An Illustrated Guide to ARIZONA WEEDS

The University of Arizona Press

GREENSPORED MUSHROOM, morgan lepiota, greenspored lepiota




DESCRIPTION-Greenspored mushroom has a large thick fruiting body. The white cap is 4 to 10 inches broad when mature, with irregular brownish scales on top. The greenish color of the mature gills and spores is a distinctive characteristic of greenspored mushroom. The gills are white at first, but turn green when the spores begin to fall. The spores are bright green when first mature, but fade to dull green and finally brownish black. The stalk is white, grayish-white, or tinged with brown, 4 to 8 inches high, and tapers upward from a clubshaped base. The large ragged-edged ring is thick, movable, and not deflexed. Greenspored mushroom looks very much like the common cultivated mushroom (Agaricus campestris), but the gills in the latter are pinkish and the spores purplish-brown at maturity, rather than green.

DISTRIBUTION-Greenspored mushroom is found mostly in the western and southern states. It is common in organic soil in yards, fields, and pastures in southern and central Arizona; usually from August to October. In some places, successive years of crops of fruiting bodies may occur in increasingly larger rings, often 16 feet or more in diameter, forming "fairy rings."

POISONOUS PROPERTIES-Some people can eat this mushroom with no ill effects; others become violently ill with vomiting, diarrhea, and intense abdominal pain within an hour or less after eating a small piece, and a few have died. In Arizona there are no known cases of poisoning, either human or livestock, definitely attributable to greenspored mushroom.

Copyright (c) 1972 The Arizona Board of Regents

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