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Re: Backyard mushroom identification

Backyard mushroom identification
June 11, 2011 10:00AM
Could someone please help identify this mushroom? They grow in our backyard every year (grassy lawn). Cap is approx 8cm in diamter and the stem is around 2.3cm
They smell good but no way I'll try eating it until I know for sure what it is.
Thank you
open | download - CIMG6339.JPG (236.3 KB)
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open | download - CIMG6341.JPG (295.3 KB)
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Re: Backyard mushroom identification
June 14, 2011 11:12PM
Looks to me like an Agaricus species. Agaricus are notoriously difficult to identify by pictures alone, so it would be hard to tell for sure unless I saw it in person. However, if you have an Agaricus, which it seems you do, next time you find one fresh in the ground (this is important... it must be very fresh! Even an hour after picking is too long.) cut the bottom of the stem off a quarter to a half inch and look at the color the flesh turns on the sliced area. Also cut the mushroom in half from the top to the bottom. Note the color the cap turns above the gills, as well as the bottom of the stem. If the stem butt stains bright chrome yellow (this may take a minute to happen) then it is a poisonous Agaricus! Also crush the edge of the cap and note the odor. If it smells of library paste, old library books, sickly inky, or chemically (phenolic) then it is poisonous. If it stains pink, brownish wine colored, red orange, or bruises golden (not chrome yellow) smells sweet, almondy, or mild mushroomy (like button mushrooms from the store) then it is edible. Ellen Jacobsen, the Colorado Agaricus expert and long time member of CMS, always tells you, "Your nose knows!" when it comes to Agaricus. But as you can see, Agaricus is not very easy to identify for the beginner, however if they know what to look for, it can be relatively safe to eat them. Hope this helps!
Re: Backyard mushroom identification
June 14, 2011 11:15PM
My guess is that it will smell sweet, stain brownish wine colored in stem, pink in cap above gills. It is most likely Agaricus bisporus or subpernatus or solidipes, but if I could smell it and then looked at the spores and basidia in a microscope, we could have a much better idea.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/14/2011 11:19PM by Gnomed Again.
Re: Backyard mushroom identification
June 15, 2011 11:54AM
Looks to be a Red staining Agaricus. Does it grow under any specific trees?

I'd recommend what Gnomed said about getting a fresh specimen the next time one fruits. Dig it all the way out of the ground. The tip of the stem could help shed more clues. Cut and wait 20 minutes to see what colors you get.
Re: Backyard mushroom identification
July 22, 2011 12:03AM
From what I've read above, I think that what's in my yard is Agaricus. However, just about every page says "eat with caution." What does that mean? Don't eat it raw? Only eat a very little bit and then wait 24-hours? Only eat the cap? Cook it only a certain way? Could you please define "caution"?

I've got a whole bunch in a paper bag in my refrigerator, but there are still half-dozen outside in the grass, so I'll definitely check them out using your smell and stain guide on fresh specimens. However, if "eat with caution," means that a little nibble could still be deadly, I'll just put them into the compost heap (that's o.k. to do, isn't it?)

I live in Boulder County; is there a way to find a live person locally to whom I could take my bag of mushrooms? They look so firm and ready to cook with a bit of onion!

I posted the above last night. Since then....

I want to give you a huge shout-out THANK YOU! for your very careful instructions regarding how to slice and dice the Agaricus to see if it was poisonous.

And, not only did the cut stem end turn a rather garish shade of yellow, but the crumbled edge of the cap did indeed smell like an old, out-of-print, book! (As someone who frequents used books stores, the aroma was unmistakable.) So, thank you for your poetic instructions.

As you are a moderator, may I suggest that you make your excellent guide into a "sticky" post?

And you can be sure that I'm going to recommend this site to others!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/22/2011 03:14PM by CatGiorgia.
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