Scaly Wood Mushroom - Agaricus langei

Main features

  • Fruits Summer to Autumn

  • Found as individual specimens or in small groups

  • Food in woodland or near trees

  • Smells mushroomy and 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 and 5-10cm tall

  • Has a stem ring/skirt - often double

  • Stem ring/skirt can have brown cogwheel scales on the underside

  • Base of the stem is cylindrical or tapered

  • 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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Scaly Wood Mushroom - Agaricus langei

Edible mushroom - novice

Other common names: Great Wood Mushroom

 

Scientific name meaning: Agaricus comes from the Greek Agarikon, meaning mushroom. Langei is derived from the name Johan Lange, a prominent Danish botanist born in the 19th century

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

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

Description - what does it look like? 

Growth: The Scaly 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

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 and 5-10cm tall. It has ring, or skirt, which is often a double ring. There are often brown cogwheel scales on the underside of the ring/skirt. The base of the stem is cylindrical or tapered

Smell: Strongly mushroomy, slightly meaty

Spore colour: Chocolate brown

Possible lookalikes Could be confused with any of the Blushing Wood Mushroom (Agaricus sylvaticus) 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 None known. Please let us know if you are aware of any

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!