Parasol Mushroom Macrolepiota procera

Scientific Name: Macrolepiota procera (Agaricaceae). 'Procera' means 'tall'.

English Name: Parasol Mushroom (True mushroom family).

French Name: La Lépiote élevée (='elevated lepiota'); Coulemelle (='little column').

5 Key Characters:
  • large, appearing singly or in widely spaced groups.
  • globular brown caps, which as they expand become ivory with brown scales.
  • raised brown central 'button' on a flat cap when mature, 10 - 25 cm across.
  • flesh and gills white, not changing colour when cut.
  • stem up to 30 cm high, cream with brown 'snakeskin' like pattern.

Lookalikes: Shaggy Parasol Chlorophyllum rhacodes, which is toxic, has flesh that turns red when cut and does not have the 'snakeskin' patterned stem.

Habitat: Roadsides, unimproved pasture, woodland clearings and edges.

Fruiting Period: June-July-August-September-October-November.

Status: Common.

Edible or Toxic: One of the most prized edible species.  Pick partially expanded specimens with caps at least 10 cm across (this will help you avoid the toxic lookalikes).

Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:

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