One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A fungus with a fruiting body that resembles a mushroom, having a convex or flattened cap with gills on the underside.
Order Agaricales, class Hymenomycetes, in particular the mushroom family Agaricaceae
- ‘An agaric, such as the common field mushroom, has gills in the form of fine, radiating ‘plates’.’
- ‘China tops the world in producing straw mushrooms, tuckahoe, lentinus adodes, agaric, white jelly fungus and hedgehog fungus, Liu added.’
- ‘Mushroom-forming fungi are referred to as ‘agarics.’’
- ‘It is, however, to the latter, to the lowly and ugly agarics, that nations with timorous taste buds limit their knowledge and appetite, so that to the Anglo-American lay mind the aristocratic boletes are, at best, reformed toadstools.’
- ‘The poorer individuals, none the less anxious to use the agaric, were often frustrated by the cost and limited supply of the plants.’
Late Middle English (originally denoting various bracket fungi with medicinal or other uses): from Latin agaricum, from Greek agarikon ‘tree fungus’.
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