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Field Mushroom
Agaricus californicus

Field Mushroom, Agaricus californicusThe field mushroom is common in Southern California lawns. Most of the mushroom fungus is hidden under ground in the from of many wide spread, microscopically thin threads. The mushroom we see is the fruiting body which produces spores, and distributes them to the wind.

Field Mushroom, Agaricus californicusHere is the mushroom from a different angle.

Field Mushroom, Agaricus californicusThe gills start out pink then gradually turn brown, and finally almost black.  Note that the gills are free (not connected to the stem), and the ring where the edge of the cap was attached to the stem.

Field Mushroom, Agaricus californicusAlthough the mycelium (the tangled thread like body of the fungus) may continue growing in the soil for many years, we are not likely to see it. When mature, a dense mass of the threads forms below the surface. When conditions are right, wet and humid, the mass expands upward rapidly as a button.

Field Mushroom, Agaricus californicusSometimes mushrooms come up in tight corners and get squashed out of shape.

[Classification, Taxonomy]

[Fungi ] [Back Yard Biology ] [Science Can Be Fun ]