Agaricus Augustus ( The Prince )

Agaricus Augustus, Vancouver Island, BC
Agaricus Augustus, Vancouver Island, BC, photo by Bud Logan

Agaricus Augustus is one of my favorite edible fungi, it truly deserves the title Prince of Mushrooms! I  usually find it growing in small groups in forests of conifer trees and grasslands. The Prince is very easily recognizable from a distance but if you are ever in any doubt, give it a smell test, if it smells like bitter almonds, you have found one.

I have heard no reports of people becoming ill as a result of eating the prince. If you are eating one for the first time, please follow the rule when trying a mushroom for the first time. Start with a small portion to make sure that your body is not intolerant and wait 24 hours before eating more.

These mushrooms can get quite large with some reaching diameters of more than 30 cm. They also are prone to maggots when they get big.  I suggest that you look for smaller ones to eat. The flesh is much more firm in the young ones and far less chance of finding maggots. To see if they have maggots, you can place them in cold saltwater for a few hours, this will draw out the maggots if there are any. This is a beautiful mushroom that is quite delicious to eat, usually, one or two mushrooms are sufficient to make a meal.

The flesh is quite firm and white, although it may bruise yellow. The gills are crowded and will turn pink at first, then become a dark brown as they mature. Immature specimens bear a delicate white partial veil.

The stem can grow up to 20 cm tall, and be up to 6 cm thick. Mature specimens will lose the partial veil, and it will become a ring around the stem. The stem is white to faint yellow above the ring but is scaly below the ring.

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