E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Volvariella volvacea (Fr.) Singer
paddy straw mushroom
Pluteaceae

Species account author: Ian Gibson.
Extracted from Matchmaker: Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest.

Introduction to the Macrofungi
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Distribution of Volvariella volvacea
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Species Information

Summary:
features include velvety cap with dark brown or blackish brown radial streaks on a whitish background, free white gills, white innately fibrillose stem, membranous volva that is brown or dark brownish gray on whitish background, growth in greenhouses, in gardens, on sawdust, or on other vegetable residue, and pinkish spore deposit; a commonly eaten mushroom in Asia, BC specimens in compost heaps at two locations are probably a result of research into whether it would grow in BC, collections from BC deposited at University of British Columbia, Shaffer examined collections from ON, DC, FL, MA, NY, OH, MI, Bermuda, Monoson et al. examined collection from IL
Cap:
5-10cm across, ovoid when young, expanding to bell-shaped or convex, at times subumbonate [somewhat umbonate] or depressed on disc; "fuliginous to grayish brown, blackish brown on disc"; "dry, virgate with dark fibrils", often radially rimose [cracked], margin not striate, (Shaffer), 4-10cm across, ovoid then bell-shaped - conic, eventually flattened; "first blackish, which persists in mature fungi at disc, then with dark brown or blackish brown bars on a whitish or silvery white background"; velvety, (Lincoff)
Flesh:
0.3-0.5cm thick on disc, tapering more or less evenly to cap margin, soft; white, tinged with cap color beneath cap surface or not, (Shaffer), soft; white; slightly fibrous in stem, (Lincoff)
Gills:
free, close, broad; white when young, becoming deep flesh-color; edges fimbriate [fringed], (Shaffer), free; white then pinkish (Lincoff)
Stem:
4.5-14cm x 0.3-2cm, more or less equal in upper part or enlarging slightly to somewhat bulbous base, round in cross-section, stuffed becoming hollow; off-white to dull brown; innately fibrillose, (Shaffer), 5-12cm long and about 1cm wide, hollow when mature; white; hairy, (Lincoff), VOLVA "large, with margin free and irregularly lobed, membranaceous, floccose, brownish", (Shaffer), "membranous, brown or dark brownish gray externally (at least in part), whitish background, uniformly felt-like", (Lincoff), [presumably sac-like]
Veil:
universal veil forming volva
Odor:
meaty-aromatic (Shaffer), very slightly earthy (Lincoff)
Taste:
mild (Shaffer, Lincoff)
Microscopic spores:
spores 6.9-10.4 x 4.6-7 microns, oval to ovoid [sic], occasionally obovoid; basidia 4-spored, 20-44 x 7-11 microns, clavate; pleurocystidia common to abundant, 35-113 x 8-36 microns, subcylindric, "fusoid-ventricose and then at times with the neck very short or elongate and enlarged at apex", "occasionally dumbbell-shaped, lanceoloid, or clavate, rarely fusoid", cheilocystidia abundant, 23-107 x 8-29 microns, "usually fusoid-ventricose and then at times with the neck elongate or enlarged at the apex, clavate with the apex acute or obtuse and rarely with a small knob, or lanceoloid"; cap cuticle non-gelatinous, of hyphae 3-28 microns wide; clamp connections absent, (Shaffer), spores 7-9 x 5-6 microns, elliptic, smooth, (Lincoff), [spores with presumably thickened wall, presumably inamyloid; gill tissue presumably convergent]
Spore deposit:
pink (Lincoff)

Habitat / Range

single to gregarious on soil or compost piles, reported in hothouses and cellars, (Shaffer), in loam in greenhouses or gardens, on sawdust or other vegetable residue, in areas where field mushrooms cultivated; spring to fall, with heat all year, (Lincoff), spring, summer, fall, winter

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Range and Status Information Links

Edibility

good when young (Lincoff)

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

Species References

Shaffer(3), Lincoff(1)*, Monoson(1), Buczacki(1)*

References for the fungi

General References