Scientific Name : Agaricus bisporus
Tamil Name : Button kaalan
Description: The pileus or cap of the original wild species is a pale grey-brown in color, with broad, flat scales on a paler background and fading toward the margins. It is hemispherical in shape before flattening out with maturity: The narrow, crowded gills are free and initially pink, then red-brown and finally a dark brown with a whitish edge
Distribution and status: The white button mushroom is very popular throughout the world and is the most important mushroom of commercial significance in India
Habitat : White button mushroom is an edible mushroom native to grasslands in Europe and North America This mushroom is commonly found worldwide in fields and grassy areas following rain, from late spring through to autumn. It grows especially in association with manure.
Habit: White button mushroom is a saprophyte that survives on decayed matter. The narrow, crowded gills are free and initially pink, then red-brown and finally a dark brown with a whitish edge. The firm flesh is white although stains a pale pinkish-red on bruising. The common grocery store form of mushroom is completely white, but in recent years the mushroom industry has developed brown strains of the species,
Food: As it is a saprophyte it grows in organic matter thereby absorbing nutrients from the soil. The spores emerges from the habitat during the rainy season.
Life cycle: Spores are released after the rainy season which falls on suitable soil to grow into mature adults. Spores germinate to mature individuals in a short period of 20 days.
Role in the environment: Button mushrooms are used as food. It has been successfully cultivated in places where the environmental conditions are favorable but it is cultivated in North India in winter seasons due to the favorable conditions. The substrate for cultivation is specially prepared compost (Paddy straw). Spawn and compost are filled in the polythene bags in layers one after the other and holes are made in the polythene bags so that mushrooms can grow..The mushrooms are harvested when mature.