Agaricus aff. flocculosipes

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Agaricus aff. flocculosipes

I found these mushrooms for the first time the other day at one of my usual haunts. Agaricus aff. flocculosipes is a member of section arvensis and has only recently been ‘discovered’ in Thailand and now thanks to DNA has popped up in Australia. This mushroom looks very much like agaricus augustus so its probably just been lumped into that label up until now by Australian mycologists, assuming that anyone in Australia has actually looked at this species.

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Agaricus aff. flocculosipes, note the prominent floccules on the stipe!

One of the things that sets this fungi apart from augustus is the shaggy stem, these interesting woolly scales are known as floccules and as you can see even the large floppy ring and veil has the floccules on it. Agaricus aff. flocculosipes has brown scales on the cap which can be over 100mm across. The gills start out white before becoming light pink then eventually brown. These mushrooms were growing in the rain forest among native trees. They have a very delicate mushroomy smell with just a hint of almond or marzipan. The flavour is also delicate. I really enjoyed the flavour and texture of these mushrooms. There are some poisonous agaricus that look similar to these mushrooms, they are generally a bit smaller and often stain yellow in conjunction with an unpleasant smell. In fact when I found these there where some of the poisonous agaricus just a few meters away!

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Agaricus aff. flocculosipes

Update: I decided to get a sample sequenced. The DNA results are in as 99% Agaricus flocculosipes (MG270071).

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Field Mushrooms Agaricus Species

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An Agaricus ‘field mushroom’

What we commonly call the field mushroom or Agaricus Campestris is probably a little more complicated then we would like. In a nut shell these mushrooms are more likely a species cluster, some named others not. Having said that with a little bit of knowledge and a few ID tricks its not to hard to stay safe while picking and eating field mushrooms. Found growing in paddocks, fields, parks and lawns over summer and into autumn these are a common mushroom that tastes ok, is easy to ID and is socially acceptable! Unless of course you don’t ask permission to harvest on private property!

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A suburban coastal agraicus sp.

The cap is predominately white, dry and smooth, sometimes with fine brown scales or cracks. The gills start pale pink then become light then chocolate brown as they mature. They do not attach to the stem. There is a white vale present that soon brakes leaving in some cases a slight ring and sometimes some fragments on the edge of the cap. The spore print is always chocolate brown. The stem is short and tapers at the base, never bulbous or forming from a volva sack. The stem will brake cleanly from the cap. the flesh is white sometimes staining lightly pink, never yellow. the odor is pleasant, mushroomy, similar to store bought button mushrooms. They grow from the ground amongst grass and not from a cow pat.

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fresh picked Field mushrooms

The above description is of a white field mushroom, the agaricus family is much bigger then this and many of them are edible, some are poisonous. The Agaricus Xanthodermus section covers most of the poisonous species. They are known as the yellow stainers, the base of the stem is a good place to check, break and crush the end of the stem and watch for any colour change. At the same time smell the crushed section. Yellow staining and an unpleasant odor means that its probably a poisonous agaricus and not edible. The unpleasant smell can become much more noticeable when cooking the mushrooms. These fungi will not kill you however reactions very in individuals and can be severe, stomach cramps and sweating are common.

Below is a typical agaricus xanthodermus, the stem is long, there is an obvious ring, the base of the stem stains yellow, the odor is unpleasant, the gills start white then become a very light pink, brown much later. The cap is white and somewhat ‘boxy’. I found these growing in a dense cluster.

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Agaricus Xantodermus AKA the yellow strainer, poisonous.

Below is another common yellow stainer, agaricus aff. moelleri, again the gills start white and become pink, only turning brown much latter, long stem, yellow staining, unpleasant odor. These have a grey cap with dark grey to black scales. These were also growing in a dense cluster, more likely on a roadside or forest.

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poisonous agaricus similar to A. Moelleri

Besides the yellow stainers there are a range of small white mushrooms that can be mistaken for field mushrooms. Here is an example of an Amanita species that could be confused with agaricus. If there are any ID discrepancies with your find its best to do a spore print over night. By that time the gills will change colour and the spore colour will confirm if its an agricus sp. a black or white spore print is a warning that the mushroom in question is not an agaricus and should not be eaten unless an ID can be made. Never eat a mushroom that has not been ‘100%’ identified. An easy way to get a second opinion is to take clear close up photos of the cap, gills and stem and post it on one of the good mushroom ID pages on Facebook along with a description of the area where it was found. The more information you post the better chance you have of getting a correct ID. Try the Australian wild mushroom hunters page.