The Shaggy Parasol (the common name for three closely related species of mushroom: Chlorophyllum rhacodes, C. olivieri and C. brunneum, found in North America, Europe, and Southern Africa) is a large and conspicuous agaric, with thick brown scales and protuberances on its fleshy white cap. The gills and spore print are both white in color. Its stipe is slender, but bulbous at the base, is colored uniformly and bears no patterns. It is fleshy, and a reddish or maroon discoloration occurs and a pungent odor is evolved when it is cut. The egg-shaped caps become wider and flatter as they mature. A mature cap can measure 7" across.
Shaggy Parasols dehydrate easily, and are delicious in a variety of recipes.
Mushroom Obsession has cultivated a patch of annually recurring C. rhacodes in decaying Bigleaf Maple leaves and Douglas Fir pine needles in the forest at our home (called "Shortsinwoods") in the Pacific Northwest. As with most mushrooms, the primary body of the organism is a network of mycelium spread throughout the maple leaf patch, which we feed each fall when the leaves fall, and which we have been cultivating for the past five years.
For a limited time we are offering a live sample of C. rhacodes to those who would like to "seed" their own Shaggy Parasol patches. You will need to live in a moist climate supportive of such growth, with access to the Bigleaf Maple or similar tree leaves that C. rhacodes uses as fuel.
The product shipped includes samples of decaying maple leaf with the live C. rhacodes culture (mycelium) for cultivation for $14.95, plus instructions. You will need to seed the sample into your own moist medium, preferably decaying Bigleaf Maple leaves, and wait at least one season (until the next Fall) to determine whether the organism (left undisturbed) has taken hold.
We offer a full money-back guarantee (minus the cost of shipping) if no Shaggy Parasols are produced within 12 months.
These cultures are NOT guaranteed to be free of the spores of other locally occurring mushrooms, so you will need to be careful to identify any mushrooms that occur carefully to ensure they are C. rhacodes, C. olivieri or C. brunneum (all are quite similar and considered edible by most, though some people may be sensitive to toxins which can cause gastric upset when eaten raw or undercooked, and a few individuals may show an allergic response even after cooking). Always be 100% sure of a wild mushroom identification before consuming it! MushroomObsession.com cannot be held liable for death or injury caused by mushroom misidentification.
We recommend first trying a small sample of properly identified C. rhacodes (thoroughly cooked) to ensure you are not in the minority who are allergic.
Additionally, a toxic species very similar in appearance to Shaggy Parasols, Chlorophyllum molybdites, should not be confused with Shaggy Parasols. A spore print is the best way to tell the two apart, so we do recommend spore printing mushrooms produced from any culture of Shaggy Parasols. If the spores are greenish in color (rather than white, as Shaggy Parasols exhibit), the mushroom should be discarded. C. molybdites is the organism the causes the majority of mushroom poisonings in North America each year, so caution is warranted. If in doubt, throw it out!