Identify Horse Mushrooms

Horse Mushroom/ Summer / Autumn / Edible

Common Name

Horse Mushroom


Botanical Name

Agaricus Arvensis

Meaning of Botanical Name

Arvensis means field which is where these mushrooms grow



Known Hazards

Can accumulate heavy metals such as copper

Could be confused with

Yellow Stainer, (Agaricus Xanthoderma) this mushroom stains quickly bright yellow when touched, cut or bruised, the horse mushroom stains slightly yellow and its a slow reaction, it also smells very unpleasantly of iodine whereas the horse mushroom smells of aniseed.

Click here for a full ID guide on Yellow Stainer Mushrooms

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Food Plant of

Humans, mammals, and many invertebrates and insects.

Range and Distribution

the Horse Mushroom is a common mushroom in Britain and Ireland as well mainland Europe and parts of Asia and North America, the Horse Mushroom has also been found in Australia as well as New Zealand


This is a saprophytic mushroom (meaning it lives on decaying organic matter) it loves well-manured pastures and grassland, often growing in rings.

Physical Characteristics for the Horse Mushroom


The cap is a creamy white colour, dome-shaped when young and flattening out with age.

© Salix / Wikimedia Commons


Gills start off pale salmon pink and turn dark chocolate brown and eventually black with age, they are crowded and free of the stem.

© Salix / Wikimedia Commons

Stem & Skirt

The stem has a double ring (skirt) which when still attached to the cap looks like a cogwheel pattern.
Flesh stains a pale yellow colour when bruised.


Strong Aniseed Smell


Dark Brown

Edible Use

Delicious edible mushroom, good for frying, stews, pate, etc.