The Yellow Stainer

Edwin Hutton e.hutton at
Tue Oct 3 17:59:10 EST 2000

Colin Davidson wrote:
> I've never really given the yellow stainer much thought till this morning.
> Yesterday (Sunday) my girlfriend and I went for a little evening walk around
> where we live, and to the local woods. We came across a few edible
> mushrooms, nothing really to write home about. What struck me as most odd
> was the vast number of yellow stainers we came across (Agaricus
> xanthodermus). They were everywhere, around sports pitched in the housing
> estate, around a stand of ornamental cherry trees, on grass verges by paths,
> and in the woods. Now, I know they're not uncommon, but I've never seen such
> a prolific fruiting of this species.

I saw a good sized clump of A. Xanthoderma on Saturday in E. Sussex
but only the one clump, despite seeing a lot of other fungi,
including Hydnum Repandum v. Rufescens and Clitopilus Prunulus
for the first time in edible quantities. (The latter is really rather
tasty). I should go and have a
look in Hyde Park which has a number of patches growing A. Xanthoderma.
> I've always figured that it simply isn't worth findint out whether I'm one
> of the people who can eat this mushroom. Many books tell us that about 50%
> of the population react badly with this fungus. To me it smells pretty
> awful, so there's simply no reason to ponder whether I can eat it or not.
> Does anyone out there actually eat this? Do you enjoy it? Is this 50% figure
> genuine?

Like you I have never dared try them. I met someone once who
inadvertently got some into the frying pan, but apparently they
tasted 'inky' so they didn't actually eat more than a mouthful.
> I'd guess that it's very useful to the fungus to co-ordinate its fruiting
> like this, it'll have far more chance of campatible haploid mycelium from
> the spores released germinating in proximity to each other, and many of us
> will have unexpectedly found one mushroom or another fruiting profusely
> quite out of season when the weather conditions are strange. We've all seen
> lots of Pleurotus fruiting after the first frost. But what are the cues that
> cause this in Agaricus, specifically A. xanthodermus?

Wish I knew. They don't seem to like fruiting in the rain - if anything
they come up just before rain is due, but fungi don't seem to like
doing anything 'normal'. I have even seen Lepista Nuda in April!
Edwin Hutton

More information about the Mycology mailing list