Tagged: deadly

mushrooms that can kill you

#124: <em>Galerina marginata</em>, the Deadly Galerina 2

#124: Galerina marginata, the Deadly Galerina

If you are collecting for the table, this is one little brown mushroom (LBM) that you should definitely be familiar with. Most LBMs go unnoticed because they are heard to spot and are usually too small to consider worth eating.  The “Deadly Galerina” is therefore usually not dangerous on its own.  The real danger from this mushroom comes when it is accidentally collected along with a group of edible mushrooms.  Galerina marginata contains amatoxins, which are also found in such infamous species as Destroying Angels (Amanita virosa complex, FFF#050) and Death Caps (Amanita phalloides, FFF#051).  In England, G. marginata goes by the beautifully ominous name, “Funeral Bell.”  Unfortunately for me, people in the United States prefer the much blander common name, “Deadly Galerina.”

#100: Uncommon Mushroom Toxins 0

#100: Uncommon Mushroom Toxins

In addition to the eight common types of mushroom toxins, mushrooms produce a number of other compounds that are toxic to humans. The North American Mycological Association lists eight of these less common toxins/syndromes.  Many of these are limited to a few, closely-related species and are therefore not as frequently observed as the eight types described previously.

#092: Gyromitrin and Monomethylhydrazine (MMH) 1

#092: Gyromitrin and Monomethylhydrazine (MMH)

These toxins are primarily found in the genus Gyromitra (false morels) and can be fatal in high doses. Gyromitrin poisoning accounts for about 2% to 4% of mushroom-related fatalities.

#091: Amatoxins 5

#091: Amatoxins

This group of poisons contains the most deadly of all mushroom toxins and accounts for the majority of deaths by mushroom poisoning (perhaps up to 95% globally). Amatoxins are found in many Amanita species (from which the group derives its name) – most notably in the Destroying Angels (Amanita virosa and relatives, see FFF#050) and in the Death Cap (Amanita phalloides, see FFF#051) – as well as in some mushrooms in the genera Galerina, Lepiota, and Conocybe.

#051: The Death Cap, <em>Amanita phalloides</em> 2

#051: The Death Cap, Amanita phalloides

NEVER EAT AN AMANITA. Please keep reading if you don’t know what that sentence means.  Amanita phalloides is perhaps the leading cause of deaths due to mushroom poisoning in the United States.  The danger with the Death Cap is that it is often mistaken for an edible look-alike.  Avoiding the Death Cap is not difficult once you learn to identify Amanita  Although some Amanitas are edible, it is much safer to pass up every mushroom in that genus.  The following list will help you identify A. phalloides:

#050: The Destroying Angels, <em>Amanita virosa</em> Species Group 5

#050: The Destroying Angels, Amanita virosa Species Group

NEVER EAT ANY PURE WHITE MUSHROOM. If that first sentence is as far as you read in this post, it should help you avoid ingesting the deadly poisonous mushrooms in this species group.  One of the first questions you get asked when you tell someone you are interested in mushrooms is, “How can you tell whether or not a mushroom is poisonous?”  Unfortunately, poisonous mushrooms come in all shapes and sizes, so you really need to learn how to avoid each of them individually.  The Destroying Angels (a.k.a. Death Angels) are some of the most deadly mushrooms in the world, so every amateur mushroom hunter must be able to identify them.  Luckily, they are fairly easy to recognize.  Here are six things you should check for to identify a Destroying Angel: WHITE COLOR: The first thing you notice about these mushrooms when you see them is that they are pure...