Cuphophyllus pratensis : Meadow Waxcap Mushroom
was only identified under the genus Cuphophyllus as of 2013. However, this mushroom has a few synonyms that it might be classified under such as Hygrophorus pratensis, Camarophyllus pratensis, or Hygrocybe pratensis.
Also See Similar:
Agaricus campestris (Meadow Mushroom)
Kingdom : Fungi
Division : Basidiomycota
Class : Agaricomycetes
Order : Agaricales
Family : Hygrophoraceae
Genus : Cuphophyllus
Species : Cuphophyllus pratensis : Meadow Waxcap Mushroom
Where to Find This Mushroom in the Wild?
Cuphophyllus pratensis can be found in similar areas as the Meadow Mushroom, Agaricus campestris. Check your open fields with lots of grass, or even your own front yard which is where we found a bunch of these and Agaricus campestris growing heavily in a grassy area. Important to note a large amount of blue spruce pines running alongside the grass.
Description of the Mushroom
Cap: Convex at a younger age and flattening out over time. Cream color to light tanish hues. Can be more orange tinted too. Cap between 1 - 2.5 inches. Wax feeling when wet.
Stem / Stipe: bare and cream to white in color. Even thickness throughout entire length.
Gills: Gills are whitish to cream color getting more yellow with age.
Hymenium: adnate to decurrent with age
Spore Print: white
Ecology: distributed across North America and parts of Europe. Located in plenty of open grass fields and pastures. Located primarily near coniferous trees / open grass areas here in Michigan.
Edibility: Yes, enjoyed by a few people if cooked properly. Have not tried these myself.
Cuphophyllus is the most updated Genus classification was based on molecular research, cladistic analysis of DNA sequences, indicated that the genus has one common ancestor which is enough to distinguish it for classification.
Also, the below link is quite interesting showcasing that there may be a new genus called Spodocybe
Edibility / Recipes
On a Europe-wide scale most waxcap fungi are now quite rare, and so although in western Britain many of the acid-soil species are still plentiful most mycologists deplore the suggestion of these lovely fungi being gathered to eat. Nevertheless, the Meadow Waxcap is quite well known as an edible mushroom, and in areas where there are enough of these fruitbodies to make collecting them worthwhile there are a few fungiphages who rate them very highly indeed.
Being fleshy and containing plenty of moisture (the latter a characteristic of waxcaps), Meadow Waxcaps can be fried in their own juices. Simply drop them into a hot pan with a bit of salt and pepper; there is no need to add fat or oil. When young and fresh the texture is firm, and so these wild mushrooms are good served with either meat or fish dishes.
One other plus point for this grassland mushroom (in its var pratensis form shown immediately above, of course, not the very rare var. pallida) is that it is difficult to confuse it with any of the poisonous gilled fungi that you are likely to find well away from trees.