|Major Groups > Gilled Mushrooms > Pale-Spored > Lepiota & Satellite Genera > Chlorophyllum rhacodes|
by Michael Kuo
The "Shaggy Parasol" is an impressive mushroom, characterized by its large size, its shaggy and scaly cap, its white spore print, and the way its flesh turns pinkish orange when sliced (especially at the apex of the stem). Chlorophyllum rhacodes has been called "Lepiota rhacodes" or "Macrolepiota rhacodes" in the past, but recent DNA studies (see Vellinga, 2002) have given the mushroom a new home in the genus Chlorophyllum, alongside the very similar Chlorophyllum molybdites.
The spelling "rachodes" is an error that apparently originated with the original author of the species, Vittadini (1835), who misspelled rhacodes, the Greek word () for "ragged" or "tattered"--an apt description of the mushroom. Unfortunately, the rules of taxonomy are so unbending that we may be stuck with Vittadini's misspelled species name. I, however, teach language and literature for a living, and like any English teacher I am compulsively forced to correct the spelling.
Ecology: Saprobic; typically growing in troops or fairy rings in disturbed ground areas like roadsides, gardens, the edges of fields, and so on--often in the vicinity of conifers; appearing nearly year-round in California when moisture is present--elsewhere typically appearing in fall; widely distributed in North America.
Cap: 5-20 cm; dry; convex to nearly round when young; becoming flat or very broadly bell-shaped; at first smooth and brownish, but soon breaking up so that the center remains smooth (or cracked) and brown but the rest of the surface consists of shaggy scales with brownish tips over a whitish background.
Gills: Free from the stem; close; white or, in maturity, pale brownish.
Stem: 10-20 cm long; 1-3 cm thick; with a bulbous base that sometimes has a prominent rim at the top of the bulb; smooth; white, bruising and discoloring brownish; with a high, double-edged, moveable ring.
Flesh: Whitish throughout, but typically turning pinkish orange, then slowly brownish when sliced (especially near the apex of the stem); thick.
Spore Print: White.
Odor and Taste: Pleasant; not distinctive.
Chemical Reactions: KOH negative or very faintly pinkish on cap surface.
Microscopic Features: Spores 6-13 x 5-9 µ; smooth; elliptical; dextrinoid; with a small pore.
REFERENCES: (Vittadini, 1835) Vellinga, 2002. (Saccardo, 1887; Kauffman, 1924; Smith, 1949; H. V. Smith, 1954; Smith, 1975; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1979; Arora, 1986; Phillips, 1991/2005; Lincoff, 1992; Evenson, 1997; Barron, 1999; Vellinga, 2002; Vellinga, 2003; McNeil, 2006; Miller & Miller, 2006; Kuo, 2007.) Herb. Kuo 09290504.
Further Online Information:
Cite this page as:
Kuo, M. (2005, October). Chlorophyllum rhacodes. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/chlorophyllum_rhacodes.html