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Amanita phalloides (Fr. :Fr.) Link
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Amanita phalloides, Deathcap
© Copyright Sheryl Pollock 2011 · 9
Amanita phalloides, Deathcap

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Amanita phalloides, Deathcap
© Copyright Sheryl Pollock 2011 · 8
Amanita phalloides, Deathcap
Amanita phalloides
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2118 · 3
Amanita phalloides
Amanita phalloides
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2118 · 3
Amanita phalloides
Amanita phalloides
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2118 · 3
Amanita phalloides

Amanita phalloides
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2118 · 3
Amanita phalloides
Amanita phalloides
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2118 · 3
Amanita phalloides
Amanita phalloides
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2118 · 3
Amanita phalloides
Amanita phalloides
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2118 · 3
Amanita phalloides

Amanita phalloides
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2118 · 3
Amanita phalloides
Amanita phalloides
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2118 · 3
Amanita phalloides
Amanita phalloides
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2118 · 3
Amanita phalloides
Amanita phalloides
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2118 · 3
Amanita phalloides

Amanita phalloides
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2118 · 3
Amanita phalloides
Amanita phalloides
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2118 · 3
Amanita phalloides

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Copyright © 2009 Darvin DeShazer (darv) Version: 7
Previous Version 

First person to use this name on MO: Nathan Wilson
Editors: Alan Rockefeller , Erlon

Observations of:

This Name (147)

This Taxon, other names (289)

This Taxon, any name (436)

Other Taxa, this name proposed (14)

Other Taxa, this taxon proposed (52)




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Rank: Species

Status: Deprecated

Name: Amanita phalloides

Author: (Vaill. : Fr.) Link

Citation: Handbuck zur Erkennung der Nutzbarsten und am Häufigsten Vorkommenden Gewächse 3: 272 (1833)

Preferred Synonyms: Amanita phalloides (Vaill. ex Fr.) Link

Deprecated Synonyms: Amanita phalloides f. alba , Agaricus phalloides , Amanita viridis , Amanitina phalloides , Amanita phalloides (Vaill.) Link

Misspellings: Aminata Phalloides , Aminata Aminata Phalloides , Amanita Phalloides


Domain: Eukarya

Kingdom: Fungi

Phylum: Basidiomycota

Class: Agaricomycetes

Order: Agaricales

Family: Amanitaceae

Genus: Amanita

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Propagate to Subtaxa

Brief Description: See More | Edit

The cap color is variable, but is typically olive-green with a metallic sheen. However, the cap color can be yellow green to yellow, grayish, brownish or even pure white. The cap often appears to have dark fibers, but these are due to narrow bands of pigment rather than actual fibers.

The cap is often palest at the margin (for example white or extremely pale yellow or extremely pale yellow green). The cap starts out egg shaped, exapands to rounded and eventually can become nearly flat. The cap is typically smooth and shiny when dry and can become a bit sticky when moist. At times the enclosing volva leaves a white patch on material on the cap.

The flesh is white and unchanging when cut or bruised. The gills are white to cream, crowed and free to narrowly adnate.

The stem is white to pale yellow below the ring, sometimes more strongly yellow near the stem base, sometimes with faint yellowish white areas above the ring. The ring is typically on the upper part of the stem and forms a membranous veil often with fine striations. The base of the stem usually forms a bulb which is wrapped in a sack-like volva.

The odor is sometimes absent in early development, becoming strong and unpleasant in age.

For a more detailed description see Rod Tulloss’ Amanita Studies Site .

Descriptions: [ Create ] Public Description (Default)   [ Edit ]


Add Comment 301981 Finally cleaning this up By: Nathan Wilson (nathan) 2016-09-12 19:05:48 -05 (-0500)

Looks like the consensus at this point is Amanita phalloides (Fr.) Link so I’m going with that and moving everything over to that.

770855 Vaill. By: Erlon (Herbert Baker) 2010-12-15 01:08:15 -05 (-0500)

Rod, I removed Vaill. because of comments you’ve made in the past regarding the naming of this species, you do not cite him on your personal website either.

I’m interested to know why your changing your mind about this now.
I was only following your recommendation when you said Vaill. was not valid.

Species Fungorum shows the current correct name as
Amanita phalloides (Vaill. ex Fr.) Link

301981 Approved By: Nathan Wilson (nathan) 2010-12-14 21:17:14 -05 (-0500)

Reapproving since this is not really deprecated. If the community decides to remove the sanctioning author, then I can do it on the back end so we don’t end up with mix of names.

301981 I agree with Rod on keeping “Vaill.” By: Nathan Wilson (nathan) 2010-12-14 21:13:50 -05 (-0500)

I thought the only point up for debate is the " : Fr." bit. I voted for dropping it for simplicity and consistency.

However, I don’t feel really strongly about dropping it since it conveys some valuable information. In particular, it tells me this is a really old name based primarily on macroscopic features that probably doesn’t have a useful original type collection.

Created: 2007-01-10 00:03:58 -05 (-0500) by Nathan Wilson (nathan)
Last modified: 2010-12-16 06:50:01 -05 (-0500) by Erlon (Herbert Baker)
Viewed: 8225 times, last viewed: 2018-04-26 00:33:22 -05 (-0500)
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California Fungi—Amanita phalloides Amanita phalloides
(Photo: © Michael Wood)

Amanita phalloides (Fr.:Fr.) Link.
Handb. Erkenn. nutzb. hänfigst. ewächse 3: 272. 1833.

Common Name: death cap

  • Pileus

    Cap 3.5-15 cm broad, convex, expanding to nearly plane, at maturity the disc sometimes slightly raised or depressed; margin entire, seldom striate, or if so, obscurely so; surface subviscid when moist, smooth, occasionally with a faint, appressed, white universal veil patch; color: olive, olive-brown, to yellowish-brown, rarely white, typically with innate, darker streaks, the margin paler, fading overall to dull tan in age; flesh soft, white, moderately thick at the disc, unchanging, at times yellowish-brown just below the cuticle; odor slightly pungent; taste mild.

  • Lamellae

    Gills free, close, moderately broad, white becoming cream, staining pink to vinaceous with concentrated sulfuric acid.

  • Stipe

    Stipe 4-18 cm long, 1-3 cm thick, equal to tapering to an enlarged, sometimes bulbous base, usually solid but the apex sometimes stuffed; surface finely striate at the apex, otherwise smooth or with scattered, flattened small scales, white to pale yellowish; flesh white, firm, unchanging; partial veil membranous, cream-colored to tinged like the cap, the upper surface striate, lower surface slightly pubescent, forming a pendulous, superior annulus; volva membranous, thin, white, sac-like, usually erect from the stipe.

  • Spores

    Spores 7-12 x 6-10 µm, ovoid to elliptical, amyloid; spore print white.

  • Habitat

    Solitary, scattered, to gregarious under coast liveoak ( Quercus agrifolia ), occasionally with other oaks and ornamental hardwoods; fruiting sporadically during the summer months in watered areas or from fog drip along the coast; common from early fall to mid-winter.

  • Edibility

    Deadly!!! Deadly poisonous! A. phalloides contains both phallotoxins and amanitins. It is the amanitins that are responsible for the poisonings in humans. Amanitins are cyclic octapeptides that stop protein synthesis in the cells they encounter. All human organs are affected, but damage to the liver is most severe and liver failure is primarily responsible for the death of A. phalloides victims. Symptoms usually appear 8-12 hours after ingestion. Death occurs in 7-10 days in 10-15% of patients.

  • Comments

    A large, handsome mushroom, the death cap is often very abundant under oaks in the San Francisco Bay Area, especially in warm, wet years. It is also becoming increasingly abundant in other areas of California where oaks are common. Because of its toxicity, it should be one of the first mushrooms learned. Fortunately, Amanita phalloides is distinctive and with experience, easily identified. Important field characters are the smooth, yellowish-green to yellowish-brown cap, sometimes with a thin, appressed white universal veil patch, usually non-striate cap margin, free, cream-colored gills, normally solid, not hollow stipe, pendulous annulus, and thin, white, membranous, sac-like volva. The Death Cap is found widely in coastal areas as well as inland at low elevations. A rare, white form of this mushroom, var. alba resembling the Death Angel of the Eastern U.S ( Amanita bisporigera ), also occurs in the California. Another lethal Amanita found locally is Amanita ocreata . Cream-colored, and similar in appearance to the Death Cap, it fruits under coast liveoak ( Quercus agrifolia ) during the spring.

  • References

    Ammirati, J.F., Thiers, H.D. & Horgen, P.A. (1977). Amatoxin-containing mushrooms: Amanita ocreata and A. phalloides in California. Mycologia 69: 1095-1108.
    Benjamin, D.R. (1995). Mushrooms: Poisons and Panaceas. W. H. Freeman: New York, NY. 422 p.
    Breitenbach, J. & Kränzlin, F. (1995). Fungi of Switzerland. Volume 4: Agarics (2nd Part). Entolomataceae, Pluteaceae, Amanitaceae, Agaricaceae, Coprinaceae, Strophariaceae. Verlag Mykologia: Luzern, Switzerland. 368 p.
    Desjardin, D.E., Wood, M.G. & Stevens, F.A. (2015). California Mushrooms: The Comprehensive Identification Guide. Timber Press: Portland, OR. 560 p.
    Duffy, T.J. (2008). Toxic Fungi of Western North America. MykoWeb .
    Jenkins, David T. (1986). Amanita of North America. Mad River Press: Eureka, CA. 197 p.
    Pringle, A. & Vellinga, E.C. (2006). Last chance to know? Using literature to explore the biogeography and invasion biology of the death cap mushroom Amanita phalloides (Vaill. ex Fr. :Fr.) Link. Biological Invasions 6: 1131-1144.
    Spoerke, D.G. & Rumack, B.H. (1994). Handbook of Mushroom Poisoning: Diagnosis and Treatment. CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL. 456 p.
    Thiers, Harry D. (1982). The Agaricales (Gilled Fungi) of California. 1. Amanitaceae. Mad River Press: Eureka, CA. 53 p.

  • Other Descriptions and Photos Main Photo
    • Wikipedia: Amanita phalloides (D & CP)
    • Harvard University Herbaria: Amanita phalloides (D & CP)
    • American Mushrooms: Amanita phalloides (D & CP)
    • Robert Rich: Amanita phalloides (D & CP)
    • Pilze, Pilze, Pilze: Amanita phalloides (CP)
    • Ammirati et al .: p.88 (D), fig. 36 (CP)
    • Arora (1986): p. 269 (D & P), plate 50 (CP)
    • Arora (1991): p. 64-65 (D & CP)
    • Fischer & Bessette: p. 151 (D & CP)
    • Jordan: p. 198 (D & CP)
    • Jenkins: p.149 (D), figs. 15, 16 (CP)
    • Lincoff: p. 543 (D), plate 114 (CP)
    • McKenny et al. : p. 39 (D & CP)
    • Miller: p. 28 (D)
    • Phillips: p.28 (D & CP)
    • Smith: sp. 120 (D & CP)
    • Smith & Weber: sp. 154 (D & CP)
    • Thiers (1982): p. 35 (D)

    (D=Description; I=Illustration; P=Photo; CP=Color Photo)

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