Blushing Wood Mushroom - Agaricus sylvaticus

Main features

  • Fruits Summer to Autumn

  • Found as individual specimens or in small groups

  • Food in woodland or near trees

  • Smells slightly meaty

  • Cap surface pale brown in colour and covered in fine red-brown scales

  • Cap starts off dome-shaped and flattens with width of 5-15cm

  • Sturdy white stem 1-2cm in diameter

  • Has a stem ring/skirt 

  • Stem often smooth above ring and slightly scaly below

  • Base of the stem is swollen

  • Flesh is white and bruises red, eventually turning brown, when damaged

  • Crowded and free gills start pink, then redden before turning dark brown

  • Spore print is chocolate brown

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Blushing Wood Mushroom - Agaricus sylvaticus

Edible mushroom - novice

Other common names: The Red Staining Mushroom

 

Scientific name meaning: Agaricus comes from the Greek Agarikon, meaning mushroom. Sylvaticus is Latin, meaning growing among trees

Season - when will I find it? From Summer to Autumn
 

Habitat - where will I find it? The Blushing Wood Mushroom in woodland and under trees

Description - what does it look like? 

Growth: The Blushing Wood Mushroom is a saprobic mushroom living in the ground and feeding on dead and decaying leaf litter. It can be found in small groups and individually

Cap: The cap surface colour is a very pale brown, although the flesh is white underneath that, and is covered in red-brown scales that often look like hair. When the fruit is young, it is dome-shaped, becoming very flattened as it ages. The size of the cap can be between 5cm and up to 15cm. It bruises a red colour, later turning brown, when damaged. They are crowded and free of the stem

Gills: Starting off pink, the gills then redden before turning a dark brown

Flesh: white, bruising red and eventually turning brown when damaged

Stem: Sturdy and white in colour, the stem is usually 1-2cm wide. It has ring, or skirt, and the stem flesh is usually smooth above the ring, and finely scaled below. The base of the stem is swollen

Smell: slightly meaty

Spore colour: Chocolate brown

Possible lookalikes Could be confused with any of the Scaly Wood Mushroom (Agaricus langei) or the Haemorrhaging Mushroom (Agaricus haemorrhoidarius), but these are both edible 

Use as a food Must be cooked and can be used exactly as a cultivated mushroom. It has a rich meaty flavour - one of our favourite mushrooms

Use in herbal medicine Some research has been undertaken into the potential benefits of consuming the Blushing Wood Mushroom for people undergoing treatment for certain cancers

If you are suffering from any ailment or need medical advice, please see your General Practitioner

Hazards This mushroom can grow on the roadside where it can accumulate traffic-related toxins. It is advisable to avoid harvesting from the sides of busy roads

Importance to other species Provides food for a the larvae of a number of fly species. Worth remembering when harvesting. Younger specimens tend to have less livestock inside!

Always stay safe when foraging. You need to be 100% sure of your identification, 100% sure that your foraged item is edible, and 100% sure that you are not allergic to it (it is good practice to always try a small amount of any new food you are consuming). If in doubt, leave it out!