Sunday, 6 October 2013

Whats the difference between Chlorophyllum rhacodes and Chlorophyllum molybdites?

One is a poisonous mushroom the other is a common and tasty mushroom, but which is which?

Chlorophyllum rhacodes, commonly known as the shaggy parasol is a common edible mushroom mainly found in Europe.

Chlorophyllum rhacodes - Shaggy Parasol
Its pretty common and can be readily identified:

  • The most distinct characteristic is size, these mushrooms can be up to a foot tall, and there parasol top is huge.
  • Secondly, the distinctive cap. Its "shaggy" appearance comes from flaked dark skin on the top of the mushroom exposing a lighter colour underneath.
  • Thirdly, they have brown spores, NOT green which will become important later on in this article.
These mushrooms a deemed safe for new mycologists in Europe as the main mushroom that can be confused which is poisonous only occurs in the US, although there has been one report in a greenhouse in Scotland. This is Chlorophyllum molybdites, (or false parasol) the most commonly consumed poisonous mushroom in temperate areas of North America. The main difference is the development of green spores after a spore print and a greenish hue to the colour of the cap.

Chlorophyllum molybdites - False Parasol
The above picture is the only one we could find of the False Parasol, however it looks almost indistinguishable. Therefore, if you pick a parasol in EU or US, best to do a spore print to look for the development of green spores.


  1. Hello - I have shaggy parasol growing in my yard (grass, in the city) in the Denver, CO area. They are wonderful. An additional identifier for edible shaggy parasol is that they bruise orange when cut or damaged. Among the other identifiers, I look for that as well. I once saw some "parasols" that I thought might be edible. I did a spore print only to find the poisonous green spore print results. Threw them away.Be safe! :-)

  2. Vila Nova de Cerveira, Portugal.
    Eat some specimens that I took to be parasol last night and vomited a few hours later. I chose smaller ones that had not yet opened so identification would have been difficult.

  3. This states that Chlorophyllum rhacodes has brown spores. Whoops! White spores.