Amanita phalloid: what it is and what its characteristics are

Amanita phalloid: what it is and what its characteristics are

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L'amanita phalloid is a large mushroom known worldwide for being by far the most poisonous mushroom in the world, responsible for over 90% of mushroom poisoning deaths in Europe. L'amanita phalloides it is a fairly common species in much of the old continent, therefore making it useful to become familiar with this mushroom.

Where is the phalloid amanita

The phalloid amanita is found in a good part of Europe, such as Great Britain and Ireland, and can also be easily found in other countries of continental Europe, where it most commonly occurs at low altitudes.

Not only that: the amanita phalloides is also found in northern Africa and in many parts of Asia, although often confused with other similar species. In the United States, the amanita phalloides is a species introduced, presumably from Europe, with the imports of trees. Other parts of the world, including Australia and South America, also contain Amanita phalloides as a result of imports of timber or plants.


The phallic form of this mushroom gave rise to its specific epithet phalloides. The common name is sometimes described in some countries (such as the United States, where this species was almost certainly introduced from Europe), such as Death Cup, Death Cap or Deathcap.

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The toxicity

Several toxins have been abundantly isolated in this mushroom, but the main ingredient that damages the liver and kidneys is a-amanitin. Its potency is not reduced by freezing or cooking the mushrooms before eating them, thus making them a poisonous mushroom that cannot be "weakened" in any way.

Amatoxins from this fungus cause initially gastrointestinal disorders with symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea and stomach pains, which occur within 5 - 12 hours of taking the product. Apparently, then, the systems vanish for several hours or even a day or two, tricking the victim into thinking he is recovering. However, when symptoms return in due course, they do so much more severely: the damage to the kidneys and liver may already be irreversible by then.

Without any treatment, coma and eventual death are almost inevitable. Often, people admitted late into an episode of amotoxin poisoning can only be saved with major surgery and a liver transplant, and even then recovery is a precarious, painful, and protracted process.

How to avoid the risk of poisoning

Anyone who picks up mushrooms for cooking and eating must be able to correctly and uniquely identify this poisonous mushroom, and distinguish between a young Deathcap and an edible Agaricus mushroom such as Agaricus sylvicola, which is found in the same habitat as Amanita phalloides, or the Agaricus campestris, which is often found in fields bordered by deciduous trees to which Amanita phalloides can be associated. Unfortunately, this mushroom can also be mistaken for mushrooms such as Lycoperdon perlatum or Lycoperdon pyriforme.

As if that weren't enough, although the old specimens of the amanita have an unpleasant smell, the young ones are practically odorless. It has also been reported (but of course don't experience it!) That they taste quite pleasant, thus increasing the risk of them being included in a meal.


In short, on the sidelines of our in-depth study, a basic advice that you should be able to metabolize if you want to cultivate the hobby of collecting edible mushrooms, even before knowing the key characteristics of identifying the best edible mushrooms in the world, is to take the trouble of learning to identify, without a shadow of a doubt, the two deadliest mushrooms on earth: Amanita visrosa and its close allies, and Amanita phalloides.

Fortunately, on the web you can learn more about this mushroom with many publications. You will discover in this way, moreover, that the amanita phalloides was already known by the ancient Greeks and Romans as a deadly poison, and that it was for centuries the preferred weapon for murders through poison, and that unfortunately it still causes many tragic and painful deaths.

THE mushroom colors they vary by location and even from specimen to specimen, but the most common form of this mushroom has a pale yellow-green or olive-green cap. There is, however, a completely white form of Amanita phalloides, whose intake unfortunately has the same disastrous consequences as the other more colorful specimens.

Video: How ID Amanita section Lepidella (July 2022).


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