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Amanita virosa   (Destroying angel)
Family
Amanitaceae
Location
North America, Europe
Dimensions
Cap 5-9 cm diameter, stem 13-20 cm tall * 1.5-2 cm diameter
Edibility
Lethally poisonous

Description
Amanita virosa, also known as Destroying angel, is a lethally poisonous, medium-large to large, white fleshy mushroom with a shaggy stalk and volval bag. It grows solitary or scattered on soil in broad-leaf or mixed woods. The mushroom contains a complex group of poisonous substances called amatoxins.

Cap white to yellow in colour, at first round to egg-shaped, then flat but often retaining a flat umbo, usually with veil remnants at the margins. The flesh is white and firm. Gills white (can turn yellow), free, crowded. Stem long and thread-like and has tufts above the ring and arising from large bag-like vulva often buried deep in the soil. The large ring sits high on the stem and easily breaks and falls off. It is produced by the inner veil.

Similar species include Amanita bisporigera which is a smaller, more slender, two-spored, but equally deadly mushroom. The mushroom can also be confused with edible Button mushrooms (Agaricus species). They have faint pink to brown gills, where Amanita virosa has white gills.

Amanita virosa on the www.first-nature.com web site.




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WARNING

If you plan to collect fungi to be eaten, misidentified mushrooms can make you sick or kill you. Never eat a mushroom that you are not 100% sure is edible. Use many resources, and be skeptical of your own conclusions. Please consider that many mushrooms take years of experience to identify reliably.

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