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Destroying Angels Fruiting

9-17-14 destroying angel 005There are several species of poisonous mushrooms in the genus Amanita in the Northeast that are referred to as “destroying angels” but the most widely distributed and commonly encountered is Amanita bisporigera. It has a smooth white cap, gills, a skirt-like ring underneath the cap surrounding the stem (annulus) and a swollen stem base enclosed in a cup-like structure (volva). As it ages, this mushroom often acquires an odor reminiscent of rotting meat. Destroying angles are mycorrhizal with oaks – the underground portion of this fungus surrounds a tree’s rootlets with a sheath, and help the tree absorb water and nutrients while the tree provides sugars and amino acids to the mushroom. Destroying angels are among the most toxic known mushrooms, and closely resemble other white mushrooms that are edible. Consult an expert mycologist before consuming any mushroom that even remotely looks like this!

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5 responses

  1. Wow…deadly but beautiful.

    September 17, 2014 at 12:32 pm

  2. Wow, thank you so, so much for this reminder, Mary. I myself would never dream of eating a wild mushroom especially after hearing a Diane Rehm (NPR) interview with a man, *supposedly* a mushroom expert, whose wife and daughter nonetheless added a poisonous one to a dish they consumed and both went into kidney failure. One had a kidney transplant as a result and the other is still on dialysis. That program is probably still available online in NPR Diane Rehm archives.

    September 17, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    • Thanks so much, Sally, for sharing Diane Rehm’s interview — she is my favorite interviewer and I will try to find it!

      September 17, 2014 at 1:32 pm

  3. Dale

    Thanks for the heads up

    September 17, 2014 at 7:49 pm

  4. So gorgeous.

    September 17, 2014 at 10:38 pm

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