Observation 181499: Podostroma cornu-damae (Pat.) Boedijn
When: 2014-10-02
Collection location: Japan [Click for map]
Who: shinto
No herbarium specimen

Notes: hopefully the picture loaded. This is from a local news bulletin on the dangers of these. Sorry, no latin name available. Here is the translation from the article:

Ka-en-take (Fire flame kinoko)

http://j-town.net/tokyo/news/localnews/192685.html
http://blog.livedoor.jp/rbkyn844/archives/7557577.html

Extremely poisonous kinoko found in Osaka, Kyoto, Nara and Kansai in general. Found often in a group in Buna (beech family) and Nara (Quercus family) forests. Fatal dose 3gram.
On touch, skin gets sore (erosion: med term). When inhaled, (throat) membrane gets damaged. If eaten one gets in 30 minutes, fever, chill, vomit, diarrea, stomach pain, numbness. Fallen hair. In two days it may cause digestive failure, cerebellum atrophy, leading to motion failure and death from brain nerve disfunction. Look at a picture toward the bottom on the first link.

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Comments

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As they should be
By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2014-10-03 23:33:50 PDT (-0700)

The list of symptoms alone is horrifying. The dermal transmission is even crazier. The trichothecenes article at Wikipedia was even mentioning inhalation risks. This must be the single most dangerous macrofungus there is.

Very interesting, thanks
By: shinto
2014-10-03 23:16:21 PDT (-0700)

Thanks for your research on this. Damae (da-may) generally means emphatic NO in nihongo, STOP, etc. Kind of scary, If I saw it in nature I don’t think I would hesitate to pick it up bare handed. three grams is not much as a fatal dose. A bit Borgia-esque. Again, thanks for your research and comments.

Generally there is a high level of science education per capita here and any article in a legit periodical is going to be catering to such audience. Still, there are corny folk legends to be aware of. This was a public safety message. Kinoko hunting popularity has increased quite a bit here for photography and just as an excuse for hiking, so I think they are concerned about this one.

This is wild
By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2014-10-03 21:47:12 PDT (-0700)

and completely and utterly unknown to me until now. It’s all right here, even the skin bit:

Trichothecenes are different from most other potential weapons toxins because they can act through the skin. Compared with some of the other mycotoxins such as aflatoxin, the trichothecenes do not appear to require metabolic activation to exert their biological activity. After direct dermal application or oral ingestion, the trichothecene mycotoxins can cause rapid irritation to the skin or intestinal mucosa.
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trichothecene

PS: here is the second picture from the article

Should have Googled first:
By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2014-10-03 21:36:06 PDT (-0700)
Shinto
By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2014-10-03 21:33:48 PDT (-0700)

There is a very rare condition called shitake dermatitis which causes some kind of skin irritation (all across the back, iirc), but that is, to the best of my knowledge, the only fleshy fungus which is poisonous to the touch, and even then only in extremely rare cases.

It would be helpful to have more information on the poisonings and how they were determined to be caused by this fungus, and by whom. For such a specific and strange list of symptoms (no known mushroom toxin causes hair loss), there is no corroboration from any health authority anywhere in the article. I am skeptical.

Please update us with more information if you can obtain any.

Created: 2014-10-03 19:41:14 PDT (-0700)
Last modified: 2015-10-29 11:34:26 PDT (-0700)
Viewed: 369 times, last viewed: 2016-11-30 06:08:42 PST (-0800)
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