Sunday, November 07, 2010

Pacific Northwest Plants: Amanita


Today I took a walk to the mall. On the way back, I found mushrooms bursting through the soil in the parking lot planters.

I'm not much at mushroom identification, but I found an excellent site called Rogers Mushrooms. There is a feature you can use for visual identification.

Based on a search through the site, I believe these are different stages of a mushroom called Amanita. It starts out as a firm, bulbous cap that is white to cream. The upper surface is scaly. As it matures, some of the caps get an orange tint, especially those in direct sunlight.

It was a sunny, warm morning after two days of heavy rain. The mushrooms were growing at the base of pine trees in planter soil that was littered with tree mulch. The mature caps became concave, splitting the flesh in several places.

Do you know mushrooms? Maybe you can help me with the identification. -- Margy


  1. We had so much rain here this summer we actually had mushrooms growing around here, in the desert part of the prairie.
    Amanita aren't edible but they sure are interesting, especially that orange one.
    Neat pictures.
    -- K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  2. so so amazing.... a blessing! can stop me dead in my tracks to enjoy the amazing colours design and season

  3. Anonymous7:37 PM

    Your mushroom is called amanita muscaria. it's a very special mushroom as it's been used by people for 1000's of years. is a good place to research amanita muscaria, as there is a direct link under "mushroom info"

  4. Thank you Anonymous, wish I could thank you in person. Who would guess so many special shrooms would be growing in a parking lot. - Margy

  5. I would love to do a 'mushroom identification' course. I am just to wary to actually try any that I think I have positively identified. Apparently the pretty they are the more poisonous they are!

  6. Anonymous is right, it is Amanita muscaria, the Fly Agaric. Very pretty, but poisonous of course so don't even think about eating it! Looking at these pictures though, I think you have two types of Agaric here, they often grow together like this, the paler more brownish one possibly being the False Deathcap, Amanita citrina, or the Panthercap, Amanita pantherina. I'm no expert though, just a very interested amateur.

  7. We had tons of mushrooms popping up in our lawn after the August rains. I really need to learn what to look for so I don't mow over something worth keeping! Liz took the reflection picture, but I would guess the reflection was on purpose for weekend reflections.

  8. I feel a bit proud that I figured out part of the identification puzzle, but thanks again goes to Sue for even more details. My readers are the best! - Margy

  9. I have friends who are avid mushroom hunters, but since I don't care for them myself, I hardly go in search of them! They're always fascinating to look at, though, and the varieties are seemingly endless.

    When I took the weekend reflection picture, I did take the picture because of the cloud reflection-- I already had the "head in the clouds" phrase in mind!

  10. My mom picks mushrooms and will often knock on neighbours doors seeking permission to pick mushrooms in their yard. They are all used to her now but at first they were quite unsure...

  11. Margaret - I'd be afraid to pick anything to eat other than a chanterelle. That's the only one I am confident about identifying. John hunts pine mushrooms to sell sometimes. Of course, he has his secret spots. - Margy


We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy