Found in the Sub-tropics and Tropical regions, eaten largely in Asia. Correct identification will prevent a trip to the Crematorium. Collected between January and June, Sunshine Coast Qld . Recently found them as far South as Coffs Harbour. After the gills have turned pink it is then essential to make a spore print ensuring you have the correct species. The closely related species Volvariella speciosa (now moved to another Genus under the name Volvopluteus gloiocephalus) is more common in Temperate regions and has been mistaken in Canberra for Amanita phalloides resulting in death. If one is not confidently adept with Amanita identification it is best to avoid this species.
At the young stage it is difficult to differentiate between Poisonous possibly Fatal Amanita’s and edible Volvariella’s. Both species have universal veil covering (forming from an egg) and a volva (the lower half of the egg splits forming a cup around the base). The spores are transported with the movement of cow manure as you can see in the below picture.
Patience and observation reveals pink gills.
The above picture shows young and mature Volvariella -pink gills, no ring and no striations on the cap margin. There is a light pink gilled Amanita of unknown Toxicology in Queensland, it has a ring though these can fall off, it has striations on the cap margin. Found under Casuarina trees in parks and gardens. Click on the image, use the magnifying glass to look at the striations.
This mushroom is commonly cultivated throughout Asia. There is potentially an untapped market in Australia as we can only buy Volvariella canned as young mushrooms in brine imported from Asia, sold in all major supermarkets of Australia. You have probably already enjoyed this mushroom without knowing.
Various stages, showing pale gills when young and pink at maturity. White gilled Lepiota’s of unknown Toxicology also inhabit woodchip piles at the same time SE, Qld.
Large hand sized mature caps with pink gills. At this stage and size the only look-alikes with pink gills inhabiting large woodchip piles of over 3 cubic meters are members of Agaricus or Pluteus which neither have a volva.