Observation 181438: Amanita muscaria var. guessowii Veselý

When: 2014-10-03

Collection location: Westwood Cemetery, Oberlin, Ohio, USA [Click for map]

Who: peterichards

No specimen available

This observation calls into question the utility of varietal names for A. muscaria! Red, yellow-orange, and light yellow or tan all within 1 foot of each other.

Proposed Names

-15% (2)
Recognized by sight
28% (1)
Recognized by sight: Some specimens of A. persicina can be very red. Check the base for lack of prominent concentric rings. More info is required for species level ID.

Please login to propose your own names and vote on existing names.

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
Red Cap muscaria
By: walt sturgeon (Mycowalt)
2015-03-14 12:46:03 CDT (-0400)

Show up now & then in Ohio and the NE U.S. but they are never as bright red as European and Western N. American varieties. As Pete has documented they are often in company with our typical orange to yellow forms. I have not seen the white variety with the red but I see it often with the yellow orange ones.

I have never seen a red-capped version…
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2015-03-14 10:07:55 CDT (-0400)

here in eastern NA (east of the Rockies).

Hello, Peter.
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2014-10-04 06:06:51 CDT (-0400)

There is a lot of background here that has been discussed in the past on MO.

At the moment, the taxonomic and genetic study of muscarioid taxa are in a transition zone. We know that the Eurasian muscaria is a distinct species with multiple color variants that are all interfertile (red, yellow, orange, white, often fading to tan in sunlight). We know that the dominant muscaria of the Americas is a distinct species. We have a problem in that, in order not to create unnecessary names, we have to wait until we can establish that it is probable that all the white variants east of the west coast share common DNA. We are working on this with the help of multiple mushroomobserver participants. A shipment of white muscarioids is going off to Dr. Geml in Leiden within the next week to ten days. So far, it looks promising that all the white muscarioids will belong to the same species as the red, yellow, and orange ones that you see in Ohio. When we have reached the “tipping point,” there is an existing name (based on a white muscarioid specimen) that is the only existing candidate for the name of the dominant muscarioid of Northern and Central America. That name is “chrysoblema,” and it was proposed in the early Twentieth Century by Kauffman.

At the moment, we have the varietal and subspecies names. We know how to apply these names for color variants. It is too early to declare for “chrysoblema”; so we are in a period of transition.

Very best,


he missed the point
By: peterichards
2014-10-03 21:28:39 CDT (-0400)

Alan’s addition of a varietal name to my observation indicates that he did not understand the point of my posting. Which one is A.m.flavivolvata? What are the others that are growing within a foot of the A.m.f? How are they different? Are these differences significant taxonomically?

Created: 2014-10-03 16:11:11 CDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2015-03-13 18:38:09 CDT (-0400)
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