Thursday, October 6, 2016

Pretty Poison(ous) Fall Mushrooms

Amanita for sure.
Veil hangs off the cap's edge -- like a slip showing.

Shreds of a veil.
Two weeks ago, edibles were widely available, but today's pass through the woods showed me some strange and beautiful fungi that, after I looked them up, I found belonged to the Amanita family. Avoid this deadly family. Its mushrooms can be white, yellow, orange, red, gray, brown, or greenish. Gorgeous but poisonous. How are these Amanitas although they look so different? They show family characteristics. If you see even ONE of these characteristics, stay away.

1. Amanitas grow from a bulbous base.
2. Amanitas have a thin "veil" from the stem to edges that tears and shreds as the mushroom grows. Often, there are shreds left hanging, like a slip showing. Often, there's a ring around the stem where the veil was attached.
3. Amanita caps often have pimples or scales, or they look as if they were salted with flake salt or peppered.
4. Some Amanitas have shaggy stems.

These are from the woods, but Amanitas also appear in lawns and in mulch bought from garden stores.

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