Agaricus identification

Richard W. Kerrigan rwk at
Tue Jun 10 14:36:04 EST 1997

Well... you have described several species of Agaricus.  The staining is a 
crucial character, so get that KOH or even Draino.  If you get a distinct 
yellow, but the mushrooms have no almond/anise odor, and they don't 
become yellower upon aging and drying, then you probably have a member of 
section Xanthodermati, where the poisonous species hang out.

Fry some up: the xantho species often stink more during cooking.  If yours
don't, you could test (or not) the following hypothesis: those that can't
smell them don't get sick.  This involves some risk of an unpleasant spell
of vomiting.  I don't recommend trying this, but then again, I really 
hate vomiting.

School districts that fail to supply library paste to their young artists 
do mycology a grave disservice.

Keep us posted -- Rick

Michael A. Dritschel (mad at wrote:
: We have had quite a bit of rain here in Lafayette, Indiana, over the
: past few weeks and lots of mushrooms are popping up.  There is one
: that I have an identification question about.  It is growing in the
: chipped wood and leaf mulch I have spread under a lilac bush.  The
: spores are cocoa brown, the stipe separates readily from the pileus,
: and the giles are pinkish, turning brown with maturity; leading me to
: identify it as an Agaricus.  The cap is about 10cm agross in mature
: specimens, convex, with small pieces of the veil clinging to the
: margin.  The color is white to light tan with large irregular
: fissures.  The stipe is about 10cm in length, and about 1.5cm across,
: fibrillose, with little to no annulus.  No part of the pileus stains,
: and the stipe stains slightly (though not in all specimens), yellow or
: yellow orange and then turning light brown.  Various books mention
: checking the smell, saying in particular to look out for phenolic
: odors (like library paste).  I don't find the smell of these
: unpleasant (in fact I rather like it), though I'm not sure I would
: know what library paste smells like.  Unfortunately I do not have any
: KOH solution, so cannot test the mushrooms with this.  I've checked
: the usual sources (Aurora; McKnight; Smith, Smith, and Weber) without
: a positive id.

: I have a good crop of these, so if they are edible, I will be quite
: happy.  However, I make it a point of not eating anything I cannot
: identify; a policy which has allowed me to try 40+ species without ill
: effect.  Any help here would be greatly appreciated.  Even if it is
: not edible I would still be interested in identifying it.

: -- 
: Michael A. Dritschel          mad at

: Department of Mathematics
: Mathematical Sciences Building
: Purdue University
: West Lafayette, Indiana  47907-1395

: (317)-494-1942

          Richard W. Kerrigan, Research Department, Sylvan Inc.		
     Bldg. 2, West Hills Industrial Park, Kittanning, PA  16201  USA
e-mail:	rwk at      phone: 412-543-2242      fax: 412-543-3950
	 "Success has a thousand parents; failure is an orphan"

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