Friday, September 24, 2010

Amanita phalloides

Folks often ask "What does a poisonous mushroom looks like?" "How do you know if it is poisonous?" etc.
I usually answer "Well, every mushroom is different and there are no set rules such as "If a mushroom looks like ___ it is poisonous." Instead, you learn each edible mushroom individually and you learn each poisonous mushroom individually".
Here is an example. Meet Amanita phalloides, a deadly poisonous mushroom.
The basic features of this mushroom are a cap, gills, stipe, a ring/annulus, and a very noticeable cup-shaped volva (photo below)

Here is a general diagram of features that may be present on a mushroom:
To further describe the features of Amanita phalloides, you could say:
cap: yellow/olive brown with silky, radially arranged flat scales.
gills: cream-white
spores: cream-white
stipe: white with yellow tinges. Surface breaking up into zig-zag flakes and scales.
annulus: on the stipe from a veil of tissue that used to cover the gills,
volva: universal veil forming a large, distinct volva.

*remember to dig up the base of mushrooms (don't cut them off at ground level) so you don't miss an important feature.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thank you, that's certainly a mushroom that I need to be able to identify.