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‘Ware the deathcaps

By 1 January 2012 12

death caps

ACT Health has issued a warning about Death Cap Mushrooms:

Three people have recently been admitted to ACT hospitals after becoming ill from eating Death Cap Mushrooms.

“The Death Cap mushrooms often grow near established oak trees and are found when there is warm, wet weather. In Canberra this usually occurs in Autumn, but recent summer rain means Death Caps can be found growing in Canberra”, said Dr Michael Hall, Director of The Canberra Hospital Emergency Department.

“The fully-grown Death Cap mushroom cap is silky smooth, and its colour varies from white to greenish-brown. The gills are white – unlike the pink or brown gills of the common field mushroom. The stem is white to pale yellow-green,”

“High on the stem is a skirt-like white ring, which is sometimes missing. The bottom of the stem emerges from a white cup, which is partly buried in the soil.”

“The small button Death Cap can be very difficult to distinguish from an edible mushroom.”

“People should should not eat any mushroom unless they can be absolutely certain that it is not poisonous. It can be difficult for even experienced collectors to tell poisonous and safe species of wild mushroom apart.”

“The small button Death Cap can be very difficult to distinguish from an edible mushroom.”

“So unless people are completely sure, they should avoid any white-gilled mushroom”

”Anyone who suspects that they might have eaten Death Cap mushrooms should seek urgent medical help, preferably at a hospital.”

“The sooner treatment begins, the better the patient’s chances of survival,” Dr Hall said.

In the last decade, there have been three fatalities associated with Death Cap mushrooms in the ACT. During this period there have been around a dozen reported cases of poisoning.

There’s a fact sheet if you want to know more.

[Photo by R Windsor, Courtesy ACT Health]

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12 Responses to ‘Ware the deathcaps
#1
gentoopenguin6:48 pm, 01 Jan 12

I guess that’s like dating someone who isn’t a funghi afterall….

#2
poetix8:03 pm, 01 Jan 12

gentoopenguin said :

I guess that’s like dating someone who isn’t a funghi afterall….

A spore joke…

#3
Rawhide Kid Part310:58 pm, 01 Jan 12

poetix said :

gentoopenguin said :

I guess that’s like dating someone who isn’t a funghi afterall….

A spore joke…

Spoken like a spore…..

#4
KB19717:26 am, 02 Jan 12

Another thing, edible mushrooms are not commonly found in a forest ;)

#5
EvanJames9:59 am, 02 Jan 12

KB1971 said :

Another thing, edible mushrooms are not commonly found in a forest ;)

What about those orange things from pineforests? I remember having very fine meals of those, cooked by a friend’s Finnish mother. Not game to do it myself, however! I often find field mushrooms but after a scary experience finding worms (or maggots) in the stem of a field mushroom, never again. ugh.

#6
breda8:51 pm, 02 Jan 12

Which reminds me, does anyone go collecting Blue Meanies at Araluen these days?

#7
Mumbucks11:14 pm, 02 Jan 12

The poor people who attended that dinner party !

#8
KB19716:38 am, 03 Jan 12

EvanJames said :

KB1971 said :

Another thing, edible mushrooms are not commonly found in a forest ;)

What about those orange things from pineforests? I remember having very fine meals of those, cooked by a friend’s Finnish mother. Not game to do it myself, however! I often find field mushrooms but after a scary experience finding worms (or maggots) in the stem of a field mushroom, never again. ugh.

How long did it taste for the hallucinations to start? :)

#9
Tooks7:37 am, 03 Jan 12

When I was a kid, I was taught it’s a bad idea to eat mushrooms with pink or white gills. Guess that’s not taught anymore?

#10
Deref8:03 am, 03 Jan 12

breda said :

Which reminds me, does anyone go collecting Blue Meanies at Araluen these days?

Ah. :-) Such memories!

#11
Jethro6:51 am, 04 Jan 12

Tooks said :

When I was a kid, I was taught it’s a bad idea to eat mushrooms with pink or white gills. Guess that’s not taught anymore?

But ones that bruise blue are fine?

#12
poetix8:59 am, 04 Jan 12

Tooks said :

When I was a kid, I was taught it’s a bad idea to eat mushrooms with pink or white gills. Guess that’s not taught anymore?

At the risk of accusations of being over-protective, I don’t think children should be picking any fungus with eating in mind. Even if puffballs are Nature’s Marshmallows.

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