The Paddy Straw Mushroom, known simply as a Straw Mushroom and more formally as Volvariella volvacea, is a type of mushroom found widely distributed throughout Asia. The thumb sized mushrooms are heavily cultivated for food and export in Asia, and can be found in canned and dried forms in other parts of the world. Straw Mushrooms are often used in stir fries, and add a distinctive slightly musty flavor to food. The mushroom takes its name from paddy straw, the straw left over after growing rice, which happens to be the mushroom's favorite habitat. In addition to its traditional growth medium, the Straw Mushroom can also be found growing on many types of vegetable material such as other straws or grasses, compost, and wood piles. Usually the Straw Mushroom is cultivated for consumption on a mixture of cotton fiber and paddy straww. When mature for eating, a Straw Mushroom is approximately thumb sized, and distinguished by its pale pink gills and white spore print. The mushrooms have long white stems with bulbous bases, and drooping yellow to brown caps with a partial veil.