The Prince Mushroom Identification – Agaricus augustus

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This post is part of our “100 Plants and Mushrooms” series. Here, you’ll see the mushroom’s main parts – its cap, gills or pores, stipe, and more – all with key identification features.

The Prince mushroom, or scientifically Agaricus augustus, is found across Europe, North America, North Africa, and Asia. Whether it’s in the woods, gardens, or even by roadsides, this mushroom likes humus-rich soil. Essentially, The Prince feeds on this decayed matter, a lifestyle called ‘saprotrophic’.

One interesting thing about The Prince is that it’s adapted to grow near disturbed areas. So, spotting it in unexpected places, like construction sites, isn’t uncommon. If you’re in Europe, keep an eye out during the late summer and autumn months, as that’s when it’s most likely to show up.

The Prince Mushroom: Key Parts in Photos

How to identify The Prince Mushroom

The mushroom’s mature caps stretch out between 3-12 inches, and when they’re just sprouting, they’re shaped like a half-sphere. As they grow, they expand and might even become flat. These caps wear a creamy hue and are covered in reddish-brown scales.

Hiding underneath these caps, you’d find gills. When The Prince is young, these gills wear a pale pink shade. As time goes on, they darken and become a deep purple-brown. A neat fact about these gills is that they don’t touch the stem; they’re free.

The stipe (stalk) ranges from 3-12 inches in length. Wrapped around this stipe, you’ll find a pendulous ring. Above this ring, the stipe is smooth and white, but below it, it wears small woolly scales.

One of the defining features of The Prince is its aroma. Young ones emit a potent almond-like smell.

If you’re one to delve deeper, you’d find that the spores of The Prince are ellipsoidal (egg-shaped) and smooth, measuring about 7-10 x 4.5-6.5μm. The Prince also reacts to chemicals. If you drop a 10% potassium hydroxide solution on the cap, it turns yellow. It’s a test, known as the Schaeffer’s test reaction, which can be used to identify it.

Want to learn more?

Our new book, “A New Forager’s Guide to Wild Foods,” is available on Amazon. It helps beginners learn about how to identify and cook with these 100 common plants and mushrooms. Click the buy button on the right and order your copy now!

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