Fungus Friday: Wine Cap Mushroom Perhaps? Or not.

This mushroom is growing in our yard.

It’s quite large and reminds me of a portobello mushroom – but I didn’t eat it!

It could be a wine cap mushroom, Stropharia rugosoannulata.

The wine cap mushroom is usually found in wood chips – check.

They have dark purple-brown gills – check?

And an annulus around the stem – check.

However, the caps of wine cap mushrooms seem to start out more wine-red/brown in color and then age to a duller brown-gray, whereas these mushroom look dusty brown/gray throughout. The wine cap mushroom is edible, but I’m definitely not confident enough in this identification to eat this guy.

I tried putting a photo of this mushroom through a mushroom ID app, and its top guess was Agaricus xanthodermis (aka the yellow stainer), which is a poisonous mushroom. The gills of the yellow stainer look right for this mushroom, but the flesh should turn yellow when cut and I didn’t notice that happening with my mushroom. Plus, it grows in grass or soil, not so much in wood chips.

The second guess was Agaricus moelleri, which I think is the closest visual match, but like Agaricus xanthodermis, Agaricus moelleri should also turn yellow when cut. Agaricus moelleri is also poisonous. Hmmm…. I wish I knew a mushroom expert. Identifying mushrooms is much more challenging than I thought it was going to be.

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