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Field characters

Pileus: broad, usually convex, often colored and viscid
Annulus: usually present at least when young
Stipe: central, thickish in our species
Stature: Armillarioid
Ecology: sprophyte on the ground, often on decaying woody substarte and/or in the grass

Micro characters

Basidiospores: smooth with a germ pore
Hyphae: with clamp connection
Cystidia: cheilocystidia always present and usually as chrysocystidia (with yellow contents in basic solutions)
Spore Print: purple brown to brownish to almost black
Lamellae: variously attached
Lamellar Trama: regular
Pileipellis: a cutis without a cellular or subcellular hypodermium [[(largent and Baroni, 1988)]]


Stropharia is one of the easier genera to identify. The distinctive purple brown/black spore print is unique. Only Coprinus has darker spores.

The most common species in this area is Stropharia rugosoannulata - the wine cap stropharia- (the specific epithet describes the distinctive annulus). The other species common in the Berkshires is S. hardii which has a yelloish cap and a more brown-colored spore print.