Edible Mushrooms, Pacific Northwest
The Meadow Mushroom is a beautiful mushroom that is closely related to the cultivated button mushrooms that are sold in North American grocery stores. In most areas it is a fall mushroom and as its common name suggest, it comes up in meadows, fields, and grassy areas, usually after it rains.
It is easily recognized by its choice of habitat, its pinkish gills, which become chocolate brown as the mushroom matures, its quickly collapsing white ring, and the fact that it does not discolor when bruised.
Usually growing alone in meadows, fields, lawns, and grassy areas, but sometimes found in fairy rings. It grows in the late fall to early winter and is widely distributed and common in North America. The cap is up to 11 cm, rounded but occasionally nearly flat. It is whitish, smooth, glossy, fibrous to nearly woolly or scaly. The gills are not attached to the stem and are deep pink but turn dark chocolate brown in maturity and they are crowded. They are covered with a thin white partial veil when in the button stage. The stalk is up to 6 cm tall and up to 2.5 cm thick, more or less equal but sometimes tapering slightly at the base. There is a quickly collapsing white ring. The flesh is thick and white throughout and does not bruise yellow anywhere, even at the base of the stalk, but very rarely can discolor to a pinkish wine color in very wet weather. The spore print is dark chocolate brown.
The meadow mushroom both tastes and smells pleasant and is a choice edible mushroom. I have always enjoyed finding a meadow with these tasty guys growing in it, always nice to bring home for the pan.