The fruit body is a mushroom with a cap on a central stem. Caps and stems vary greatly in size and colour. The gills are white in almost all species (some have pale pink, yellowish or green gills).
The gills are free (none reach the stem). Around the top of the stem there is a circular furrow.
Few genera have free gills so it is a very informative feature.
Warning: When a mushroom starts drying, in those species without free gills the gills may tear away from the stem and appear free. Always be suspicious when you think you’ve seen free gills. Check carefully for signs of tearing, especially if the cap shows any signs of the wrinkling that comes with drying.
A partial veil that covers the gills in an immature mushroom may be present, the remnant left as a weak or well-developed ring of tissue around the stem of a mature mushroom.
All species have a universal veil (a membrane that envelopes the button stage). Traces may be left on the cap as random warts or patches or at the stem base as a volva. At one extreme, a volva is a well-developed cup around the base; at the other just a ring of tissue or scales around the base. Very few genera have a volva, so it is highly informative but often it is largely buried.
Spore print: white.
The mushrooms appear on the ground, near trees, in a many habitats.
Most species of Lepiota s.l., Macrolepiota and Chlorophyllum have free, white gills and white spores and all have a partial veil but lack the universal veil. These lepiotoid mushrooms usually have scaly caps, with the scales often of a colour different to that of the underlying flesh. The scales are not randomly scattered but are densely packed near the centre of the cap (giving a solid patch of colour there) and sparser and sparser as you move outward. Often this gives the appearance of concentric rings of scales.
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Amanita sp. has been recorded at: