Large Amanita Mushroom?

by M. Myrick
(Paducah, KY. USA)

Large size, first one showing up

Large size, first one showing up

Large size, first one showing up Side view same mushroom Top view

This showed up in my yard earlier this year. It was a single mushroom. Today I have a horseshoe of them in the same location, at least 18 of them. I believe they are Amanitas...please correct me if I have not identified them correctly.

Comments for Large Amanita Mushroom?

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Amanita mushrooms just blew up in the yard this week NEW
by: Anonymous

How do you stop the spread of amanita mushrooms in the yard?

Parasol NEW
by: Anonymous

Why is this not a parasol?

Looks more like a lepiota to me
by: Caliban

Probably Chlorophyllum molybdites (green spore print, quite toxic).

Other lepiotas (L. procera, L. rachodes) would have a white spore print, as would an amanita.

Lepiotas are distinguished from amanitas by having no universal veil, i.e. no cup at the base of the stalk and scales rather than warts on the cap.

Don't try to distinguish them based on this post, get a good field guide. I recommend "Mushrooms Demystified" by David Arora.

L. procera and L. rachodes are both delicious (very strong flavor, don't saute, discard tough stems, brush the caps with oil and maybe soy sauce and grill or broil).

Some smaller Lepiota species are lethal.

I have giant ones just like yours
by: Anonymous

Yes, I am positive they are amanita as they look like the older ones in my yard. I have about 10 of them that suddenly popped up. At first they were big almost like a white egg with the warts on top. They looked very edible! They've been in yard several days and the older ones are flattening out. They have the veil, gills bulbous at bottom root area. There is no mistaking them. I use to do some hunting of mushrooms in Illinois (am in sw New Mexico now) and amanita's were much smaller. The size took me by surprise. Again these are same as mine. Mine are giants and as large as yours.

by: Anonymous

I'm rather new to the technical terminology when it comes to mushrooms, but I am learning so many things from this site and from people like you sharing their pictures and comments. That is a huge amanita. I'd love to see the fairy ring!!

by: Amy

Great pictures! While it's not always easy to identify mushrooms over the Internet, these certainly look like Amanitas to me. There's a lot of confusion over Amanitas, so your submission is a great opportunity to learn more about them!

First off, the term "Amanita" refers to the genus of the mushroom, not the species. If you remember your high school biology (okay, so I don't either!), a genus is just a taxonomic rank of classification above species, but below family. As we fallible humans created these terms, they're not always set in stone and are subject to change as science continually learns more.

When identifying mushrooms, your first goal should be to identify to the genus. Determining the genus of a mushroom is often pretty doable; yet determining the species is frequently a lot harder. For example, according to Wikipedia there are about 600 species in the genus Amanita!

This is a famous genus because it's responsible for most of the world's mushroom poisonings. Although there are edible species, it also contains the deadly Death Cap (A. phalloides). So while it's fun to try to determine if the mushroom in your yard is an Amanita, it's not recommended to eat them. In fact, unless you're an expert it's wildly discouraged. (And even if you're an expert it's often not a good idea. Anyone can make a mistake).

So what are some common Amanita identification features?

-An umbrella shaped cap with warts or scales on the top. Your second picture is concave rather than convex, but these caps can turn up as the mushroom nears the end of its life.

-A sac or bulbous cap around the base. This sac is the remnant of the universal veil that enveloped the mushroom when it was in its young, button stage. It's usually not readily apparent unless you gently dig the mushroom up.

-A white spore print, meaning if you place the cap face down on a piece of dark colored paper, the resulting dropped spores will obviously be white.

-The underside of the cap will have gills that are thin and white.

-There's a ring around the stem. This ring is a remnant of the partial veil, a thin layer of tissue that protected the gills as they were developing. It's quite apparent in the pictures you sent.

Please know that having a single one of these features does not necessarily an Amanita make! Added to that, sometimes a veil can tear off and no longer be there, or the warts on the top may be absent. Mushroom identification isn't an exact science, which is another reason why one wants to be careful with Amanitas.

You mentioned that now you have a large half-ring, horseshoe shape growth of them. This is another clue, as Amanitas often grow in these rings (called "fairy rings").

The below pages contain more information:

Identifying Poisonous Mushrooms

Fairy Rings

Thanks for sharing!

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