Distribution: Confined to the PNW, including northern California.
Habitat: Primarily in forest habitats on soil and leaf litter.
Conservation Status: Not of concern
Edibility: It may be edible, but most authors recommend caution with all stropharias.
It may be edible, but most authors recommend caution with all stropharias.
Stropharia ambigua is one of two common forest stropharias in the PNW and, when in prime condition, is one of the most elegant of mushrooms, rivaling amanitas. It is a medium to fairly large fungus, with a shiny yellowish brown to buff cap whose edge often is hung with white veil remnants. The veil also leaves shaggy scales on the stipe and, occasionally, a fragile ring. Several other stropharias, including S. riparia, S. semiglobata, and S. coronilla, are roughly the same color, but all are smaller, less statuesque, and occur in different habitats. Although it is known primarily from forest habitats (on soil and leaf litter), recently we have seen large fruitings in wood chips on the University of Washington campus.