: The Family of Button Mushrooms and More

Kingdom PhylumWe Are Family: Trying to classify life, here within the vast kingdom of plants, into distinct categories has been going on for centuries. Constant adjustment of one plant or another moving between categories has been going on since the beginning of taxonomy, and indeed right to this day because there are simply no hard rules for what belongs in a plant family. Often rankings are made because certain plants can hybridize with others (spearmint + water mint = peppermint, for example) or because they have similar physical systems (they reproduce the same way for example), but again there are no overarching rules.

Meet the Agaricaceae: Agaricacaceae seems to have no discernible etymology (word origin) but appears to be close to Latin words for field or farm and that makes it easier to recall because a good number of its members can be found in lawns or fields.

The family contains fungi with mushroom fruiting bodies as well as many fungi formerly placed in the family Lycoperdaceae. The taxonomy of the group has undergone recent revision and now contains about 85 genera and 1,340 species. The genus Agaricus, with more than 200 species, has several prominent members, including the edible meadow or field mushroom (A. campestris) and the cultivated white button mushroom (A. bisporus).

The inky caps (Coprinus) commonly grow in clumps at the sides of roads and at the base of old stumps. They are characterized by bullet-shaped caps, black spores (which make the gills appear black), and their habit of liquefying when mature, leaving an inky mass. The majority are edible, a few are somewhat poisonous, and some are mildly toxic only when alcoholic beverages are consumed with the mushrooms.

Puffballs produce spores internally in a spherical fruiting body. Lycoperdon is a genus of 50 species of small common puffballs. Calvatia contains about 35 species, including the giant puffball (C. gigantea), which can be as large as four feet across.

The Agaricaceae family contains well-known mushrooms, including:

Basil – Lamiaceae
MintLamiaceae mentha piperita (peppermint)
SageLamiaceae Salvia officinalis (garden sage)
Savory – Lamiaceae
Marjoram – Lamiaceae
Oregano – Lamiaceae
Lavender – Lamiaceae

The list above

For more see

Featured PictureAgaricus campestris, from Wikipedia (unattributed).