Observation 272497: Amanita porphyria Alb. & Schwein.
When: 2017-03-18
0 Sequences

Found under Arbutus menziesii and Notholithocarpus densiflorus.

One specimen only.

Proposed Names

91% (2)
Eye3 Eyes3
Used references: Mushrooms Of The Redwood Coast

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


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thanks for those deep clarifications, Mike
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2017-03-22 08:36:32 PDT (-0700)

I am sure that we all feel a lot better now.

You are a busy fellow, righting wrongs everywhere! Got cape?

By: Mike McCurdy (lesmcurdy)
2017-03-22 08:25:54 PDT (-0700)
Debbie suggested asking Kingman to post this on MO, and it was a good idea (although, I didn’t “have” him do anything—I asked, and he kindly created an observation here). I am surprised at the need for credit for this, but I am remiss.

After seeing Kingman’s A. porphyria post on Noah Siegel’s California Mushroom Identification Forum where he said it was found with tan oak and madrone I wondered if others had been found at Salt Point State Park in the same habitat, since conventional wisdom says that in this area they associate with pines.

A search on MO showed 6 or 7 porphyria observations. George Riner posted an observation showing a photo of one found at SPSP taken on a piece of wood with no indication of it’s habitat, so I asked in what habitat it was found?

Debbie Viess responded that this mushroom “grows with conifers”. While it was nice of her to remind me what the field guides say, it didn’t answer the question, since only George knows. At that point I thought finding one with tan oak could be kind of exciting, and wondered if there were more documented cases. Then we hear from Rod that David Arora found at least one in the Santa Cruz area in a similar habitat. Good stuff.

Not sure that what conclusions can be drawn from this. We seem to be on it’s southern boarder. It’s not prevalent around here (central coastal California). It associates mostly with pines, but occasionally occurs in a mixed tan oak/douglas fir forest.

I noticed that Kingman used Noah and Christian’s terrific new field guide “Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast” to identify the mushroom. I hope it’s added to the BAMS resource list soon.

another example of porphyria at SP in March
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2017-03-21 10:25:35 PDT (-0700)

can be found here:


that one was clearly associated with conifers (see duff affixed to abruptly bulbous base).

Just ran thru all of the SP sightings of porphyria. All were associated with Doug Fir or pine, sometimes in a mixed forest, sometimes in pure conifer stands.

clearly porphyria
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2017-03-21 09:45:21 PDT (-0700)

which is regularly collected along the N. CA coast, altho never in great quantities.
And make note of the fact that the original brownish purplish cap color is changing over to silvery gray, which happens as it ages.

But exactly what the host tree is, is still in question. Even the collection cited by Tulloss here, found by Arora and himself, listed a mixed forest which included pine. Here’s the exact quote from Genbank:

“… in sand with some organic content with Arctostaphylos, Castanopsis, Pinus, and Quercus …”

Without tracing those amanitas down to their MR nodes, we really don’t know the host tree in this case. Porphyria has a very wide Northern distribution, and apparently can grow with both hardwoods and conifers. Here in CA and the PNW, it is most commonly seen with conifers. Apparently there was also Douglas Fir in the vicinity of this sighting, and really, who knows what all else? We tend to focus on the trees right above the mushroom, but as we know, those roots can extend out quite a ways, and assumptions are not always reality.

So, a fairly unusual and fun find, but not necessarily an out of the ordinary host.

Thanks for taking the time to put your obsie up here on MO, Kingman. There is a much broader distribution of mycological eyes and an easily searchable database here than on a private Facebook site. I suggested to Mike that he have you do so, so I am glad you did.

That’s funny…
By: Mike McCurdy (lesmcurdy)
2017-03-21 09:32:03 PDT (-0700)

you’ve got to stop working such long hours.

You’re welcome, Mike.
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2017-03-21 09:18:20 PDT (-0700)

It’s morning now, and I have enough smarts not to try to spell your last name today. :)

Very best,


Thank you Rod,
By: Mike McCurdy (lesmcurdy)
2017-03-21 07:25:28 PDT (-0700)

for lending your expertise to this, and for including the links to information on this at your web site. Interesting to know that you actually saw this mushroom in a similar habitat in California with David Arora.


Thanks to Mike McCurdy for calling my attention to this observation.
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2017-03-20 21:11:14 PDT (-0700)

To answer your question, Mike.

Yes, David Arora showed me porphyria in a similar habitat near Santa Cruz in 2003. Search on “RET 366-3” on the technical tab of this page:


We got DNA from the specimen that was a very good match for eastern North American porphyria and European porphyria. So, at the moment, there is evidence suggesting that the species has a wide distribution in the northern part of the Northern Hemisphere.

For the most similar species, I suggest the list here:


Nice find, Kingman.

Very best,

Rod Tulloss

Created: 2017-03-20 15:34:59 PDT (-0700)
Last modified: 2017-03-21 09:45:33 PDT (-0700)
Viewed: 101 times, last viewed: 2017-07-12 01:43:30 PDT (-0700)
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