E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Panaeolus subbalteatus (Berk. & Broome) Sacc.
belted Panaeolus

Species account author: Ian Gibson.
Extracted from Matchmaker: Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest.

Introduction to the Macrofungi

© Michael Beug  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #17662)

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Distribution of Panaeolus subbalteatus
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Species Information

may be a complex of closely related species whose features according to Arora (whose description of the group is given below) include convex to broadly umbonate to flat but not bell-shaped cap, frequent presence of a darker marginal band on the cap as it dries, brown gills when young, rather firm stem, absent veil, and black spore deposit; differs from other Panaeolus species in its tendency to grow "in small clusters, its stocky stature", and convex caps that can expand to flat when mature, (Trudell(4); Breitenbach(4) give Panaeolus subbalteatus (Berk. & Br.) Sacc. and Panaeolus venenosus Murrill as synonyms of Panaeolus cinctulus Bolt.; P. subbalteatus reported from Pacific Northwest according to Stamets, AK (Miller), BC (Ammirati(11)), collections from OR at Oregon State University, M. Beug (pers. comm.) says it occurs in WA, also reported according to Stamets(1) from South America, Europe, Siberia, Africa, and the Hawaiian archipelago
4-5cm across, convex to bell-shaped, then broadly convex, finally expanding to nearly flat with a broad umbo; cinnamon brown to orange cinnamon brown, fading to tan in drying with dark brown encircling zone around margin, may bruise bluish over a long period of time, (Stamets), 2-6cm across, convex or bluntly conic becoming broadly convex to broadly umbonate to flat or with uplifted margin, not bell-shaped; brown to reddish brown or cinnamon brown when moist, "fading as it dries to tan, buff, or even whitish (or grayish from spores)", often with a darker (reddish brown to brown or dark gray) marginal zone when partially dry; smooth or wrinkled, when old "sometimes breaking into scales (fissured)", not viscid, (Arora), hygrophanous, margin not translucent-striate, (Menser)
thin; brownish, (Arora)
adnate to uncinate, close, slightly swollen in the center, with three tiers of subgills; brownish and mottled, with whitish edges, blackish when mature, (Stamets), "adnate to adnexed or seceding, close, broad"; at first pale watery brown or reddish brown, darkening gradually to black, edges whitish, faces usually mottled when old, (Arora)
5-6cm x 0.2-0.4cm, brittle, hollow, fibrous; reddish beneath minute whitish fibrils, darkening downward, often bruising bluish at base, (Stamets), 4-10cm x (0.1)0.3-0.6(1)cm, "equal or tapered at either end, hollow but not fragile"; brown to reddish brown, but often appearing whitish from fine powder, or dusted gray by spores, top often paler; "usually longitudinally striate throughout", "base (and mycelium) occasionally staining faintly bluish when bruised", (Arora)
absent (Arora)
Microscopic spores:
spores 10-14 x 7-9 microns, elliptic, smooth, (Arora), spores 11.5-14 x 7.5-9.5 microns, subelliptic [nearly elliptic] in face view, lemon-shaped in side view, [presumably with germ pore]; basidia 2-spored and 4-spored, pleurocystidia absent, cheilocystidia 14-21 x 3-7 microns, variable but mostly pear-shaped, (Stamets)
Spore deposit:
black (Stamets, Arora)

Habitat / Range

cespitose [in tufts] to gregarious "in dung or in well-manured ground in the spring, summer, and early fall", (Stamets), scattered to densely gregarious - often in small clumps - in manure, compost, and fertilized lawns, (Arora), single to gregarious or cespitose on freshly manured lawns, open ground, more common on horse dung than cow dung and has been found growing with cultivated mushrooms; primarily a spring mushroom, but common in summer to fall, (Menser)

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Panaeolus venenosus Murrill

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Range and Status Information Links


weakly to moderately hallucinogenic, contains psilocybin and baeocystin but no psilocin, anecdotal reports of stomach cramps, loss of muscular strength, malaise when eaten raw, not "very poisonous" contrary to what is suggested by alternate name 'venenosu

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

Species References

Stamets(1), Arora(1)* (as Panaeolus subbalteatus group), Lincoff(2)*, Schalkwijk-Barendsen(1)*, Ammirati(11), Breitenbach(4) (discussing Panaeolus cinctulus), Miller(8), Menser(1), Trudell(4)*

References for the fungi

General References