Members of this family are small or medium
sized. Gills are free from the stem which is usually central. Spore prints
are pink to dull reddish.
This group shares all the common features of the family. The main thing to
note is that they lack the volva or cup at the base of the stem.
Found at Te Mata Trust park in Havelock North. In June, 2000. Growing on
rotting wood. Single Mushroom.
Cap: Light brown in colour covered in tiny brown velvety hairs or
scales which is more dense in the center, this forms a rather sticking
pattern on the cap surface, especially after rain. Convex in shape. 3-9cm in
Gills: Free from stalk, tan coloured but pinkish brown at maturity.
Spore print: Pinkish.
Stem: White in colour with some minute brown scales. 3-9cm high
Edibility: Edible, but I have not tried it!!
Found in Te Mata Trust Park in Havelock North. Appears to be growing from
ground but possibly from buried wood. In June, 2000.
Cap: Brown in colour, covered in darker brown fibrils or scales
forming a fascinating pattern which may be caused by the weathering of the
fibrils. About 3-5cm in diameter, flat to convex in shape.
Gills: Free from stalk, pinkish in colour .
Spore print: Pinkish
Stem: White to tan in colour. 5-7cm high and 3-6cm thick.
Unknown. (i.e. DON'T EAT IT!!)
This group differs from Pluteus in that a Volva or cup is present at the
foot of the stem. This group is thought to be related to Amanitaceae due to
the presence of the volva and the free gills.
Volvariella speciosa (Common Volvariella)
Found in both May and June, 2000. The one in the photograph was found in Te
Mata Trust Park in Havelock North, but I also have seen this mushroom
growing from a lawn in an orchard.
Cap: 5-15cm in diameter. White to tan in colour, smooth in texture
but sometimes has remnants of the universal veil on it's surface (see
picture). Darker coloured towards the centre.
Gills: Free from stalk, white at first but turning pinkish at
Spore print: Pinkish.
Stem: 5-20cm high and 1-3cm thick. Smooth and white. Slightly thicker
towards the base. Partial veil or ring absent. But has a prominent
volva or cup at the base as seen in the
Edibility: Edible, best when young. BUT
CAUTION: I call this mushroom the amanita look-alike. The amanita
are a group of mushrooms that are not edible and some are deadly poisonous.
There are two characteristics that differentiate this mushroom from
amanitas, the pink spore print, (white in amanita) and the absence of the
partial veil or ring around the stem, (present in amanita). Also make sure
to see the cup or volva before picking it from the ground.
Different people react
differently to different mushrooms.
NEVER eat a wild mushroom
without being 100% sure it is safe to do so.