Identify St Georges Mushroom

St George’s Mushroom/Spring/Edible

Common names
St George’s Mushroom

Botanical name
Calocybe gambosa

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

Season
Spring

Scientific Classification:Division: Basidiomycota, Class: Agaricomycetes, Order: Agaricales, Family: Lyophyllaceae, Genus: Calocybe, Species: Gambosa

Known harzard
None known

Could be confused with
The Deadly Fibrecap (Inocybe erubescens), but the gills of this bruise red and it does not smell mealy

Food of
The larvae of several species of fly

Range and distribution
Western Europe

Habitat
Grassland, the edge of woodland, hedgerows

Physical characteristics
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

Edible use
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

Herbal
Some evidence of antifungal properties is being researched currently.
 If you have a medical complaint, please see your doctor

Miscellaneous
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

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