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Hard-boiled Eggs & Lollipops: American Caesar’s Mushrooms Forming Fruiting Bodies

8-8-18 American Caesar's mushroom_U1A5159

This is not the first Naturally Curious post on American Caesar’s Mushrooms, nor will it probably be the last.  Every August the forest floor is bursting with the beautiful fruiting bodies of these fungi, and I find the urge to photograph them as well as the desire to celebrate their beauty with you irresistible. Pardon the repetition.

American Caesar’s Mushroom (Amanita jacksonii), a member of the Amanita genus found in New England, differs from most Amanita species in at least two ways. It is one of the few edible Amanitas (most species are poisonous, so consumption is discouraged unless an expert identifies the fungus). Secondly, unlike many other Amanita species, American Caesar’s Mushroom does not usually have any warts or patches on its cap.

The common name of this mushroom traces back to the fact that its close relative, Caesar’s Mushroom, Amanita caesarea, which grows in Italy, was a favorite of the emperors of the Roman Empire, the Caesars. Both of these species of Amanita are mycorrhizal, forming a symbiotic beneficial relationship with the roots of certain trees. Look for American Caesar’s Mushrooms under pine and oak. (Main photo: American Caesar’s Mushroom rupturing through its protective white membrane, or universal veil, as it matures, leaving a remnant white cup, or volva, at its base.)

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7 responses

  1. Guy Stoye

    I’ve not been lucky enough to ever find a Caesarea Jacksonii but have come across the Amanita Caesarea a couple of times, cranked up the courage to eat them despite the fearsome Amanita name. They are delicious.
    Thanks for this posting. Will be really looking out for these beautiful mushrooms.

    August 8, 2018 at 8:46 am

  2. Alice Pratt

    It is a beautiful mushroom, almost as if it is preciously wrapped; and the fern is delicately caressing it. I don’t think I am ever able to,see too many of your beautiful photographs, Mary!

    August 8, 2018 at 9:12 am

    • Thank you so much, Alice. Your comments are always so welcome!

      August 8, 2018 at 10:45 am

  3. judybadotcomcastnet

    Astounding! I want to find one. Martine an Chuck are on her mailing list.


    August 8, 2018 at 10:59 am

  4. You found it just at the perfect time! It isn’t easy to catch this group’s caps actually emerging from the white membrane. Great photo.

    August 9, 2018 at 3:05 pm

  5. Bill on the hill

    Reminds me of a plum tomato… Looks delicious!

    August 10, 2018 at 12:28 pm

  6. Missy Fabel

    I’m catching up on my emails today, but literally just saw this mushroom grow overnight at my cabin in George’s Mills, NH on August 6, and could not ID it – then saw it in Naturally Curious upon my return to NY Tuesday and now here it is again. Mary, I’m amazed at how timely and relevant all your posts are. thank you

    August 11, 2018 at 2:02 pm

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