Agrocybe praecox
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Agaricales
Family: Strophariaceae (formerly Bolbitiaceae)
Genus: Agrocybe
Type species
Agrocybe praecox
(Pers.) Fayod

See text:

Agrocybe is a genus of mushrooms in the family Strophariaceae. Some species are poisonous. The genus has a widespread distribution, and contains about 100 species.[1]


Agrocybe aegerita growing on a poplar stump in Girona, Catalonia, Spain.

Mushroom cultivation began with the Romans and Greeks, who grew the small Agrocybe aegerita. The Romans believed that fungi fruited when lightning struck.[2] In Europe, toxic forms are not normally found, but Agrocybe molesta could be confused with poisonous white Agaricus species or with poisonous Amanita species.

The edible southern species Agrocybe aegerita is commonly known as the Poplar mushroom,[3] Chestnut mushroom or Velvet pioppino (Chinese: 茶樹菇). It is a white rot fungus and is a medium-sized agaric with a convex, almost flat, cap 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]

Agrocybe farinacea of Japan, a species closely related to Agrocybe putaminum,[5] has been reported to contain the hallucinogen psilocybin,[6] however there has been no recent chemical analysis carried out on this mushroom, nor any modern reports of psychoactivity.

Selected list of species

Agrocybe pediades spores

See also


  1. Kirk PM, Cannon PF, Minter DW, Stalpers JA (2008). Dictionary of the Fungi. (10th ed.). Wallingford: CABI. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-85199-826-8.
  2. Clifford A. Wright, Mediterranean vegetables: a cook's ABC of vegetables and their preparation, pg. 229, Harvard Common Press (2001), ISBN 1-55832-196-9
  3. 1 2 3 Mariano García Rollán, Cultivo de setas y trufas, pg. 167, MUNDI-PRENSA (2007), ISBN 84-8476-316-1 (Spanish)
  4. Jian-Jiang Zhong, Feng-Wu Bai, Wei Zhang, Biotechnology in China I: From Bioreaction to Bioseparation and Bioremediation, vol. 1, pag. 102, Springer (2009), ISBN 3-540-88414-9
  5. Rijksherbarium, Blumea: Supplement, vol. 4, pg. 142, Journal of Plant Taxonomy and Geography, Netherlands (1952)
  6. Jonathan Ott, Albert Hofmann, Pharmacotheon: Entheogenic Drugs, Their Plant Sources and History, pg. 313, Natural Products Company (1993), ISBN 0-9614234-9-8
  7. Hausknecht A, Krisai-Greilhuber I, Voglmayr H (2004). "Type studies in North American species of Bolbitiaceae belonging to the genera Conocybe and Pholiotina". Österreichische Zeitschrift für Pilzkunde. 13: 153–235 (see pp. 180, 212).

External links

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