Wood Mushroom - Agaricus silvicola

Main features

  • Fruits Summer to Autumn

  • Grows in trooping groups in woodland

  • Smells slightly of aniseed

  • Cap white in colour, yellowing with age

  • Cap starts off spherical and flattens out

  • Cap can reach 14cm

  • Sturdy white stem of 5-8cm and and 1-1.5cm in diameter

  • Stem can yellow with age

  • Fragile floppy ring

  • Flesh is white

  • Crowded and free gills start white, then turn grey-pink and chocolate brown 

  • Spore print is chocolate brown

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Wood Mushroom - Agaricus silvicola

Edible mushroom - novice/intermediate

Other common names: Wood Agaric

 

Scientific name meaning: Agaricus comes from the Greek Agarikon, meaning mushroom. Silvicola is from the Latin Silva, meaning a wood or forest

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

Habitat - where will I find it? In woodland

Description - what does it look like? 

Growth: The Wood Mushroom is a saprobic mushroom living on dead and decaying organic leaf litter. It is usually found in trooping groups

Cap: White, starting off spherical and flattening out with age. Older specimens' caps at completely flat. The cap can reach 6 to 15cm and often yellows slightly as it ages

Gills: Starting off white, the gills become grey-pink and eventually chocolate brown. When white, they should be avoided by novice foragers in case of confusion with poisonous Amanitas. The gills are fair crowded and free (do not touch the stem) 

Flesh: white

Stem: Sturdy and white. but yellowing with age, the stem can reach 5-8cm tall, and is 1-1.5cm wide. It has a fragile, floppy ring, or skirt and has a bulbous based

Smell: Slightly of aniseed

Spore colour: Chocolate brown

Possible lookalikes Could be confused with any of the poisonous Agaricus - such as the Yellow Stainer (Agaricus xanthodermis)or the Inky Mushroom (Agaricus moelleri), but these smell unpleasant of phenol or bottled ink and/or stain strongly yellow, particularly in the base of the stem, when bruised or cut. 

When the gills are white, confusion with poisonous Amanitas could also be possible, so very young specimens are best avoided by novice foragers

Use as a food Must be cooked and can be used exactly as a cultivated mushroom. It has an aniseed/perfumed taste that some people do not enjoy

Use in medicine None known

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

Hazards This mushroom can grow on roadside grass verges 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!