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Do not eat the deathcap

By Skidbladnir - 7 January 2008 29

Above right: Fully-opened Paddy Straw Mushroom (Healthy to eat), Volvariella speciosa),
Above left: Immature deathcap mushroom Very Deadly, Amanita phalloides)

According to the ABC Online article, people who can’t tell the difference between mushrooms have been busy poisoning themselves.After recent rains, mushrooms are in bloom all over town, so be aware that they can grow in the same areas and look very similar, as shown above (photo courtesy of the Botanical Gardens).

More famous people than you who have been killed by them include: Roman Emporer Claudius, Charles VI (Holy Roman Emperor), and Pope Clement VII.So ladies and gentlemen, don’t become a statistic.

Handy hint: If you don’t know exactly what it is, don’t eat it.

What’s Your opinion?

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29 Responses to
Do not eat the deathcap
S4anta 7:55 pm 07 Jan 08

Apart from being a public servant, I can tell you that for the canberra climate this is text to read, and/or purchase as it has all the pretty pictures;
Grgurinovic, Cheryl and Katy Mallett (1996). Fungi of Australia. Volume 1A. Introduction — Classification. Canberra, Australia: Australian Biological Resources Study. 413p.

Gungahlin Al 6:27 pm 07 Jan 08

“i think from memory that the key difference is …”

And there in lies the hazard of picking wild mushies and daring to eat them. Pink gills? White gills? Brown gills? Dome shape? Cone shape?

Can’t imagine a good stomach pumping session or 5 is worth saving the pittance that mushies cost to buy from the shop anyway.

But if fresh from your garden is what you desire, buy a load of mushroom compost for your raised-bed vege garden – then you will know everything that comes up came from a mushie farm so is OK.

There are signs around Commonwealth Park about death caps there too, BTW.

Mælinar 3:54 pm 07 Jan 08

Typos are human, grammar is neglectful.

Joe Canberran 2:04 pm 07 Jan 08

It’s the web; we care not for typos.

(Poor grammar on the other hand is a capital crime)

jennybel75 12:39 pm 07 Jan 08

Oops, Hospital. One day I’ll remember to proof before posting.

jennybel75 12:38 pm 07 Jan 08

I know there were a 2 cases in Canberra on NYE of people eating the deathcap and ending up in ICU at Canberra Hposital. One is now in Sydney awaiting a (liver I think) transplant and the other is now out of ICU. Not a smart thing to do (they were both science teachers apparently)

Skidbladnir 11:32 am 07 Jan 08

Pilfered from two sources, Wikipedia ?-Amanitin and stragely, Erowid.
T= 0 (Ingestion): No symptoms.
T = 10hrs – 24hrs: Initial symptoms of diarrhea and cramping, possible vomiting. After this stage stomach pumping is ineffective.
T = 24-48hrs: Initial symptoms clear, most people will believe they are in remission.
Urine screening can be used for diagnosis.
T = 4 -5 days: Severe liver and kidney damage starts, eventually leading to total organ failure.

Treatment is mainly supportive (gastric pumping, activated carbon, fluid resuscitation) but includes various drugs to counter the toxin, in cases of greater ingestion, can extend to an liver transplant.

The most reliable method of treatment is stomach pumping immediately after ingestion.

So if you think you’ve eaten one, go to the hospital and bring along your mushroom as a sample.

Thumper 11:24 am 07 Jan 08


White gills you say?

Jazz 11:22 am 07 Jan 08

el, unfortunately no. just goes in the same queue. bit stupid i know but easy enough to fix.

Jazz 11:20 am 07 Jan 08

i think from memory that the key difference is that common field mushrooms have dark brown gills, Death Caps on the other hand do not. they’ve got white gills.

el ......VNBerlinaV8 11:19 am 07 Jan 08

Doesn’t saving as a ‘Draft’ stop it going for publishing anyway?

Jazz 11:17 am 07 Jan 08

All fixed now Skidbladnir. you’ll be happy to know that we’re putting in something that will stop us over zealous admins posting stuff that youre still working on.

no, it is not a hearty meal of deathcap mushrooms first thing in the morning.

Mr Evil 10:51 am 07 Jan 08

I gather these cause a rather unpleasant death: you feel really ill, then get better, then die?

Skidbladnir 10:50 am 07 Jan 08

Or any friendly mod feel like putting in some spaces and newlines?

Skidbladnir 10:39 am 07 Jan 08

Argh, I was still editing and formatting this.

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