Calocybe gambosa (St George’s mushroom)
St George’s mushroom
Widespread and fairly common in the UK, and not considered of conservation concern. Status regarded as IUCN category ‘least concern’ in Europe.
Found in grassy places, roadside verges and woodland edge.
About this species
St George’s mushroom is a distinctive species, one of the few larger fungi to appear regularly in spring. It is quite common in various grassy habitats and is a good edible fungus, recognised by the convex, whitish cap, the white, closely-spaced gills, and strong floury odour.
The fungus we refer to today as Calocybe gambosa has long been known and was first described by Linnaeus who, in his Species Plantarum published in 1753, named it Agaricus georgii, after St George. This name is not used today as the name Agaricus gambosus was applied by the great Swedish mycologist Elias Magnus Fries whose seminal work on fungi Systema Mycologicum, was published in 3 volumes from 1821-32. Names used by Fries take priority. The name Calocybe derives from the Greek kalos, meaning pretty, and cubos, head.