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Stropharia coronilla

[ Basidiomycota > Agaricales > Strophariaceae > Stropharia. . . ]

by Michael Kuo

This mushroom is likely to be mistaken for an Agaricus species if it is not closely examined; it grows in lawns and meadows, and has a yellowish-buff cap and a ring. But close inspection reveals some very non-Agaricus-like features. The gills are pale at first, but soon become a very beautiful shade of purplish gray. And the ring is distinctive: it is usually grooved on its upper surface, and by the time the mushroom is mature, dark purplish spores have fallen onto it, accenting the grooves. Finally, the gills are attached to the stem, rather than being free from it as they are in Agaricus.

Stropharia melanosperma is a very similar species that features a whiter cap, a longer, slimmer stem, and larger spores.


Ecology: Saprobic; growing alone or gregariously on lawns, in pastures, and in other grassy places; summer and fall; widely distributed in North America. The illustrated and described collections are from California, Illinois, and Québec.

Cap: 1.5–5 cm; convex, becoming broadly convex or nearly flat; sticky when fresh; bald; golden yellow to brownish yellow when young and fresh, but sometimes fading to buff.

Gills: Attached to the stem; close or nearly distant; short-gills present; pale at first, becoming purplish gray to purple-black.

Stem: 2–6 cm long; 0.5–1 cm thick; equal, with a slightly tapered base; dry; bald or fibrillose; with a flimsy to persistent ring that is usually grooved on its upper surface and typically collects purplish gray spores; base sometimes with white mycelial threads.

Flesh: Soft; white throughout; unchanging when sliced.

Odor and Taste: Not distinctive.

Spore Print: Dark purple-brown to blackish.

Chemical Reactions: KOH on cap surface slowly pale red.

Microscopic Features: Spores 7–10 x 3.5–5 µm; ellipsoid; with a small pore; smooth; thick-walled; yellowish brown in KOH. Chrysocheilocystidia and chrysopleurocystidia 30–50 x 10–12.5 µm; clavate to fusiform; sometimes becoming rostrate; smooth; thin-walled; hyaline in KOH; with refractive globular inclusions. Cheiloleptocystidia to about 40 x 8 µm; clavate or subcylindric; thin-walled; hyaline in KOH. Pileipellis a cutis of elements 2.5–5 µm wide; hyaline in KOH; sometimes somewhat gelatinized.

REFERENCES: (Bulliard, 1805) Quélet, 1872. (Fries, 1821; Saccardo, 1887; Kauffman, 1918; Stamets, 1978; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1979; Arora, 1986; Lincoff, 1992; Metzler & Metzler, 1992; Noordeloos, 1999; McNeil, 2006; Miller & Miller, 2006; Ryman, 2008; Kuo & Methven, 2014; Desjardin, Wood & Stevens, 2015; Siegel & Schwarz, 2016.) Herb. Kuo 01130519, 11010901.

This site contains no information about the edibility or toxicity of mushrooms.


Stropharia coronilla

Stropharia coronilla

Stropharia coronilla

Stropharia coronilla

Stropharia coronilla

Stropharia coronilla

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Kuo, M. (2016, November). Stropharia coronilla. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: