella.
Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2008 46(2):415-29.

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