Rep. N.Y. St. Mus. 46: 105. 1893.
Common Name: none
Synonyms: Agaricus blazei Murrill; Psalliota subrufescens (Peck) Kauffman
Cap 6-13 cm broad, cylindrical in button stage, becoming convex, plano-convex at maturity; margin at first incurved, then decurved; surface covered with fine pale-brown, hazel-brown, pinkish-brown to greyish-tan scales, these concentrated at the disc; pileus bruising slowly or aging pale, tawny-brown; context 1.0-1.5 cm thick, whitish, soft, slowly becoming buff-colored; odor faintly of almonds or anise; taste strongly almond/anise-like.
Gills, free, close, pallid at first, then buff to pinkish-tan, eventually dark brown; gills up to 0.5 cm in width; lameullae in four to five series.
Stipe 6-12 cm long, 1.5-2.5 cm thick, equal to sub-bulbous or bulbous at the base with a thin, white, cottony to hollow pith at maturity; surface of apex glabrous, pallid, sometimes with a satiny sheen, the lower portion decorated with cottony white veil fragments when fresh, often lost in age, then merely fibrillose, at times or with age developing buff-brown, pinkish-tan, to occasionally rust-brown areas; veil two-layered, the universal veil more or less glabrous, whitish, with buff-colored patches near the the cap margin, the partial veil or under-layer, whitish, cottony to felt-like, forming a medial, sub-pendulous ring.
Spores 5.5-6.5 x 4.0-4.5 µ, smooth, broadly elliptical in face-view and profile, slightly inequilateral, hilar appendage not prominent; spore print dark brown.
Singly or in small groups in gardens and cultivated areas; fruiting during the summer months; rare.
Edible and good, especially in button stage; said to have medicinal qualities.
This garden dweller and probable introduced species is recognized by a finely scaled light-brown to greyish-tan cap that develops tawny stains with handling and age. It is related to members of the Agaricus arvensis group, i.e. A. augustus, A. arvensis, A. smithii, and A. perobscurus, which share its slow yellow bruising reaction and almond/anise odor and taste. Agaricus augustus is perhaps the most similar. The Prince, however, has a hazel-brown cap with coarser cap scales, a more pronounced almond/anise odor, a scalier stipe, and rarely occurs in cultivated settings. An Agaricus that sometimes is found in gardens, especially those amended with manure wastes is Agaricus bisporus. Unlike the familiar white grocery specimens, these mushroom farm escapes typically sport a pale brown cap with scales that are slightly coarser than those of Agaricus subrufescens, an intermediate or partially sheathing veil which produces an erect, not a pendulous annulus, and a bruising reaction that is either absent or slightly rufescent.
Kerrigan, R.W. (1986). The Agaricales (Gilled Fungi) of California. 6. Agaricaceae. Mad River Press: Eureka, CA. 62 p.
Kerrigan, R.W. (2005). Agaricus subrufescens, a cultivated edible and medicinal mushroom, and its synonyms. Mycologia 97(1): 12-24.
Kerrigan, R.W. (2016). Agaricus of North America. New York Botanical Garden: Bronx, NY. 574 p.
Sánchez, L.A.P. (2013). Agaricus L.; Allopsalliota Nauta & Bas; Part 2. Edizioni Candusso: Alassio, Italy. 1168 p.
Peck, C.H. (1893). Report of the State Botanist 1892. Ann. Rep. NY State Mus. 46: 85-174. (Protologue)