Major Groups > Gilled Mushrooms > Pale-Spored > [Lepiota & Satellite Genera] > Chlorophyllum molybdites


Chlorophyllum molybdites

[ Basidiomycetes > Agaricales > Agaricaceae > Chlorophyllum . . . ]

Taxonomy in Transition: ...  > Agaricales > Lepiotoid Clade (J&V, 1998)

by Michael Kuo

This beautiful mushroom regularly amazes people by sprouting up in their lawns, often in large fairy rings, in summer and fall. It is easily identified if you have mature specimens in hand, since it has a distinctive greenish spore print and, in old age, greenish gills. If you do not have a mature specimen available, however, you may be hard pressed to reach a confident identification; young specimens in the "button" stage are nearly inseparable from the very similar Chlorophyllum rhacodes.

In many areas east of the Rocky Mountains, Chlorophyllum molybdites is easily confused with Amanita thiersii, which also makes fairy rings and grows in troops in lawns. Close inspection, however, reveals that Amanita thiersii has a shaggy stem to go with its shaggy cap, as well as gills that are white at maturity.


Ecology: Saprobic; growing gregariously in lawns and meadows--often in troops or fairy rings; summer and fall; widely distributed in North America.

Cap: 10-30 (40) cm; convex to conical when young, becoming convex to broadly convex or nearly flat in age; dry; smooth at first, but soon becoming scaly with brown to pinkish brown scales that are uplifted or flat, and concentrated near the center in age; whitish to tan or yellowish white.

Gills: Free from the stem; close; white when young, becoming gray to greenish to darker (but sometimes remaining whitish until well into maturity).

Stem: 5-25 cm long; 1.5-2.5 cm. thick; more or less equal, sometimes slightly enlarged toward base; smooth; firm; white, sometimes discoloring slightly brownish; with a persisting, double-edged ring.

Flesh: White throughout, not staining when sliced, or staining reddish brown to pale pinkish red or almost orange in the base; thick.

Odor and Taste: Not distinctive.

Spore Print: Greenish.

Microscopic Features: Spores 8-13 x 6.5-9 µ; smooth; elliptical; dextrinoid; with a small pore. Cheilocystidia to about 50 x 25 µ; abundant; mostly clavate to fusoid-ventricose. Pleurocystidia absent. Pileipellis a cutis of interwoven, narrow elements.

REFERENCES: (G. Meyer, 1818) Massee, 1898. (Saccardo, 1887; Smith, 1949; H. V. Smith, 1954; Sundberg, 1971; Smith, 1975; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1979; Weber & Smith, 1985; Arora, 1986; States, 1990; Phillips, 1991/2005; Lincoff, 1992; Metzler & Metzler, 1992; Horn, Kay & Abel, 1993; Moreno, Banares & Heykoop, 1995; Evenson, 1997; Roody, 2003; Vellinga, 2003; Miller & Miller, 2006; Kuo, 2007.) Herb. Kuo 08249701, 07220703, 10150701.

Further Online Information:

Chlorophyllum molybdites at Tom Volk's Fungi
Chlorophyllum molybdites at MykoWeb
Chlorophyllum molybdites at Roger's Mushrooms


Chlorophyllum molybdites

Chlorophyllum molybdites

Chlorophyllum molybdites

Chlorophyllum molybdites

Chlorophyllum molybdites

Chlorophyllum molybdites

Chlorophyllum molybdites

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Cite this page as:

Kuo, M. (2005, October). Chlorophyllum molybdites. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: