Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Coastal BC Fungi: Fly Amanita

Fly Amanita

Fly Amanita mushroom, Powell Lake BC.
You can tell it’s mushroom season in Powell River when buyers arrive and ‘shroom shacks pop up in storefronts as fast as their namesakes.

I was walking up the cliffside stairs twhen I saw a red “ball” next to the steps. My first thought was a critter raided my compost pail and dropped a ripe tomato on its way up. My second thought was, it’s October and there are no more tomatoes, even in my garden clippings.

A small Fly Amanita also called Fly Agaric.

When I got closer I noticed it was a round, red mushroom. I’ve never seen one like it before. I went online to Google images and almost immediately found it, a variety of Amanita with the scientific name of Amanita muscaria, more commonly Fly Amanita or Fly Agaric.

Surrounded by moss and decaying Salal leaves

Fly Amanita is one of a family of poisonous gilled mushrooms. It’s easy to identify and avoid with its red, orange or yellow cap. It starts rounded then flattens out and turns up as it matures. Around the edge, and across the surface, are cream-coloured to white spots or warts.

Side view showing white spots or warts.

The immature one I found was about an inch in diameter, but they can reach up to twelve inches across when open. I went back to get a picture of the mature state, but alas, some animal had eaten it down to the ground. I guess the toxic components aren’t deadly to all critters. Animals usually know not to eat poisonous things.

One mushroom all alone next to the stairs.

The Fly Amanita is most commonly found in or near coniferous forests during the fall. It’s well known as the mushroom depicted in fairy tales. The unusual common name comes from the belief that you can make a product that will kill flies.

Have you ever seen a Fly Amanita? What do you think? -- Margy

References: The Savory Wild Mushroom by Margaret McKenny (University of Washington Press, 1971) and First Nature (online).

10 comments:

  1. I wonder why the most beautiful mushrooms are the most poisonous ...
    Thanks most sincerely for sharing such wonderful shots, dear friend !

    Hope you're having a lovely week so far,
    I'm sending dear hugs across the many miles

    XOXO Daniela at ~ My little old world ~ (Dany)
    http://sweetlydreamingofthepast.blogspot.com/

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    1. Maybe that's a good thing. Having a great week with a little vacation time in sunny Los Angeles. - Margy

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  2. Hello, it is a pretty colored mushroom. It must have really stood out. I enjoy finding mushrooms but leave them because I have no idea which ones are poisonous. Have a happy day!

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    1. I do too, but taking pictures is pretty safe. - Margy

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  3. Hopefully the critter was smart, I am always on mushroom patrol in our yard for fear Buddy is not as smart as woodland creatures

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    1. You would hope so. Maybe domesticated animals have lost some of their survival instincts. - Margy

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  4. I've seen a few of these this season, but I know enough to know I don't know enough about mushrooms, I left them on place.

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    1. I had to look it up when I decided it wasn't a lost tomato. - Margy

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  5. I enjoyed finding your blog through your comment!

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    1. Thanks Elizabeth. That why I enjoy participating in blogging groups. - Margy

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