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The parasol mushroom or giant parasol mushroom is one of the most impressive and largest agaric mushrooms in the local latitudes. It grows up to 50 centimeters high and reaches a diameter of about 40 centimeters. But can the parasol also be eaten or is it poisonous? What other types of mushrooms could it be confused with? In the following article, the mushroom is presented with its properties and identification features.

Other names

This type of mushroom is not only known as parasol mushroom or giant parasol mushroom. Mushroom connoisseurs have many names for the imposing mushroom. The Parasol is also called, among other things, as follows:

  • Common Giant Parakeet
  • Big Umbrella
  • giant parasol
  • drum beater
  • schoolmaster mushroom
  • schnitzel mushroom
  • Latin name: Macrolepiota Procera

Since the young mushroom is still keeping its hat closed, it is reminiscent of a drumbeater. As the fungus grows older, the hat opens and then resembles an umbrella. This is where the different names came from. Schnitzelpilz, on the other hand, is the name of this mushroom because its hat is usually prepared breaded like a schnitzel.


The Parasol Mushroom is a stately and large mushroom belonging to the Agaric genus. Its main features are the brownish large scales and the brown hump on its hat. The cuff below the hat is adjustable. The appearance of the fungus can be described as follows:

  • slender stem up to 50 cm high
  • two inches wide
  • hollow
  • thicker at the bottom, ending in a tuber
  • firmly planted in the ground
  • under the hat a leather-like ring
  • can be moved
  • Ring below brownish
  • lighter on top
  • about 40 cm wide hat

Sparse scales form on the epidermis of the hat. The parasol spreads a white spore powder.

Special features

Above all, the ring in the middle of the stem is a special feature to identify the parasol mushroom so that there is no confusion. Because the ring must be able to be moved. If it sticks firmly to the stem when touched, then it is usually not a giant umbrella and also not a parasol. If the mushroom is still young, the hat is closed, but this opens more and more with increasing age. Other special features of the Parasol are:

  • smells when touched
  • smells pleasantly nutty
  • Stem has white lamellae

risk of confusion

The parasol mushroom is mainly confused with other parasol mushrooms, since the mushrooms of this genus all look very similar. The saffron giant parasol in particular is very similar, but has a red sap when cut, which stains the cut point red. Thus, the two types of fungus can be easily distinguished. However, the saffron giant parasol is edible and is also often used in the kitchen. The parasol mushroom is also often confused with its following relatives:

  • Slim giant parasol
  • Olive-brown saffron parasol
  • pointed-scaled spiked parachutist
  • Poison Giant Umbrella Mushroom

Of these varieties, however, only the poisonous giant parasol mushroom is poisonous. The poisonous giant parasol mushroom can be recognized above all by its bad smell of sour compost. Here, poison usually manifests itself in complaints of the gastrointestinal tract. However, since the parasol mushroom exudes a pleasant smell, a mix-up should be recognized quickly. Although the pointed-scaled prickly parasol is non-toxic, it triggers an alcohol intolerance when consumed and is therefore inedible.

saffron parasol

Parasol mushroom poisonous?

The mushroom is slightly poisonous when raw is. It can cause discomfort when raw, but these are not classified as life-threatening in healthy people. However, this type of mushroom may only be consumed in boiled or fried form. When consumed raw, the following symptoms can occur:

  • upset stomach
  • also intestinal cramps
  • vomiting and nausea

But anyone who suffers from an innate predisposition should refrain from consuming the Parasol even when it has been boiled or fried. Because in such a case, an allergic reaction to the protein in the fungus occurs.


Among the edible mushrooms, this mushroom belongs to the delicacies. Depending on whether you enjoyed it young or old, it also offers different flavors. Only the large umbrella can be used in the kitchen, the stalk, on the other hand, is fibrous, tough and woody and therefore not edible. The taste of the Parasol can be described as follows:

  • nutty
  • slightly reminiscent of peanut butter
  • older mushroom loses sweet taste
  • pleasant smell
  • Meat tender and soft
  • slightly spongy
  • juicy

The hats of the parasol mushroom are usually pan-fried like a schnitzel, breaded or unbreaded. Old hats, on the other hand, are no longer recommended for consumption because they become dry and tough. The young hats are not washed before preparation, just cleaned with a damp cloth and then divided into large pieces.


If you want to look for the parasol mushroom yourself, you should look for sparse forests of coniferous or deciduous trees. Because between June and October, the parasol is mainly found in meadows near the forest or in clearings. Other locations are as follows:

  • at roadsides or roadsides
  • mainly on sandy, limestone or clay soils
  • appear individually
  • but also in groups

Source of toxicity:

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