Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Mushrooms in South Africa - Maree

"I am... a mushroom; On whom the dew of heaven drops now and then."

- John Ford

Field Mushroom - 3cm diameter - 4cm tall - watercolour in Moleskine Watercolour sketch-book

This mushroom popped through my lawn and is white with the most gorgeous pink underside and small indented warts on the cap. At the moment it is 1½" in diameter and about 1½" tall - still a baby I think.

After Googling mushrooms, I found that it is an edible field mushroom, (Agaricus campestris) which is related to the edible button mushrooms often used in cooking and salads.

At Gardening Eden, a nursery in South Africa, one can even buy mushrooms to plant in your garden!

Mushrooms belong neither to the animal nor plant kingdom, but form a phylum all on their own. This is due to the fact that unlike plants, fungi are unable to produce their own food through photosynthesis, as they lack chlorophyll, but resemble animals in their ability to draw their sustenance from animal and plant matter which is dissolved by enzymes and ingested.

Current estimates put the number of species in the fungal kingdom at approximately 1.5 million, in comparison with, for example, flowering plants at 250,000 species.

(Photo by Pamela Kaminski)

P.S.: I forgot to mention that I wouldn't even think of trying to eat it, just in case! There are many similar mushrooms which are deadly.


  1. I like your mushroom drawing but would suggest caution in assuming that it's A. campestris based on googling. In my area (Northern California) there are two Agaricus mushrooms that are easily confused with A. campestris, neither of which is edible. Where mushrooms are concerned, looks definitely aren't everything! Check out for more information.

  2. Thank you for the reminder Debbie! I did add a P.S. to that effect. I forgot to put that in this post, it is in the original post which appears on my blog, you can read it here -

    I have heard far too many mushroom stories to be taken in by a pretty, and that looks edible, mushroom on my lawn! Once again, thanks for the reminder!


We'd love to hear from you, your questions, comments, observations! Please feel free to comment, feedback is important to us.