The False Parasol Mushroom

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

For a couple weeks now some rather large, doorknob-shaped mushrooms have been sprouting up on the lawn between Cycad Circle and the Glasshouse Café outdoor seating area. At first there was one very large one, then as that one started becoming moribund a few other small white buttons began to emerge a few inches apart.

Chlorophyllum molybdites
The false parasol mushroom, Chlorophyllum

At one point a fairy ring of mushrooms nearly formed. I visited them just about every morning, since I can practically see them on entering my office. After a little research online and in my National Audubon Society field guide, I was able to determine they are the false parasol mushroom, sometimes referred to as the green-spored lepiota. To avoid confusion, I’m going by Chlorophyllum molybdites.

According to my guide, these are pretty common across the U.S., especially on lawns. Though not deadly, they are listed as poisonous, and are a common source of mushroom poisoning. The result of consuming them is said to be a few days of “violent purging.” Yikes.

I wasn’t 100% certain of the species—I’m not as patient as I should be in identifications—until I got a shot with my phone of the underside of one of the mushrooms. The spores, and as they mature, the gills, turn from off white to a sordid grayish green.

Chlorophyllum molybdites

Chlorophyllum molybdites trio


Chlorophyllum molybdites gills
Chlorophyllum molybdites gills—they eventually turned
an even grayer green.
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