In a beautiful October day, together with a group of friends, while "hunting and gathering" mushrooms on Timis river's meadow (Timis County, Romania) we found a bunch of tasty mushrooms.
Parasol mushroom is a basidyomicete fungus with a large cap shaped as an parasol, it can reach a diameter of 40 cm/ 16 inch. The height is proportional. The stipe is not edible because is very fibrous.
You can find this mushroom in temperate regions, in pastures and sometime in the woods, is a common species in areas with a moisture soil, growing solitary, in groups, even in fairy rings.
Giovanni Antonio Scopoli, an italian naturist, first described this mushroom in 1772 and named it Agaricus Procerus. In 1948 Rolf Singer, a german mycologist changed it's genus from Agaricus to Macrolepiota.
The surface of the cap looks like a snake skin and this is the reason for they are named sometimes "snake hat" or "snake's sponge".
The gills are white or pale pink, free and crowded just like the files of a book. If you slice the flesh, it will change its color in pale pink immediately. The spore print is white and has the smell of hazelnuts.
Edibility: is edible even raw.
- Leucocoprinus brunnea - north-american species, edible.
- Macrolepiota mastoidea - european, very large mushroom, edible.
- Chlorophyllum molybdites - is responsible for the largest number of poisonings in North America.
- Immature species of Amanita.
- Lepiota brunneoincarnata is similar but much smaller and may cause mortal intoxications in Spain.