Tricholoma album

The medicinal mushroom Tricholoma album. Tricholoma album (Schaeff.) P. Kumm, the white knight.

Synonyms

Agaricus albus Schaeff.
Fung. Bavar. Palat. 4: 68 (1774)
Tricholoma raphanicum P. Karst.
Symb. mycol. fenn. 9: 39 (1883)

Common names

White knight
Witte ridderzwam (Dutch)
Tricholma blanc (French)
Baltasis baltikas (Italian)
Gąska biała (Polish)

Description

Cap: 3-10 cm diameter, initially conical to campanulate with subinvolute margin, later convex or flattened with small umbo, with deflexed then straight margin, white to pale yellow tinge, often with ochre-yellow center when mature; smooth, glabrous, dry; flesh white and thick.
Gills: emarginate, distant, crowded, irregularly segmentiform to ventricose, 4-11 mm broad, entire lamellae and short lamellulae of unequal width, white to pale yellowish with coarsely serrulate edge.
Stem: 3-6 cm tall x 8-15 mm thick, cylindrical, tapering towards base, white to pale brownish yellow, then with yellowish spots, staining brownish when handled, glabrous to minutely granular-floccose at apex, felted sub-fibrillose to fibrillose in lower part, at base sometimes with white mycelial strands with an ovate-bulbous base, short; flesh white, stuffed or full.
Odor: strong, a combination of soap or honey, and radish.
Taste: farinaceous at first, then sharp or bitter.
Spores: ellipsoid to oblong with hilar appendage, hyaline, smooth, 5.5-6.5 x 3.5-4.5 µm.
Edibility: inedible; causes gastrointestinal distress. Known be to weakly cyanogenic (Harmaja, 1976; Stijve and de Meijer, 1999).
Habitat: in groups, ectomycorrhizal, mainly on Quercus on sandy and loamy soils; widespread, not common; late summer to autumn.

Description adapted from Bas (1999), p.144.

Medicinal properties

Antitumor effects

Polysaccharides extracted from the mycelial culture of T. album and administered intraperitoneally into white mice at a dosage of 300 mg/kg inhibited the growth of Sarcoma 180 and Ehrlich solid cancers by 80% and 90%, respectively (Ohtsuka et al., 1973).

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References

Bas C, Kuyper TW, Noordeloos ME, Vellinga EC. (1999).
Flora Agaricina Neerlandica. Volume 4.
A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam. 464 pp.

Harmaja H.
The walls of the spores and basidia of Tricholoma found to be cyanophilic.
Karstenia. 1976 15:23-24.

Ohtsuka S, Ueno S, Yoshikumi C, Hirose F, Ohmura Y, Wada T, Fujii T, Takahashi E.
Polysaccharides having an anticarcinogenic effect and a method of producing them from species of Basidiomycetes.
UK Patent 1331513, 26 September 1973.

Stijve T, de Meijer AAR.
Hydrocyanic acid in mushrooms, with special reference to wild-growing and cultivated edible species.
Deutsche Lebensmittel-Rundschau. 1999 95(9):366-73.

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