Agaricus campestris

Agaricus campestris

Agaricus campestris, commonly known as the Field mushroom or, in North America, Meadow mushroom, is a widely eaten gilled mushroom closely related to the button mushroom.

Taxonomy

Its specific epithet campestris is derived from the Latin campus "field".

Description

The cap is white, though may have fine scales and is 5-10 cm in diameter; it is first hemispherical in shape before flattening out with maturity. The gills are initially pink, then red-brown and finally a dark brown, as is the spore print. The 3-7 cm tall stipe is predominately white and bears a single thin ring. The taste is mild. The white flesh bruises slightly reddish; as opposed to yellow in the inedible (and somewhat toxic) Agaricus xanthodermus and similar, toxic species.

Distribution and Habitat

Commonly found in fields and grassy areas after rain from late summer onwards worldwide.

Edibility

It is widely collected and eaten, even by those who would not normally experiment with mushrooming. This mushroom is not commercially cultivated on account of its fast maturing and short shelf-life. Culinary uses of the meadow mushroom include sauteed or fried, in sauces, or even sliced raw and used in salads. In flavor and texture, this mushroom is almost completely identical to the white button mushrooms available in grocery stores in the United States. Be sure to rinse well to dislodge any sand, and also watch out for small, white larvae which tunnel through the stems and caps. Among the Similar Species mentioned below, there have been cases where the deadly toxic Destroying Angel mushroom (Amanita bisporiga) has been consumed by individuals who mistook them for this species.

Similar species

  • Amanita virosa (and similar, closely related species) The Destroying Angel. (Morbidly toxic).
  • Agaricus xanthodermus The Yellow Stainer. (Causes gastrointestinal problems).
  • Agaricus arvensis The Horse Mushroom. (Excellent edible).
  • White Clitocybe species, that also grow on lawns, and in grassy places. (Dangerous).



References

External links

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