Almond Mushroom (Agaricus subrufescens) Identification

Almond Mushroom / Summer / Autumn / Edible

In the world of mushroom foraging, the Almond Mushroom (Agaricus subrufescens) is a fascinating species with its distinctive scent and bountiful growth. Whether you’re an aspiring mycologist or a nature enthusiast, learning to identify this delightful mushroom can be an exciting journey.

From its unique appearance to the unmistakable aroma reminiscent of marzipan, the Almond Mushroom offers a captivating introduction to the diverse world of fungi.

Join me as we delve into the key features and essential tips for recognizing this intriguing species in its natural habitat. Let’s embark on a captivating exploration of the enchanting world of the Almond Mushroom.

Scientific Name

Agaricus subrufescens 

Common Names

Almond Mushroom, Almond agaricus, Mushroom of the Sun, God’s mushroom, Mushroom of life, Royal Sun agaricus




They are saprotrophic and can be found in dense leaf litter or in woodchip.


This species is native to North America and was regarded as a choice edible and cultivated. It generally occurs in large groups and as the name suggests they smell of almonds.

Identifying Features of the Almond Mushroom:


The cap is hemispherical when young, later becoming more convex, with a diameter of 5-18 cm. The cap surface is covered with silk-like fibers, and as it ages it develops small scales. The colour of the cap is white to grayish with hints of red. They often split at the edge when they are older.

Alan Rockefeller, CC BY-SA 2.5 , via Wikimedia Commons


The stem is 6-15 cm tall, thick, and bulbous at the base. They often become hollow with age. There is a ring on the stem, that’s quite thick and its covering in cottony scales.

Wynand Uys, CC BY 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons


The free, narrow, and crowded gills start out whitish in colour, then later pinkish, and finally chocolate brown as the spores mature.

Free Gills


Pleasant almondy smell.



Uses of the Almond Mushroom

Cooking with Almond Mushrooms

The almond smell doesn’t transfer to taste unfortunately but they are still deliciously sweet and nutty. They’re like a more exciting version of the common shop bought Button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus)and work as a great replacement in any recipe called for them.


The younger specimens have a much nicer texture and are less likely to be infected with bugs.

Known hazards

No known hazards.

Potential lookalikes for the Almond Mushroom

As with all the Agaricus family the main risks are the toxic yellow stainer and the inky mushroom. The almond smell of the Almond mushroom will rule out both of these chemically smelling species.

An Introduction to Wild Agaricus Mushrooms

Extra Notes

The mushroom is used in Traditional Chinese medicine for its supposed anti-cancer properties and recent studies have been performed to confirm the mushroom’s therapeutic properties (Firenzuoli et al., 2008). Identification of novel immunomodulating bioactive compounds from the mushroom may also help in new treatments for patients suffering from cancer and immunodeficiency (Ohno et al., 2001).”

Interesting Facts About the Almond Mushroom

  1. Distinctive Almond Aroma: The Almond Mushroom, also known as Agaricus subrufescens, emits a delightful almond aroma, making it easily identifiable among other mushroom species. Its scent sets it apart from its relatives and contributes to its appeal as a choice edible mushroom.
  2. Warm Weather Mushroom: This species thrives in warm weather and can be grown in various settings, including garden compost, high tunnels, and greenhouses, making it a versatile choice for mushroom cultivation1.
  3. Abundant Growth: Almond Mushrooms are known for yielding mushrooms in abundance, especially during the warm months of summer. Their prolific growth makes them an attractive option for both amateur and commercial mushroom cultivators1.
  4. Easy to Cultivate: Unlike some of its cousins, such as the white button mushroom, crimini, and portabella, the Almond Mushroom is much easier to grow and does not require pasteurization, caves, or grow houses. This makes it accessible to gardeners and mushroom enthusiasts of varying skill levels
  5. Companion Planting: When grown alongside certain plants, the Almond Mushroom benefits from the CO2/O2 gas exchange and the humidity harnessed by the companion plants, creating a mutually beneficial environment for both the fungus and the plants1.
  6. Culinary Appeal: The Almond Mushroom is prized for its culinary value. Its unique almond flavor enhances its appeal, making it a delicious addition to various dishes. Its distinctive features, including a buff color, parchment-colored veil under each cap, and pink to chocolate-colored spores, contribute to its easy identification
  7. Native to North America: This species is native to North America and is regarded as a choice edible and cultivated mushroom. It occurs in large groups, unlike some related species, and is highly sought after for its culinary and aromatic qualities


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