The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Amanita parcivolvata

Amanita caesarea

Relocating that copperhead snake reminded me how that hillside seems more prone to wild mushroom growth.

We spotted this Amanita parcivolvata on our way back, also known as a False Caesar's Mushroom.

It's unclear if these are okay to eat. I won't be risking a taste test unless we get more conclusive data.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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It's good to be cautious with wild mushrooms, I think. Every autumn I see a lot of mushrooms popping up, so I did some research into edible wild species. I found that it could be surprisingly hard to distinguish edible spcies from poisonous ones. So I decided to give wild mushroom gathering a miss.

But there are some test that you can do. A large number of potentially lethal mushrooms contain amatoxins, which can be detected by the Meixner test.

Comment by Roland_Smith Sat Aug 4 17:48:53 2012
Either way that sure is a pretty one!
Comment by Sat Aug 4 20:25:25 2012

Look at it - it screams out I am so pretty - I AM UGLY!!!! It taunts you to pluck it all the while boasting the ominous RED glare. RED is for Stop for a reason!

Comment by Jayne Sun Aug 5 09:51:29 2012

Roland --- Yep, we only eat the really obvious edibles that don't have any scary lookalikes.

Fostermamas --- I agree! There's something so enticing about the colors, shapes, and textures of mushrooms.

Jayne --- I'm with you --- bright red in nature is often a sign of poison.

Comment by anna Sun Aug 5 12:56:06 2012
I'm pretty sure I caught that Amanita parcivolvata at its youngest and brightest point...I went back a few days later and its top expanded out and upwards and over half the redness seems to have been washed away.
Comment by mark Sun Aug 5 14:40:49 2012

@Jayne: The color of mushrooms is not a reliable indicator of danger. E.g. the edible Ceasar's mushroom is brightly colored, while the lethal destroying angels are plain white.

Comment by Roland_Smith Sun Aug 5 17:41:46 2012

The 1987 edition of A Field Guide to Mushrooms (Peterson Field Guides) refers to Amanita parcivolvata as "Flimsy Veil" and says that it is "Reported poisonous" but gives no source for this "report".

On the other hand, I found this comment made three years ago on a blog.

"I once cooked about 5 Amanita parcivolvata mushrooms in a large multi-mushroomed dish for about 5 or 6 friends of mine. I thought they were Amanita jacksonii. It was only after eating it that I realized my mistake, and my heart sank and I had to go around to everyone and apologize profusely. People looked at me blankly because they just didn't know how to react. How do you react to news like that?

"Anyone, none of us experienced even the least of symptoms. No gastric upset, no uncomfortability, nothing. So barring any long-term kidney or liver damage (which seems unlikely to me), Amanita parcivolvata seems perfectly safe."

Back to the field guide. It says that parcivolvata lacks the distinct volva of jacksonii, which is edible and delicious, and it also lacks the characteristic ring around the stem. So if you see those two features very distinctly, and it looks otherwise like the pictures you see on this webpage, you should be safe.

Comment by Peter Nyikos Sat Aug 11 17:33:17 2018
um.... pretty sure that is a fly agaric lol.
Comment by yup Thu Oct 4 20:10:30 2018

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