|California Fungi—Agaricus bernardii
(Photo: © Fred Stevens)
Clav. Syn. Hym. Europ. 89. 1878.
Cap 7-16 cm broad, convex at first, margin incurved, becoming plane, disk frequently depressed at maturity; surface white, smooth, though typically with warts or cottony scales. Cap tissue turning reddish-orange when cut. Odor, of brine or iodine.
Gills free, close, pinkish-tan becoming chocolate brown, finally blackish brown.
Stipe 4-7 cm long, 3-4.5 cm thick, smooth, narrower at base; veil membranous, sheathing the stipe base, forming a medial ring.
Spores 5.5-7.0 x 5.5-6.5 µm, smooth elliptical. Spore print blackish-brown.
Found spring, summer and fall primarily in grassy areas, sandy soils, occasionally under Monterey cypress; gregarious sometimes forming arcs but rarely complete fairy-rings. In grass it often fruits with
Edible and excellent, although the briny taste deters some people.
is a short, stocky, white mushroom that resembles
, even possessing a sheathing veil and a propensity for partial emergence. However, it can easily be told apart by the reddish-brown staining of cap and stipe tissue as well as its briny odor. Along the coast, particularly in sandy soils,
is considerably more common than
Desjardin, D.E., Wood, M.G. & Stevens, F.A.
(2015). California Mushrooms: The Comprehensive Identification Guide. Timber Press: Portland, OR. 560 p.
(1986). The Agaricales (Gilled Fungi) of California. 6. Agaricaceae. Mad River Press: Eureka, CA. 62 p.
of North America. New York Botanical Garden: Bronx, NY. 574 p.
(2008). Agaricus L.; Allopsalliota Nauta & Bas; Tribu Agariceae S. Imai: Part 1. Edizioni Candusso: Alassio, Italy. 824 p.
Other Descriptions and Photos
(D & CP)
Arora (1986): p. 322 (D)
Arora (1991): p. 119 (D & CP)
Kerrigan: p. 21 (D & CP)
(D=Description; I=Illustration; P=Photo; CP=Color Photo)
The Fungi of California
Copyright © 1996-2018 Michael Wood & Fred Stevens