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Yellow Stainer - Agaricus xanthodermus

Yellow Stainer - Agaricus xanthodermus

Main features

  • Fruits Summer to Autumn

  • Grows in rings or partial rings in grassland, near trees, in woodland and disturbed soil

  • Like ground with lots of organic decaying matter

  • Smells of phenol, iodine, or ink

  • Cap white in colour and greying with age

  • Cap bruises bright yellow when damaged

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

  • Sturdy white stem up to 10cm and and 1-2cm in diameter

  • Pendulous, floppy ring/skirt 

  • Stem bruise bright yellow when damaged, particularly at the base

  • Flesh is white and bruises bright yellow when damaged

  • Crowded and free gills start white, then turn pink and finally dark brown

  • Spore print is dark brown

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Yellow Stainer - Agaricus xanthodermus

Poisnous mushroom - novice/intermediate identification

Other common names: Yellow Staining Mushroom


Scientific name meaning: Agaricus comes from the Greek Agarikon, meaning mushroom. The species names comes from the Greek Xanth, meaning yellow, and derma, meaning skin

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

Habitat - where will I find it? The Yellow Stainer is found in grassland, disturbed soil and woodland 

Description - what does it look like? 

Growth: The Yellow Stainer is a saprobic mushroom living on dead and decaying organic matter. It grows in rings and partials rings, but single fruits or clumps are often found

Cap: Starts off roughly spherical and flattens out with age reaching 5-15cm. It is bright white when young, greying, mostly towards the centre, with age. When the cap is damaged, it will bruise bright yellow very quickly

Gills: Starting off white, the gills become pink and eventually chocolate brown. The gills are crowded and free (do not touch the stem) 

Flesh: White and staining bright yellow when damaged

Stem: Sturdy and white in colour, the stem can reach 10cm tall, and is 1-2cm wide. It has a large floppy ring, or skirt. The stem bruises yellow where daaged, most markedly at its base

Smell: Unpleasant, phenol, iodine, or ink

Spore colour: Dark brown

Possible lookalikes Could be confused with some of the edible Agaricus - such as the Horse Mushroom or Field Mushroom

Poisonous parts All parts are poisonous

Use in herbal medicine Some sources report antibiotic and anticancer properties.

This mushroom is poisonous

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

Hazards This mushroom is poisonous

Importance to other species Provides food for a the larvae of a number of fly species

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!

Yellow Stainer - Agaricus xanthodermus - bruising yellow
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