Meadow mushroom

  • cap up to 10cm wide, convex, white to creamy, dry, smooth.
  • older specimens have a nearly planar cap and can be dingy white to cinnamon brown.
  • flesh is white, firm, possibly with a brown tint.
  • gills are crowded, free from the stem, progressing from characteristically pink to chocolate brown with age.
  • stem smooth, white, equally wide, dry, smooth above the ring with loose fibrils near the base. Slowly bruises off-white, to dingy brown, NOT staining yellow, orange or red.
  • partial veil is smooth, white, progressing to a brown ring.
  • grows in grassy areas, meadows and fields, often in a ring.
  • appears in spring, sumer, or fall.
  • taste is mild, odor is pleasant; cook before eating.
  • an edible look-alike is Agaricus bisporus, which is the commercial white mushroom found in grocery stores.
  • warning: discard specimens that do not have the distinctly pink gills or who's flesh stains yellow, orange, or red; these can be poisonous look-alikes.
  • warning: white mushrooms must always be treated with extra caution and attention to detail, there are a number of deadly poisonous species.
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Field Notes
This is one of the most common mushrooms in the short-list of fungi that you can enjoy as a weekend/city-lawn forager. Play it safe and only take those with gills that are still pink. The pinkness should be distinctive (think salmon pink, not just light brown maybe-kinda pink). But don't forget that pink/red (or yellow or orange) is BAD if you see that in the stem after it's been cut. The odor should remind you of the pleasant mushroomy smell of grocery-store white mushrooms, maybe even better! Be super-vigilant with white mushrooms; if there is any doubt about all the characteristics matching, leave it. Prepare and cook as with the store-bought variety.