Emerging from disturbed soil in riparian area at 3200’ elevation—daytime temperatures in high 70’s, nights high 40’s. Flesh of cap white. Flesh of stipe white and firm. No staining in either when bruised or cut. Mushroomy taste and odor when raw.

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Used references: Arora

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buggy specimens
By: David Rust (incredulis)
2013-04-21 19:52:06 PDT (-0700)

Too bad the bugs got to your torqs first. In my experience, A. bernardii doesn’t mature underground, but then they don’t stick up too far, either. I usually just see the caps in the grass.

I will cite MO. There’s always a link to the observation.


no photo of cut specimen
By: Terri Clements/Donna Fulton (pinonbistro)
2013-04-21 15:38:03 PDT (-0700)

but I found one in the same area a few days later and did take a photo of the cut specimen—MO 132029. None of the specimens I found stained red any where on flesh of stipe or cap. Also, all of them had a distinctly mushroomy, not briny or iodine-like, taste and odor when raw. The cooked version tastes as good as any mushroom I’ve eaten. Unfortunately the bugs like them so I was unable to salvage much. You’re welcome to use the photo on BAMS—can you reference MO? Re the A. bernardi specimens you’ve found: did they mature underground as well? My torq’s were fully mature specimens just cracking the surface and hard to spot.

photo of cut specimen?
By: David Rust (incredulis)
2013-04-21 15:08:34 PDT (-0700)

Hi Teresa,

Interesting comparison to A. bernardii, which I find frequently in grass near salt water here in California, with its characteristic short, squat stem. Did yours have any “iodine” or briny odor? Do you have an image of the cut mushroom?


ps: I’d like to use this for the BAMS mushroom of the day

Thanks Rick and Teresa
By: Martin Livezey (MLivezey)
2013-04-21 13:43:24 PDT (-0700)

Due to a project of my own, I will be able to sequence other samples A. cf pearsonii by the fall and will share the info. on GenBank. Also have clean, nicely dried material for the herbarium at USDA.

By: Rick Kerrigan (rwkerrigan)
2013-04-21 12:11:51 PDT (-0700)

Hola, Teresa & all,

Nice thread, everyone. Comments, hopefully useful:

A. bitorquis and A. bernardi were, long ago, placed together because their general aspect is similar. Even before DNA work, though, discriminating mycologists (not so much me in this case) began to place them in two related groups. One interesting feature of many sect. Chitonioides species including A. bernardi is cheilocystidia which can be long, flexuous, contorted, and sometimes have a mucronate apex. Not so, A. bitorquis and allies in sect. Bivelares.

Both in PA and in the CO-NM area, a third species is seen with some regularity. That species is A. pilosporus, described by C. H. Peck from Denver around 1900. Unlike the other two species noted above, A. pilosporus has a red-staining zone restricted to the base of the stipe when cut. The odor is only slightly briney. I have a hunch that it might be a widespread subterranean Agaricus species in the SW USA and I encourage all collectors henceforth to check and see if you really have a ‘torq’ — might be a ‘losp’ instead. If I told you Peck’s species also had flexuous, semi-mucronate cheilocystidia, you might suspect that it belongs to sect. … ______________.

Finally, I can update Martin and others on the identification of his collections from MD, which I am calling A. cf. pearsonii. ‘cf.’ here means ‘compare with/might be’. Martin, the ITS DNA match is actually 99.7%, in which range we could have either 1 or 2 species. Below I’ll paste in a few lines from my book ms. on what I know from studying Martin’s MLIV-1 material:

“In some particulars MLIV-1 resembles A. pequinii of Europe. However, the ITS DNA sequence of MLIV-1 differs by two nucleotides from others obtained by Philippe Callac from French material determined as A. pearsonii as that species is understood by European mycologists, and does not match A. pequinii (Callac, Guinberteau and Parra, pers. com.). The microfeatures agree fairly well with those described in Parra (2008). Our species may not be precisely congruent with A. pearsonii. All of these rare species merit further sampling and study.”

Thanks Teresa
By: Martin Livezey (MLivezey)
2013-04-12 13:04:06 PDT (-0700)

for pointing out the outstanding discussion in 23838 and for asking about the edibility of A. personii. Very helpful indeed!

amazing what DNA sequencing turns up
By: Terri Clements/Donna Fulton (pinonbistro)
2013-04-08 17:10:32 PDT (-0700)

Thanks,Dave. That was in response to a question I asked Rick Kerrigan to try to understand the sections of Agaricus a little better and how they might or might not help in determining edibility. I got started on this because of Martin’s comments below—it piqued my interest and led me to observation 23838 and its discussion. So, Martin, according to Rick Kerrigan in response to my question: “Species of unknown edibility that are closely related to established edible species may be regarded (in one reasonable approach) as ‘reasonable to try with the usual cautions’. But here you must also know your phylogeny. In the example you cite, this could apply to A. pearsonii.” He goes on to say what Dave notes below about both A. bitorquis and A. bernardi.

According to a discussion…
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2013-04-08 16:51:00 PDT (-0700)

I just read (see obs 23838) A. bernardi and A. bitorquis are placed in different sections of genus Agaricus. Copied/pasted from the discussion…

“A. bitorquis belongs in section Bivelares and A. bernardi belongs in section Chitonioides.”

I had also thought these two species were very similar, with the main differences being A. bernardi bruises reddish and tends to occur in habitat where salt is present. Here in PA I have collected what I believe to be each species, during the latter part of spring in similar habitat… packed soil in urban settings. In the case of the A. bernardi, the mushroom was found near a sidewalk along Main Street Wilkes-Barre, PA where a lot of salt is presumably spread to melt snow.

It probably is related to A. bernardi
By: Martin Livezey (MLivezey)
2013-04-07 17:02:52 PDT (-0700)

That was a close match on the DNA sequence – not sure but I think with 97% similarity on GenBank. A. pearsonii had 100% match on the ITS region.

No staining or bruising, mushroomy taste and odor when raw
By: Terri Clements/Donna Fulton (pinonbistro)
2013-04-07 14:58:00 PDT (-0700)

Could yours be realated to Agaricus bernardii? According to Arora it is closely related to A. bitorquis, and sometimes matures underground, but stains reddish when cut. He says it is also edible but chewier and sometimes with a slightly salty or briny taste. It tolerates salt and grows in disturbed areas (lawns, roadsides etc.) near Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

Do they have any red staining?
By: Martin Livezey (MLivezey)
2013-04-07 14:38:03 PDT (-0700)

I found this recently:

As far as I have been able to determine, and ID is based on DNA sequence,
this occurs only on S. France and N. Africa. I think it looks and smells good to eat but I have no info…,

Yes, they are very tasty
By: Terri Clements/Donna Fulton (pinonbistro)
2013-04-07 14:19:39 PDT (-0700)

To me the taste is remniscent of dried king bolete and the taste and texture are better than that of fresh king bolete. Arora says they are his favorite Agaricus and I can see why. Trouble is the maggots and other critters love them too so I was only able to salvage a little bit of the cap to sautee in a little olive oil for sampling. There is a chance of rain in the next few days which should improve my odds for finding fresher specimens—hopefully before the bugs!

Great observation!
By: Martin Livezey (MLivezey)
2013-04-07 14:01:11 PDT (-0700)

Are these edible?

Created: 2013-04-05 13:48:50 PDT (-0700)
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