The green-spore poison parasol mushroom (Chlorophyllum molybdites), also known as the “false parasol” or “green-spored parasol,” is commonly found in the southeastern United States, including Florida. It appears on “lawns, grassy areas, and open woods” and is more prevalent between April and November, when conditions are wetter.1
Chlorophyllum molybdites can be confused with some non-poisonous mushrooms, but it has a few distinguishing characteristics:
- Green gills (the underside of the mushroom cap) and a “large, whitish cap”
- A green spore that’s visible when the mushroom is placed gills-down on a piece of paper and covered with a dish for several hours
- A ring around the stem that may be white or brown1
These mushrooms also tend to grow in full or partial circles called “fairy rings.” This rings can start small (less than 1 ft. in diameter) and become larger (6 ft. or more) over time.2
This mushroom is toxic but not fatal. People who eat green-spore poison parasol mushroom usually experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fluid loss. Most people get better after a 24 hours, but severity and length of symptoms varies by person and by the amount of toxin consumed.
Children and pets are more at risk for becoming poisoned because they are smaller and more likely to eat something off a lawn. If you suspect mushroom poisoning, see a doctor or go to the emergency room.1
Getting Rid of Mushrooms on Your Lawn
Fairy rings can appear on any warm-season turfgrass. If you’re concerned about mushrooms on your lawn, you can use a lawn mower to destroy them. If you have children or pets, remove the mushrooms and throw them in the garbage.
Fungicides can also be used to control mushrooms. Learn more about fungicides for lawns in Homeowner’s Guide to Fungicides for Lawn and Landscape Disease Management.2
- Lisbeth Espinoza and Matthew E. Smith, The Green-Spore Poison Parasol Mushroom, Chlorophyllum molybdites, PP324, Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, 2016, https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pp324
- M. L. Elliott and P. F. Harmon, Fairy Rings, SS-PLP-7, Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, 2014, https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh046
Photo by Joseph O’Brien, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org, CC by 3.0 US