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Agrocybe, including edible fungi such as the Agrocybe cylindracea, is a genus of mushroom with similar characteristics to the Tricholoma matsutake, Agrocybe aegerita and Agrocybe parasitica. Some are poisonous mushrooms. The genus has a widespread distribution, and contains about 100 species.[1] The edible mushrooms species are not easy to identify and it is safer to avoid the entire genus when mushroom hunting for consumption.






Mushroom cultivation began with the Romans and Greeks, who grew the small Agrocybe aegerita. The Romans, who wrote that fungi were thought to arise when lightning struck, collected truffles.[2] In Europe, toxic forms are not normally found, but the Agrocybe molesta is easily confused with Agaricus (white mushrooms) or with seriously poisonous forms of Amanita.

The edible southern species Agrocybe aegerita, also called Agrocybe cylindracea or Pholiota aegerita,[3] is commonly known as Poplar mushroom,[3] Chestnut mushroom or Velvet pioppino (Chinese: 茶樹菇). It belongs to the white rot fungi and is a medium-sized agaric having a very open and convex cap, almost flat, of 3 to 10 cm in diameter. Underneath, it has numerous whitish radial plates adherent to the foot, later turning to a brownish-gray color, and light elliptic spores of 8-11 by 5-7 micrometres. The white fiber foot is generally curved, having a membraneous ring on the top part which promptly turns to tobacco color due to the falling spores.[3] When very young, its color may be reddish-brown and later turn to a light brown color, more ocher toward the center and whiter around its border. It grows in tufts on logs and holes in the poplars, and other trees of large leaves[3] It is cultivated and sold in Japan, Korea, Australia and China. It is an important valuable source possessing varieties of bioactive secondary metabolites such as indole derivatives with free radical scavenging activity, cylindan with anticancer activity, and also agrocybenine with antifungal activity.[4]

The Agrocybe farinacea, whose species is closely related to the Agrocybe putaminum,[5] is a species of mushroom in the Strophariaceae family. It grows in Japan and contains the hallucinogen psilocybin.[6]

Written on February 14th, 2012 , Botany, Mycology Tags:

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