Large, reddish brown mushroom with scaly cap and ring on stalk; bruises dark red. Single or in clusters on mulch or dead wood. June–October. Cap convex to flat, with a definite knob in the center; whitish with pinkish scales when young, ages reddish brown; bruises dark red; flesh white, bruising yellowish orange when young, red with handling or with age; texture scaly. Gills broad; spacing close; white, turning reddish; attachment free. Stalk widening toward the middle, then tapering toward the bottom; white at first, staining reddish brown with handling or age; texture smooth; has a ring. Partial veil leaving a white, skirtlike ring on the upper stalk. Spore print white. Spores magnified are elliptical, smooth, colorless, with a pore at the tip.
Lookalikes: Green-spored lepiota (Chlorophyllum molybdites) has white gills that turn grayish or greenish, green spores, and it does not bruise red. Parasol (Macrolepiota procera) does not bruise red and has a scaly stalk.
Habitat and Conservation
Mushrooms are a lot like plants, but they lack chlorophyll and have to take nutrients from other materials. Mushrooms are neither plants nor animals. They are in a different kingdom — the fungi. Fungi include the familiar mushroom-forming species, plus the yeasts, molds, smuts, and rusts.
Always be cautious when eating edible mushrooms. Be absolutely sure of the ID, and only eat a small amount the first time you try it to avoid a reaction..