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Green-spored Lepiota (Chlorophyllum molybdites)
Photo Copyright © 2006 by Martha Edley.
This mushroom is the most common cause of wild mushroom poisoning in North America!
The flesh inside the cap is thick and white, usually unchanging when cut but in some specimens a slow pinkish or reddish staining is observed.
The gills are initially white, becoming greenish to greenish gray as the mushroom matures, and sometimes staining yellowish, pinkish or brownish where bruised. The gills are initially covered by a white, membranous partial veil that usually persists in mature specimens as a ring of tissue around the upper stalk. The ring is generally flared slightly open at the top, and develops a brownish color on the lower surface. In some specimens the ring eventually becomes moveable.
The stalk is smooth and white, usually staining brownish where bruised, 3 to 10 inches in height and about one-half to one inch thick, sometimes slightly thickened toward the bottom end.
The spore print is green.
Toxicity: The Green-spored Lepiota contains proteins or amino acids that are not tolerated by the digestive system of humans or many other mammals. Symptoms typically commence within one-half to one and one-half hours (but sometimes as much as several hours) following ingestion of the mushroom (either raw or cooked). The typical symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramping. Symptoms often abate after a few hours of suffering but sometimes can last for as long as two days. As with other mushrooms containing similar gastroirritants, in some cases the victim's vomiting and diarrhea are severe enough to require hospitalization to prevent life-threatening dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.
Exposure factors: Sometimes mistaken for the Parasol Mushroom or the Shaggy Parasol mushroom and sometimes sampled by infants, toddlers and domesticated dogs, this handsome but toxic mushroom is very common on lawns throughout much of the United States. It is most common in the southern states, and is especially frequent from late summer through fall. It typically grows in "fairy rings" or arc patterns.
This Webpage is dedicated to the memory of Mijo, a border collie who died five days after apparently eating Green-spored Lepiota mushrooms that were growing on her lawn.