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Report an Invasive Species

Death Cap Mushroom

Death Cap Mushroom

Death Cap Mushroom

(Amanita phalloide)

Priority: -  Eradicate

Tags: Terrestrial | Toxic

Identification and Reproduction

Identification:

  • REPORT ANY MUSHROOMS FOUND!
  • White to green cap colour with satiny sheen, white gills, skirt on the stem and cup at the base of the stem found below the ground.
  • Death cap mushrooms can look like Asian paddy straw mushrooms, a cultivated edible species which does not grow naturally.
  • Death cap mushrooms can also look like puffball mushrooms, when they are immature and in the small button stage.

Reproduction:

  • Death cap mushroom is like most other mushroom-producing fungi.
  • Much of the death cap mushroom body actually lies under the ground.
  • They grow from the underground filaments to release spores and then fade. 
  • Even with the mushroom gone, the fungus still operates underground, decomposing old plant matter and, in the case of the deathcap, partnering with tree roots, providing nitrogen in exchange for carbon compounds.

Habitat & Ecology

  • Death Cap mushrooms can be found on lawns, in parks, along roadsides, or in the forest. They tend to grow under the canopy and near the roots of imported European trees (ie. beech, chestnut, hornbeam, English oak)
  • In B.C., the death cap mushroom is known primarily from urban areas in Vancouver and Victoria. 

Impacts

  • HIGHLY TOXIC - DO NOT CONSUME 
  • Death cap mushrooms cause most of the fatal mushroom poisonings in the world.

Management

  • Collect the whole mushrooms, bag them and dispose of them in the garbage.
  • Wash your hands with soap and running water after handling the mushrooms.
  • Please report the sighting to local Invasive species council or BC-Center for Disease Control. 



Resources

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/environment/plants-animals-and-ecosystems/invasive-species/alerts/death_cap_mushroom_alert.pdf

http://www.bccdc.ca/resource-gallery/Documents/Educational%20Materials/EH/FPS/Fruit%20and%20Veg/The%20death%20cap%20mushroom%20(Amanita%20phalloides)%20is%20poisonous_3%20fold%20brochure.pdf

http://www.bccdc.ca/resource-gallery/Documents/Educational%20Materials/EH/FPS/Fruit%20and%20Veg/AmanitaPhalloidesMushroomsInCityEnvironmentsInBritishColumbiaBriefingPackageForParksAndMunicipalities.pdf

http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/prevention-public-health/death-cap-mushrooms

https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2010/04/understanding-the-deadly-deathcap/