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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.


Group: Pluteus

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.


Pluteus Umbrosis

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 diameter.

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 and4-12mm thick.

Edibility: Edible, but I have not tried it!!












Pluteas Velutinornatus

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.


Edibility: Unknown. (i.e. DON'T EAT IT!!)

















Group: Volvariella

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 maturity.

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 pictures.

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.



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Last Update

 7 Feb 2007


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