Agaricus is a genus of mushrooms containing both edible and poisonous species, with possibly over 300 members worldwide. The genus includes the common ("button") mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) and the field mushroom (Agaricus campestris), the dominant cultivated mushrooms of the West. Members of Agaricus are characterized by having a fleshy cap or pileus, from the underside of which grow a number of radiating plates or gills on which are produced the naked spores. They are distinguished from other members of their family, Agaricaceae, by their chocolate-brown spores. Members of Agaricus also have a stem or stipe, which elevates it above the object on which the mushroom grows, or substrate, and a partial veil, which protects the developing gills and later forms a ring or annulus on the stalk.
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