Gray False Death Cap

(Amanita citrina var. grisea)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

Gray False Death Cap

NatureServe

not listed

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common and widespread

Season

Summer and fall

Habitat/Hosts

Oak and pine forests.

 

 

 

 

 

 

    Photo by Scott Schad
 
Identification

This is a large, easily recognized mushroom that is mycorrhizal with hardwoods. It is common and widespread.

The stalk is ivory white, smooth, 2½ to 4¾ tall, and to wide. It may be slightly cottony toward the base. At the base of the stalk is a cup-like structure (volva). This is a remnant of a protective, egg-like covering (universal veil) that completely envelopes the developing mushroom when young. It may be partially or completely buried in the ground. It adheres tightly to the stem and is not sack-like. Toward the top of the stalk, below the cap and gills, is a membranous ring. This is the remnant of a protective covering (inner veil) of the developing gills. It is white to pale yellow and is persistent, remaining on the stalk at maturity of the mushroom.

The cap is smooth, dry, flat to convex, and 2 to 4¾ in diameter. It is pale greenish-yellow to yellowish-white when young. As it ages it becomes white or ivory white with pale greenish-yellow to yellowish-white near the center. It has scattered, irregular, buff patches or warts, but these may disappear with age.

The gills are white, closely spaced, and are not attached to the stalk. They sometimes turn yellowish with age.

The spores are white, cream, or yellowish.

It has a strong odor of raw potato.

 
Similar
Species

Destroying Angel (Amanita bisporigera and Amanita virosa) is pure white throughout, both when young and when mature. The cup is sack-like. The cap usually does not have patches or warts.

Lavender False Death Cap (Amanita citrina f. lavendula) has a flush of lavender in the universal veil and sometimes lavender streaks on the cap.

White False Death Cap (Amanita citrina var. alba) is white throughout. It has a milder odor.

 
Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 7, 24, 29, 30.

 
Comments

Although edible, most field guides list this as poisonous due to its close resemblance to Death Cap.

 
Taxonomy

Division:

Basidiomycota (club fungi)

 

Subdivision:

Agaricomycotina (jelly fungi, yeasts, and mushrooms)

 

Class:

Agaricomycetes (mushroom-forming fungi)

 

Subclass:

Agaricomycetidae

 

Order:

Agaricales (gill mushrooms)

 

Family:

Amanitaceae (Amanita)

 

Genus:

Amanita

 

Subgenus:

Lepidella

 

Section:

Validae

 
Synonyms

Amanita citrina f. mappa

Amanita mappa

 
Common
Names

Amanite Citrine

False Death Cap

Gray False Death Cap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Mycorrhizal

A symbiotic, usually beneficial relationship between a fungus and the tiny rootlets of a plant, usually a tree.

 

Universal veil

An egg-like structure that envelopes all or most of a developing gill mushroom. Remnants of the universal veil sometimes visible on a mature mushroom are patchy warts on the cap, a ring on the stem, and a volva at the base of the stem.

 

Volva

Also called cup. A cup-like covering at the base of a mushroom stem, sometimes buried. It is the remnants of the universal veil ruptured by the mushroom pushing through. It is found on Amanita, Volvariella, and some other mushrooms.

       
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Scott Schad
       

Shorter one cupped up this morning, tall one still holding rain water from two days ago. The one coming up I assume is the same? I am guessing they are Gray False but not sure.

  Gray False Death Cap   Gray False Death Cap
       
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  Gray False Death Cap   Gray False Death Cap
       
  Gray False Death Cap    
       
       

 

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Scott Schad
7/28/2016

Location: Todd County

Shorter one cupped up this morning, tall one still holding rain water from two days ago. The one coming up I assume is the same? I am guessing they are Gray False but not sure.

Gray False Death Cap


     
     
 
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