Campus will soon be filled with students, but first every fall begins with UW Madison campus filled with big parasol mushrooms! These charismatic fungi are saprotrophs and seem to be particularly fond of highly disturbed areas like new mulch. My inclination is to call these mushrooms Macrolepiota, though there is an active call by Mushroom Expert to help describe this genus in North America as we don’t know much about them! Without knowing their spore shape/color or other fine characteristics, these could also be considered Lepiota or Leucoagaricus. Or who knows, with DNA sequencing, we may find that these three genera are all describing the same fungi! Happy Fungal Friday!
Below, please enjoy the progression of a mushroom over TWO days from closed-cap light beige to open-cap light beige to dark-brown-mature mushroom with cap fragmentation.