Yellow Stainer Agaricus xanthodermus

Scientific Name: Agaricus xanthodermus (Agaricaceae). 'Xanthodermus' means 'yellow skinned'.

English Name: Yellow Stainer; Yellow-staining mushroom (True mushroom family).

French Name: Agaric jaunissant (='yellowing mushroom').

5 Key Characters:
  • white with pink to brown gills.
  • rapidly turns bright yellow when damaged .
  • globular when young, flattening out to a shallowly convex cap, 5 - 15 cm across.
  • stem white, 1 - 2 cm in diameter, with obvious ring of persistent veil, bulbous at the base and rapidly yellowing if cut, especially at the base.
  • smells of ink, phenol or iodine, especially after cutting and cooking.

Lookalikes: Field Mushroom Agaricus campestris, which does not stain yellow. Horse Mushroom Agaricus arvensis, which only slowly and slightly stains yellow, and smells of aniseed.

Habitat: Hedgerows, parks, gardens, especially along boundaries or in disturbed patches.

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

Status: Common.

Edible or Toxic? Causes serious digestive problems (nausea, cramps, sweating, vomiting, diarrhoea) and is a common cause of poisoning because it looks so much like Field Mushroom.

Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:

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