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

Agrocybe praecox group
spring agrocybe

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

Introduction to the Macrofungi

© Paul Dawson  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #88136)

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Distribution of Agrocybe praecox group
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Species Information

Features include a creamy to brownish or yellow brown cap that is smooth to cracked, pallid to light brown gills, whitish to brownish equal stem, thin membranous ring, farinaceous odor and taste, dark brown spore deposit, and growth in spring to early fall. There may be five species in this group in the Pacific Northwest, depending on how conservatively species are defined, and a dozen or so species around the world, (D. Miller, pers. comm.).

Agrocybe praecox is reported in Redhead(5) for BC. There are collections at the University of British Columbia for BC and at the University of Washington for WA, OR, ID, AK, CA, NY, and VA.
2-6(8)cm across, rarely up to 14cm across, convex becoming flat or retaining obtuse central umbo, margin incurved at first; ivory to cream, often pale ochraceous to pale buff toward center, ivory or pale cream when dry; "smooth or lightly wrinkled or even cracking especially on drying", margin at first with a few white floccules of veil, (Watling), 3-10cm across, "convex to broadly umbonate; pale cream to buff or clay"; soft, smooth, sometimes cracking when dry, (Phillips), 3-9cm across, obtuse to convex becoming flat, or sometimes with a low broad umbo; cream to light brown at first then yellowish brown when old; bald, soft to touch, sometimes areolate [cracked like dried mud], (Hermanson), margin sometimes hung with a few whitish veil remnants, (Breitenbach)
white in cap, grayish straw or buff in stem, (Watling), thin; white, (Phillips, Hermanson)
adnexed or adnate, with slight tooth, crowded, broad; "whitish to pale clay buff at first but soon umber or snuff brown", edges white; edges floccose, (Watling), "adnate, crowded; pallid then clay-brown", (Phillips), adnate to adnexed, close, broad; "pallid then light brown and finally dull dark brown", (Hermanson)
4-11.9cm x 0.6-1cm, slender, equal or usually swollen toward base, stuffed; whitish throughout or tinged fawn or color of cap especially when old; mealy-striate at top, fibrillose streaky in lower part, "frequently attached to white, thin mycelial cords", (Watling), 3-10cm x 0.4-1cm, "equal; pale buff below ring, with white rhizomorphs at base", (Phillips), 3-10cm x 0.4-1.2cm, equal; whitish to pallid becoming brownish, with white rhizomorphs at base, often pruinose at top, (Hermanson)
white membranous apical ring, drooping with age, (Watling), ring membranous, high, often torn; white, (Phillips), submembranous often as patches (appendiculate) on edge of cap margin, disappearing when old, (Hermanson)
pleasant (Watling), farinaceous-mealy (Phillips) farinaceous (Hermanson), mild to fungoid (Miller)
mealy (Watling), farinaceous-mealy (Phillips) farinaceous (Hermanson), often has a somewhat bitter taste (Trudell)
Microscopic spores:
spores 8.5-10 x 5-6 microns, elliptic in face view, slightly flattened on one side in side view, fulvous in water, hazel in alkali, germ pore large; basidia 4-spored, 25-30 x 6-7.5 microns, cylindric; pleurocystidia sparse, 45-65 x 15-20 microns, lageniform to fusiform, inflated below, head sometimes ampullaceous, cheilocystidia 20-30 x 10-15 microns, vesiculose to ventricose, colorless; cap cuticle "a hymeniform layer of subglobose, vesiculose to pyriform cells" 35-50 x 15-25 microns; stem cuticle "of parallel hyphae supporting vesiculose to lageniform cystidia at stem-apex"; veil of filamentous cylindric hyphae; clamp connections present, (Watling), spores 8-11 x 5-6 microns, truncate, (Phillips), spores 8-11 x 5-7 microns, truncate with apical germ pore; pleurocystidia present 38-50 x 10-18 microns, utriform, cheilocystidia similar, (Hermanson), spores 10-14 x 6.5-7.5 microns (Trudell)
Spore deposit:
snuff brown (Watling), dark brown (Phillips, Hermanson), dark rich brown (Miller)

Habitat / Range

"on the ground in grassy or bare places, margins of fields and woods", spring and summer, often cespitose [in tufts] or in small troops, (Watling for Britain), "in wood chips, humus, and grass, in fields and woodlands", May to July, (Phillips) cespitose [in tufts] to gregarious or scattered, on humus, chip dirt, lawns, fields, roadsides, open woods, spring to early fall, (Hermanson), "very common in newly landscaped areas containing mulch or wood chips", occurring in spring or early summer, (Trudell), spring, summer, fall

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Genetic information (NCBI Taxonomy Database)
Taxonomic Information from the World Flora Online
Index Fungorium
Taxonomic reference: in Annales des Sciences Naturelles. Series 7 & 9: 358. 1889

Additional Range and Status Information Links


no (Phillips), yes but taste often poor and variants have unknown edibility, (Arora)

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

Species References

Watling(1), Phillips(1)*, Miller(14)*, Hermanson(1), Lincoff(2)*, Schalkwijk-Barendsen(1)*, Courtecuisse(1)*, Bessette(2)*, Arora(1)*, Breitenbach(4)*, Trudell(4)*, Redhead(5), Siegel(2)*, Buczacki(1)*, Marrone(1)*

References for the fungi

General References