meaning 'with green gills' - a reference to a species the genus was based upon. This species does not have this.
Overall: a medium to large mushroom with distinct chestnut scales, ring on the stem and very obvious bulbous base, found in gardens, herbaceous borders and greenhouses.
Flesh: white throughout but turns brown, orange or reddish when cut or damaged. This particular example went a brown colour but another specimen from the same collection went orange (as seen from the cut in the stem on the far right picture).
Stem: more or less equal all the way down until it suddenly forms a large bulbous base, which is often to one side of the stem (not always). White but discolours brownish.
Cap: mature specimens have a white or cream base to the cap with warm chestnut brown 'scales' with a 'woolly' feel to the whole cap. When starting off the cap is entirely brown and smooth.
Gills: white to cream sometimes with a brownish tinge to them, crowded. The gills are free from the stem and often have smaller gills in amongst the longer ones.
Note: young specimens start with the a noticable large bulbous base with the start of the cap resting on it, the cap is all brown at the start.
OVERALL: For many years the Brown Parasol was considered merely a subspecies of the commoner Shaggy Parasol (Chlorophyllum rhacodes) and perhaps for this reason, as well as the fact not many mainstream books illustrate it, it has gone under recorded. Often found in greenhouses and in gardens the Brown Parasol is probably commoner than the national fungi database suggests and once seen it is easy to see the differences between this species and the Shaggy Parasol.
HABITAT: Grows in gardens, lawns, mulched beds and greenhouses.
DISTRIBUTION: Most records come from the east and south of England, with scattered records elsewhere. It is Scarce but probably under-recorded or misidentified for the Shaggy Parasol (Chlorophyllum rhacodes).
SEASON: Summer to winter, our photos were taken in January as these specimens were found in a 'hot house'.
EDIBILITY: We always side with caution and whilst it is reported to be edible there are a number of reports of people suffering reactions to this species, for that reason we advise to consider it Inedible.
SMELL: Not distinctive.
SPORE PRINT: White.
SIMILAR SPECIES: The Shaggy Parasol (Chlorophyllum rhacodes) is very similar to this species, the main differences being in the ring on the stem, the Brown Parasol has a simple ring not a double-ring. The cap is more contrasted in the Brown Parasol, the 'scales' are a more chestnut colour against the white cap, where as the Shaggy Parasol is more grey/brown all over. The bulbous base to the stem in the Brown Parasol is very distinctive too.
SYNONYMS: Lepiota rhacodes var. hortensis Pilát, Macrolepiota rhacodes var. bohemica (Wichanský) Bellù & Lanzoni, Macrolepiota rhacodes var. hortensis Pilat, Lepiota rhacodes var. hortensis Pilát, Macrolepiota brunnea (Farl. & Burt) Wasser, Macrolepiota rhacodes var. hortensis (Pilát) Wasser
Note: when the stem is cut there is often a change from white to orange, red or brownish colour.