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Field characters

Pileus: convex to planar, cleanly separates from the stipe.
Annulus: present
Stipe: usually quite long
Stature: Lepiotoid
Ecology: often on lawns

Micro characters

Basidiospores: smooth, without a germ pore, not metachromatic in cresyl blue, amyloid or inamyloid or dextrinoid
Hyphae: with or without clamp connections
Cystidia: cheilocystidia usually present, pleurocystidia usually absent
Spore Print: white
Lamellae: free, often leaving a distinct ring around the attachment of the stipe.
Lamellar Trama: regular
Pileipellis: various


In this area, these are most often large, attractive mushrooms, superficially resembling an Amanita, but without the volva.

Largent, 1986 does a nice job of distinguishing Lepiota from Macrolepiota. He notes that many authors do not recognize the latter. The differences are that Lepiota spores are not metachromatic in cresyl blue and have no germ pore, while in Macrolepiota both conditions exist. The annulus on Macrolepiota is also "slideable" up and down the stalk. So, get out the microscopes.

Some authors recognize another genus which has been split from Lepiota - Leucoagaricus, and L. naucina which is illustrated above is a member of that genus.

Are these differences sufficient to separate two genera? An example of why you hear the statement…"scientists disagree…"