Collection location: St. Andrews Churchyard, Felixstowe, Suffolk, England [Click for map]
Group of large mushrooms growing in grass under conifers (cedars). Caps up to 12 cm across, dark brown at centre, then paler surface covered with concentric rows of overlapping brown scales up to inturned slightly ragged margin. Dark brown free gills. Stem 6 cm long, 2 cm diameter at base, tapering slightly towards top, with large descending white ring. Stem smooth above ring, fibrous below with some tawny discolouration at base.
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The base was a bit swollen as you can see in at least one of the photos. I didn’t dig it out, so may have left some in the ground. I didn’t notice any staining, red or yellow, but as I put in the notes (and you can judge from the photos) there was some reddish-brown colour at the base of the stem.
The location is pretty shady with a couple of large cedar trees shading much of the grass, and it was a damp day – there was wet on the grass – though not frosty. There may have been some frost on the ground once or twice although so far this has been a very mild winter here in East Anglia.
I’m hoping to revisit the site in the next day or so and, if there any of these around I will take another to recheck for staining and measure the spores, after giving it really good sniff!
I also do believe that we have an Agaricus from the sylvaticus-group here. How were weather conditions before collecting? Could be they are that dark because of dank or wet weather, old, frost and defrosting and the likes. They simply look a bit worn out on the cap.
the base bulbous and/or stain yellow?
Thanks for these very helpful comments. I didn’t notice an unpleasant smell when I picked one of the mushrooms, or indeed while I kept it waiting for the chance to check the spores. In the event, I missed the spores and when I went to look at them, I found only a dark stain where the mushroom had rotted, some spongy black pieces of gills and a couple of fly pupae. The dried-out cap is still in my waste bin. I just gave it a sniff but it now is more reminiscent of old socks than phenol, chemicals, bitter almonds or carbolic. My first guess was A. silvaticus or A. augustus, but the cap seems too dark for either. That is an interesting tale of the elusive names/types of fungi, Nathan. I guess one day they’ll bring out a home DNA anaysis kit which will take some of the guesswork out of identification, but maybe some of the fun too? In the meantime, I’ll take a closer look at your suggestions. None of the few mushroom experts on the UK iSpot came up with an ID either by the way… see http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/242654.
Odor is very important to determining the group in Agaricus. Since you’ve suggested Agaricus moelleri, it should have had an unpleasant (to most) smell usually described as ‘phenolic’ or ‘chemically’. Assuming that’s true, A. moelleri seems not unreasonable since according to MycoBank the type is from Denmark. However, I and many of the folks in California have recently started using this name for what we used to call Agaricus praeclaresquamosus in California. Both Index Fungorum and MycoBank consider the names synonymous. Compared to what I’m used to seeing in California this seems too brown and the brown disc on the cap seems atypical to me.
However, from Dmitar’s Mushroom Hobby website “Based on molecular evidence it has been established that the usage of that name [Agaricus praeclaresquamosus] for California material is incorrect. In fact this is a complex consisting of two or more species that should get new names.”
Digging yet further I note that Doug has an observation from France (observation 73703), that is also brownish and he indicates A. phaeolepidotus may be a better name than A. moelleri due to the color.
A. moelleri is one of the poisonous ones in the xanthodermus group, bruising yellow and with a carbolic smell. This one seems to be reddening, like langei and others. Did you notice any smell?
Happy New Year! It has been suggested that this may be A. moelleri. Any comments or further suggestions would be very welcome.
Created: 2012-01-01 17:08:06 CET (+0100)
Last modified: 2012-01-01 17:12:07 CET (+0100)
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