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Macrolepiota procera or Parasol Mushroom is a fungus with large and prominent fruiting body which resembling a lady's parasol. It is a popular fungus in Europe, mostly due to its large size, seasonal frequency and versatility in the kitchen.
The cap and the stipe of a mature specimen may reach an impressive height of 40 cm each. The bare, scaly and thin stipe will grow to its full height before the cap expands. The stipe is very fibrous in texture which renders it inedible. The immature cap is compact and egg-shaped, with the cap margin around the stipe, sealing a chamber inside the cap. As the mushroom matures, the margin breaks off, leaving a fleshy, movable ring around the stipe. The cap is flat during maturity, with a chocolate-brown umbo in the center that is leathery to touch. Dark flakes on the surface of the cap can be removed easily.
Macrolepiota procera is a fairly common mushroom grown on well-drained soils in temperate regions of the world. It is found solitary or in groups in pastures and woodlands. It may be eaten raw and is popular soaked in butter, and only the cap of fresh specimens is considered edible.
Only pick parasol mushrooms which are past their button stage. This is to avoid picking the immature specimens of poisonous Amanita species. One must remember the difference between the two species, parasol mushroom has darker flakes on lighter surface, whereas amanita species have lighter flakes on darker surface, such as the Panther Cap.