Scientific Name: Amanita bisporigera, Amanita virosa, Amanita verna
Spore Print Color: White
Characteristics: Tall pure white mushroom with a slightly convex cap that will become almost flat as it matures. Gills are closely spaced and white also. They may appear to not be attached to the stem. Stem may be scaly/shaggy or smooth and the most important identifying feature is the sack-like membrane that the stem looks as if it's growing out of. This is called a volva and is very important in identifying this Deadly Poisonous mushroom. The volva may appear above ground or more than likely will be buried in the soil. You can dig around the mushroom and find the volva quite easily. The stem will have a ring or anulus present. This will be the remnant of the covering that enclosed the gills when the mushroom was in the button stage. They can have a very unpleasant odor as well. Deaths from people mistaking this mushroom for an edible are common and great care must be taken before any white spored mushroom is considered for the table. One bite of Amanita bisporigera can kill you and usually does at least one person somewhere each year. As I mentioned on the main page, you must know the poisonous mushrooms before attempting to collect anything edible. Microscopic features are the only way to tell one variety from the other.
Edibility: Deadly Poison
Time of year: Early Summer through Fall
Location: On the ground around hardwood trees such as Oak. You can't miss this beautiful mushroom. Admire it, study its features, but its best left in the woods. I usually kick them over thinking I might save someone from harvesting them.
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