Woodland Agaricus - Agaricus silvicola?

Dave R.'s picture

I found a small patch of these fairly large, handsome mushrooms growing at the edge of a nearby woodlot.  I found the first one following the recent heavy rains and they have been fruiting for a couple of weeks now, so I have collected several specimens.  I believe them to be Agaricus silvicola, the Woodland Agaricus.  When I first found them I thought they might be The Prince, Agaricus augustus.  Notice the resemblance to the photo on the front cover of one of my favorite mushroom guides - Mushrooms Demystified.  I see that photo a lot, so that was my first thought. 

I checked with Bill and he suggested I take a close look at the stem.  On close inspection I did notice the stem is relatively smooth with small cottony scales.  Agaricus augustus usually has more scales below the ring and the stem extends deep into the ground, where these extended only moderately into the soil.  This, along with the habitat, leads me to believe they are more likely A. silvicola.  The specimen in the photo below still has pink gills.  But I found a couple of mature specimens with the chocolate brown gills/spores common to this family.  The odor is intense and extremely pleasant so I look forward to sampling them.  Although this is the first time I have sen this mushroom in many years and the first time I have found it growing in this location, I will be looking for it again next year.