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Volvariella volvacea (also known as straw mushroom or paddy straw mushroom; syn. Volvaria volvacea, Agaricus volvaceus, Amanita virgata, Vaginata virgata) is a species of edible mushroom cultivated throughout East and Southeast Asia and used extensively in Asian cuisines. In Chinese, they are called cǎogū (草菇, lit. “straw mushroom”),[1], in Thai they are called hed fang (เห็ดฟาง), and in Vietnamese they are called nấm rơm.

They are often available fresh in Asia, but are more frequently found in canned or dried form outside their nations of cultivation.

Straw mushrooms are grown on rice straw beds and picked immature, during the button or egg phase and before the veil ruptures.[2] They are adaptable and take 4-5 days to mature, and are most successfully grown in subtropical climates with high annual rainfall. There is no record of their cultivation before the 19th century.[1]

They resemble poisonous death caps, but can be distinguished by their pink spore print; the spore print is white for death caps. Despite this fact, many people, especially immigrants from South East Asia where the mushroom is common place, have been poisoned making this mistake.[3]

Written on February 10th, 2012 , Botany, Mycology Tags:

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