Shaggy Parasol - Chlorophyllum rhacodes

Main features

  • Fruits Summer to Autumn

  • Grows in woodland, woodland clearings and near trees

  • Can be found as individual fruits or in more usually in large groups

  • Pleasant mushroom smell

  • Large cap reaching between 5-15cm

  • Cap flesh white and covered in dark brown scales concentrated at the centre

  • Cap has a tattered or raggy appearance

  • Stem can reach 20cm, and is 2-2.5cm wide

  • Has a substantial double ring/skirt that can be slid up and down the stem

  • Ring often drops to base of stem in older specimens

  • Stem has a swollen base 

  • Flesh is white and bruise orange-red when damaged

  • The crowded white/cream gills are free of the stem and bruise orange-red when damaged

  • Spore print is white to cream

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Shaggy Parasol - Chlorophyllum rhacodes

Edible mushroom with caution - advanced

Other common names: None known, however, Chlorophyllum brunneum and Chlorophyllum olivieri are also sometimes referred to as "Shaggy Parasols", the former of which is poisonous

 

Scientific name meaning: Chlorophyllum is from the Greek Chloros, meaning green, and Phyllon, meaning leafs or green stuff. This is a reference to the green spored and green gilled Chlorophyllum Rhacodes is also from a Greek word, Rhakos, meaning rags or tatters

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

Habitat - where will I find it? Shaggy Parasols can be found in woodland and near trees

Description - what does it look like? 

Growth: Shaggy Parasols are saprobic, feeding off the decaying organic matter in the soil. They can be found as single specimens but are more often found in large groups

Cap: The large caps can reach between 5 and 15cm. The white cap flesh is covered in dark brown scales, which are concentrated in the centre of the cap giving a nipple like appearance. It generally has a tattered, rough appearance

Gills: The white to cream gills are crowded and free of the stem. They bruise orange-red if damaged

Flesh: White and will bruise orange-red if damaged

Stem: The stem can reach 10- 20cm tall, making this mushroom particularly easy to spot, and between 2-2.5cm wide. It is swollen at the base.

The lower half of the stem tends to be brown 

A substantial double-ring/skirt is present and this can be slid up and down the stem. In mature specimens, this often falls to the bottom of the stem

Smell: Pleasant mushroom

Spore colour: White to pale cream

Possible lookalikes The Brown Parasol (Chlorophyllum brunneum) looks remarkably similar and is now considered poisonous. The ring of the Brown Parasol is simpler than the Shaggy Parasol, having only a single layer. The base of the Brown Parasol's stem abruptly turns into a swollen bulb, whereas the bulbous base of the Shaggy Parasol is more graduated at the base of the stem.

Lepiotas or Dapperlings, most of which are poisonous, could be confused with Parasols. These are much smaller, however, so only pick Shaggy Parasols that have caps that are at least 12cm in diameter.

Shaggy Parasols could also be confused with Parasols. However, these do not bruise orange-red and have a snakeskin pattern on the stem, and are edible

Use as a food A good tasting mushroom that must be thoroughly cooked before consumption. It is thought to be toxic when raw.

Despite its edibility, a small proportion of people have a gastric reaction to Shaggy Parasols

Use in herbal medicine None known

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

Hazards Must be cooked. A small proportion of people have sever gastric reactions to this mushroom

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!