St George’s Mushroom/Spring/Edible
St George’s Mushroom
Meaning of botanical name
From the ancient Greek words kalos “pretty” and cubos “head”, and the Latin gambosus, meaning “club footed”. The species name is a reference to the often one-sided bulbousness of the stem base
Scientific Classification:Division: Basidiomycota, Class: Agaricomycetes, Order: Agaricales, Family: Lyophyllaceae, Genus: Calocybe, Species: Gambosa
Could be confused with
The Deadly Fibrecap (Inocybe erubescens), but the gills of this bruise red and it does not smell mealy
The larvae of several species of fly
Range and distribution
Grassland, the edge of woodland, hedgerows
A stout white-capped mushroom, with white gills. The cap grows to 5-15cm and often turns buff with age. It has no ring on the stem and is often found growing in rings. It can be found growing in tight clusters and partial rings.
The gills are very narrow compared to the fleshy cap and the mushroom has a strong mealy/wet dough scent.
This mushroom fruits a few weeks before to a few weeks after St George’s Day, 23 April; thus its common name
One of the few mushrooms that can be eaten raw. St George’s Mushrooms can also be pickled. However, the most popular method to eat them is fried in butter. Cooking can remove some of the mealy odour/flavour. Also a good mushroom for dehydrating, as well as using in stocks
Some evidence of antifungal properties is being researched currently.
If you have a medical complaint, please see your doctor
Be aware of traffic-related toxins in the soil if collecting from roadside
Tips and Observations
Look out for rings of lush grass throughout the year and check them in April to May