Agaricus sylvaticus

Today we are going to talk about a type of edible mushroom that belongs to the Agaricaceae family. It is the Agaricus sylvaticus. It is a type of mushroom that usually grows in groups and has a flavor that attracts attention. It is quite well known although it can be confused with several species, so care must be taken when collecting it.

In this article we are going to show you all the characteristics, habitat and possible confusions of the Agaricus sylvaticus.

Main features

Hat and foils

It is a type of mushroom that has a globose hat that evolves convex aspect as it develops. We see in specimens that have reached maturity a flatter part in the center of the hat. These what makes it have a hat with a characteristic appearance and different from other species. The size of this hat varies between 5 and 12 centimeters in diameter. It has a cuticle with a variable color that varies between colors that go from grayish brown to ocher. In the center of the cuticle it is usually a darker shade.

One of the distinguishing characteristics is that the cuticle can be separated from the hat quite easily towards its perimeter. In this way, a yellowish base is created with scales with a color tending to ocher. The margin of the hat is more curved to the inside and evolves to the curved and, finally, to the curved. Depending on the stage of development of the fungus we can see that the hat takes different forms. On some occasions we can see that during its maturity and with the passage of time the margin ends up drying and cracking. It is on these occasions where we can see a hat with an irregular morphology.

They have the blades free but tight between them. They are sickle-like blades and have a creamy pinkish white color that evolves into a darker brown color as it develops. These sheets have lighter edges with a whitish color.

Pie and meat

As for the foot, it has a rather thick and slender cylindrical appearance. The base of the foot is bulbous. It has a white color that becomes a little darker as we get from the ring to the base. It is quite a foot long with respect to the hat. It usually measures an average of 12 centimeters in length and 1.5 centimeters in diameter. Although sometimes it appears to the foot with some scales, the most normal is that it is smooth.

One of the differences that the foot has with respect to other species is that it has a ring located in the upper half. This ring has persistent, dangling and quite large features. This makes it quite an eye-catching ring and easy to recognize. The ring has brown remains of the cuticle at its bottom. Now more cuticle remains as the fungus is more adult. The base of the foot is usually buried in the substrate.

Finally, its meat is consistent and white in color. When cut, it takes on a slightly pinkish orange color. Later, after the cut, it acquires a blood red color. If the specimen is older, the color of the meat when it is cut is ocher. This is an indicator of the age of the fungus. We must know that the younger the mushroom, the better it will taste. Its taste and smell is mildly fungal.

Habitat of the Agaricus sylvaticus

This is a mushroom that bears fruit from late summer to late fall. It feeds on precipitation from summer storms and the first precipitations of the hydrological cycle. It is usually found in mainly coniferous forests, although it can also appear in deciduous forests. They need a large amount of humidity to be able to develop in good conditions. Sometimes it can be found growing under leaf litter in deciduous forests. And it is that the litter helps keep humidity levels high.

As for its edibility, it is quite good. There are species of mushrooms that also turn red when cut and are classified as suspected of being poisonous. However, this has been more from the more traditional point of view. Once science has studied these specimens, it can be seen that it is a completely edible mushroom despite the change in color when cut or rubbed. This mushroom is used very well in many dishes such as condiments and garnishes.

The Agaricus sylvaticus is among those families of fungi that can cook and store in many ways. This makes it very versatile in the kitchen and can be cooked both fresh, dried or in oil. Despite the change in color when cut, it is particularly interesting to consume it raw, both in salads or in raw condiments. It must be taken into account that this consumption is always recommended in young specimens. The most adult or elderly specimens are not recommended to eat raw.

Main confusions of Agaricus sylvaticus

As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, this species is often confused with other very similar ones belonging to its family. For example, one of the main confusions is that of the Agaricus haemorrhoidarius. This specimen has a brown cuticle and has scales. We remember that Agaricus sylvaticus only had scales in some specimens. The main difference between these species is that they are smaller in size and the scales are more uniform and spread out. Don’t worry too much about their confusion as this species is also edible.

Another widespread confusion is Agaricus moelleri. However, this confusion is more worrisome since this species is slightly toxic. The easy way to avoid confusion is with the unpleasant smell and taste. Also, this species turns yellow with rubbing. We must look at these details to be able to differentiate them easily.

As you can see, the Agaricus sylvaticus is a fairly well-known fungus collected by those amateurs of mushroom picking. I hope that with this information you can learn more about this species.

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