Pileus. Dry, silky or downy from the first; globular, margin united to the stem by the veil, then expanded, bell-shaped, at last even flat. Color variable, from white to dark brown. Cuticle easily separable in pasture variety.
Gills. At first pink, then purple, finally almost black, never white; of different lengths.
Stem Nearly solid, even in size, easily removed from the socket.
Volva. None; but veil present, at first enclosing gills, then making a ring, finally absent.
Spores. Purple or purplish brown. Taste and smell fragrant and agreeable.
Grows in open pastures, lanes or roadsides; never in forests
(B.) Similar to above, but coarser, more brittle and of stronger flavor; turns rust of iron color when bruised; grows on banks, street-sweepings and in hot-houses.
Cut the larger specimens into fine pieces, and place them in a small dish, with salt, pepper and butter to taste; put in about two tablespoonfuls of water, then fill the dish with the half-open specimens and the buttons; cover tightly and place in the oven, which must not be overheated, for about twenty minutes. The juice of the larger mushrooms will keep them moist, and, if fresh, yield further a most abundant gravy.
N. B. In gathering the pasture variety, cut them just below the cap (don't pull them); they can then be cooked without washing or peeling. The cultivated mushrooms are often so dirty as to require both washing and peeling.