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Macrolepiota procera: The Parasol Mushroom
by Michael Kuo
The Parasol Mushroom is one of the more distinctive members of the Lepiota family. Defining features include the little bump in the center of the mature cap; the brownish scales; the slender (not swollen) stem that is covered with small brownish scales; and the distinctive, double-edged ring, which slides freely up and down the stem. The flesh, when sliced and exposed to air, does not turn orangish or pinkish, and the stem does not bruise yellow or reddish when rubbed.
Ecology: Saprobic; growing alone or scattered in woods or at the edges of woods, or in pastures, on trails, and other disturbed ground areas; late summer; distributed primarily east of the Rocky Mountains, but reported from the Southwest and from California.
Cap: 7-25 cm, oval when young, becoming convex to broadly convex in age, with a dark central bump; dry; at first smooth and brownish, soon becoming scaly, the scales brown, the surface below whitish and later grayish or brownish; often shaggy and torn-up at maturity.
Gills: Free from the stem; white when young, sometimes discoloring to pinkish or tan in maturity; close.
Stem: 14-20 cm long; .5-1.5 cm thick; long and slender, with an enlarged base (but not swollen over the lower half, like Leucoagaricus americanus); pale above the ring, below the ring with small brown scales that break up as the mushroom matures, creating zones or sometimes disappearing; with a double-edged ring that moves freely up and down the stem.
Flesh: White throughout, sometimes tinged reddish, but not staining reddish when exposed; soft.
Odor and Taste: Mild.
Spore Print: White.
Microscopic Features: Spores 12-18 x 8-12 µ; smooth; broadly elliptical; dextrinoid; with a small pore. Cheilocystidia to about 40 x 12 µ; clavate or cylindric. Pleurocystidia absent.
Lepiota procera and Leucoagaricus procerus are synonyms.
Macrolepiota prominens is slightly smaller; it features a pale pinkish spore print and whitish, rather than brown, scales on its stem. It is reported from Quebec by McNeil (2006), and may be the species illustrated by Richard Nadon in the right-hand column.
REFERENCES: (Scopoli, 1772) Singer, 1948. (Fries, 1821; Saccardo, 1887; Kauffman, 1918; Kauffman, 1924; Smith, 1949; H. V. Smith, 1954; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1979; Weber & Smith, 1985; Arora, 1986; Phillips, 1991/2005; Lincoff, 1992; Metzler & Metzler, 1992; Horn, Kay & Abel, 1993; Barron, 1999; Roody, 2003; Vellinga, de Kok & Bruns, 2003; Miller & Miller, 2006; Kuo, 2007.) Herb. Kuo 08239701, 09030501.
Further Online Information:
Macrolepiota procera at Roger's Mushrooms
Cite this page as:
Kuo, M. (2007, October). Macrolepiota procera: The parasol mushroom. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.mushroomexpert.commacrolepiota_procera.html