Do not eat the deathcap

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.

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29 Responses to Do not eat the deathcap
EvanJames EvanJames 5:42 pm 12 Jan 12

Because my cardboard box is inside, away from the spores! I have been eating a very fine succession of Swiss Browns from my cardboard box since October, although I’m not seeing any new ones sprouting. Think the box is exhausted.

Jivrashia Jivrashia 4:30 pm 12 Jan 12

EvanJames said :

I’ll keep growing my mushrooms in a cardboard box, I think.

But then how do you prevent spores from deadly mushrooms floating into your cardboard box and sprouting?

EvanJames EvanJames 2:41 pm 12 Jan 12

Wow. That picture is scary, I’d have no clue which was which. The Chinese who died thought they were Straw Mushrooms, and going by the picture above, why wouldn’t they?

I’ll keep growing my mushrooms in a cardboard box, I think.

Calochilus Calochilus 2:06 pm 12 Jan 12

Surprisingly, it’s dead easy (pardon the pun). If the witer of this clip had read the original article, he too would spot the difference immediately. He might not have misquoted the original author either.
For those of you who can’t, then do your homework and read the article, the differences are highlighted . There is no excuse for making an error. After 27 years of pointing out the differences to people who have eaten (or whose kids have eaten) a mushroom that has given cause for second thoughts (over 400), I’ve yet to find an adult who , when shown the difference, goes away with any uncertainty.
It all boils down to not eating ANY mushroom that you cannot positively identify as edible. A subtly diffferent message to the handy hint.
For those of you who are truly paranoid, one of the common field mushrooms found in Canberra (Agaricus xanthocarpus) cause vigorous vomiting if eaten by a susceptible person. So far I’ve met 3 people (in A&E), one of whom had been eating the same mushrooms from the same spot for 15 years previuosly with no ill effect. I eat them and enjoy them .

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 2:52 pm 06 Jun 08

Reality, I think the African version of the Avenging Angel turns blue, and there’s bunch of toxic american mushrooms that are now cosmopolitan species, which also turn blue.

Blue bruises are not a guarantee of safety.

realityskin realityskin 2:30 pm 06 Jun 08

if the stem goes blueish/purple, they are safe to eat 😀

Thumper Thumper 1:53 pm 06 Jun 08

Seriously, you’d have to be an idiot to eat shrooms….

Renal failure is not my idea of a fun time.

Absent Diane Absent Diane 1:27 pm 06 Jun 08

i love mushrooms (for culinary purposes). Would never eat wildies though and have never done (or plan on) the magic variety. It just seems far to risky for me.

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 1:06 pm 06 Jun 08

The “blue tinge” is a cyanic reaction to bruising, which most people hunting psilocybin associate with their shrooms (especially those hunting azurescens or cyanescens)

The bad news is the blue tinge isn’t actually an indicator of psilocybin content, just a fairly common chemical reaction within some mushrooms.
There are apparently a few spectacularly deadly mushrooms that do the cyanic trick also.

Even cherry-picking the best mushrooms from a patch full of worms and bugs isn’t an indicator of non-toxic varieties.
Worms and insects aren’t all affected by the toxins, so just keep on muching regardless.

ant ant 12:09 pm 06 Jun 08

Humbug to deathcaps, what’s worse is “normal” field mushrooms that are full of WORMS. I’m never eating wild mushrooms ever, ever again. Yuck.

lion lion 12:03 pm 06 Jun 08

And secondly, do premature mushrooms of this variety not have the blue tinge?

lion lion 12:02 pm 06 Jun 08

A friend of mine picked mushrooms with blue underneath- is it true these are the “magic” variety?

shauno shauno 2:43 am 08 Jan 08

Apparently if you eat milk thistle within a few hours or so it can totally reverse the effect of the death cap. Read that on the net somewhere a while ago so must be true.

On another note when last in Canberra early Dec on a stroll through leafy O’Connor I came across a nice patch of magic mushrooms near the back of the Bowlo.

Pandy Pandy 11:46 pm 07 Jan 08

Free deathcaps to heroin addicts

S4anta 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 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 Mælinar 3:54 pm 07 Jan 08

Typos are human, grammar is neglectful.

Joe Canberran 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 jennybel75 12:39 pm 07 Jan 08

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

jennybel75 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)

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