Tricholoma album: The Ultimate Mushroom Guide
About The Tricholoma album Mushroom
Tricholoma album is a white mushroom of the large genus Tricholoma. The cap and gills are white. The whitish stipe has no ring.
It is found across Europe, the fruit bodies appearing between August and December, in association with oak (Quercus) trees, with which they form a mycorrhizal relationship. Experiments have demonstrated that inoculating blue pine (Pinus wallichiana) and deodar (Cedrus deodara) seedlings with the fungus increase plant height and shoot and root biomass. The mushroom can be encountered growing in sizeable fairy rings. The presence of the mushroom in North America has not been confirmed. It has been reported from India in 2010.
Other names: White Knight, Witte ridderzwam (Dutch), Tricholma blanc (French), Baltasis baltikas (Italian), Gąska biała (Polish).
Tricholoma album Identification
3-10 cm diameter, initially conical to campanulate with subinvolute margin, later convex or flattened with small umbo, with deflexed then straight margin, white to pale yellow tinge, often with the ochre-yellow center when mature; smooth, glabrous, dry; flesh white and thick.
Emarginate, distant, crowded, irregularly segmentiform to ventricose, 4-11 mm broad, entire lamellae and short lamellulae of unequal width, white to pale yellowish with coarsely serrulate edge.
3-6 cm tall x 8-15 mm thick, cylindrical, tapering towards base, white to pale brownish yellow, then with yellowish spots, staining brownish when handled, glabrous to minutely granular-floccose at apex, felted sub-fibrillose to fibrillose in the lower part, at base sometimes with white mycelial strands with an ovate-bulbous base, short; flesh white, stuffed or full.
Odor and Taste
Odor strong, a combination of soap or honey, and radish. Taste farinaceous at first, then sharp or bitter.
Ellipsoid to oblong with a hilar appendage, hyaline, smooth, 5.5-6.5 x 3.5-4.5 µm.
In groups, ectomycorrhizal, mainly on Quercus on sandy and loamy soils; widespread, not common; late summer to autumn.
Tricholoma stiparophyllum is very similar in macroscopic characteristics, but with a strong and unpleasant sickly-sweet odor; there are also small differences in the microscopic characters of these two mushrooms, which some authorities currently treat as the same species.
Tricholoma album Taxonomy & Etymology
When Jacob Christian Schaeffer described this woodland mushroom in 1770 he gave it the binomial scientific name Agaricus albus.
A century later, in 1871, German mycologist Paul Kummer renamed this species Tricholoma album, which is the name by which mycologists generally refer to it nowadays.
Synonyms of Tricholoma album include Agaricus albus Schaeff., and Tricholoma raphanicum P. Karst.
Tricholoma was established as a genus by the great Swedish mycologist Elias Magnus Fries. The generic name comes from Greek words meaning 'hairy fringe', and it must be one of the least appropriate mycological genus names because very few species within this genus have hairy or even shaggily scaly cap margins that would justify the descriptive term.
The specific epithet album is not at all difficult to unscramble: it means white.
Tricholoma album Medicinal Properties
Antitumor effects. Polysaccharides extracted from the mycelial culture of T. album and administered intraperitoneally into white mice at a dosage of 300 mg/kg inhibited the growth of Sarcoma 180 and Ehrlich solid cancers by 80% and 90%, respectively (Ohtsuka et al., 1973).
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