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Agaricus subrufescens

Agaricus subrufescens

Agaricus subrufescens
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Subkingdom: Dikarya
Phylum: Basidiomycota
Subphylum: Agaricomycotina
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Agaricales
Family: Agaricaceae
Genus: Agaricus
Species: A. subrufescens
Binomial name
Agaricus subrufescens

Agaricus blazei Heinemann

Agaricus subrufescens
mycological characteristics:
gills on hymenium

cap is convex


hymenium is free


stipe has a ring


spore print is brown


ecology is saprophytic


edibility: edible

Agaricus subrufescens (formerly known as Agaricus blazei) is a species of mushroom, sometimes known as himematsutake and by a number of other names. This Agaricus is a choice edible, with a somewhat sweet taste and fragrance of almonds. The almond flavor is due to the presence of benzaldehyde, benzyl alcohol, benzonitrile, and methyl benzoate (Chen and Wu 1987). This mushroom is also well known for its purported medicinal properties.


Agaricus subrufescens was first described by the American botanist Charles Horton Peck in 1893. During the late 19th and early 20th century, it was cultivated for the table in the eastern United States (Kerrigan 2005).

It was discovered again in Brazil during the 1970s, and thought to be a new species, Agaricus blazei. It was soon marketed for its purported medicinal properties under various names, including:

  • ABM (for Agaricus blazei mushroom)
  • Cogumelo do Sol (mushroom of the sun)
  • Cogumelo de Deus (mushroom of God)
  • Cogumelo de Vida (mushroom of life)
  • Himematsutake
  • Royal Sun Agaricus
  • Mandelpilz
  • Almond Mushroom

In 2002, Didukh and Wasser rejected the name A. blazei and called the Brazilian fungi Agaricus brasiliensis; this was rejected when Kerrigan (2005) performed genetic and interfertility testing on several fungal strains. Samples of the Brazilian strains called A. blazei and A. braziliensis proved to be genetically similar to, and interfertile with, the North American population of Agaricus subrufescens. These tests also found European samples called A. rufotegulis to be of the same species. Because Agaricus subrufescensis the oldest name, it is traditionally considered the scientifically, historically correct name.

Commercial use

Because of its high beta glucan content – higher than both Reishi and Shiitake mushrooms – Agaricus subrufescens is used in oncological therapy, mainly in Japan and California. It has been commercially cultivated in Asia and South America since 1993. Because of this valuable polysaccharide, and lack of supply, Agaricus blazei used to be relatively expensive, until it was successfully artificially cultivated in mushroom farms. China(Maucua) and Brazil are major exporters.

Agaricus blazei mushroom specifically assists in the production of interferon and interleukin, which are potent in fighting off cancer cell metastasis, especially cancer of the uterus. It also reduces blood glucose, blood pressure, cholesterol levels and the effects of arteriosclerosis.

ABM is known to contain three different beta-glucans – beta-(1-3)-D-glucan, beta-(1-4)-a -D-glucan, and beta-(1-6)-D-glucan.


  • Chen, Chu-Chin and Chung-May Wu. "Volatile Components of Mushroom (Agaricus subrufecens)." Journal of Food Science 49 (4) (1984), 1208–1209. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2621.1984.tb10433.x
  • Didukh, Marina and Solomon Wasser. "Is a Widely Cultivated Culinary-Medicinal Royal Sun Agaricus (the Himematsutake Mushroom) Indeed Agaricus blazei Murrill?." International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, 4.4(2002): 267-290.
  • Kerrigan, Richard W. "Agaricus subrufescens, a cultivated edible and medicinal mushroom, and its synonyms" Mycologia 97(1):12-24, January/February 2005.
  • US Patent number; 6120772 Oral drugs for treating AIDS patients
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Agaricus_subrufescens". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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