Observation 197734: Amanita augusta Bojantchev & R.M. Davis

Collected at the 10th Annual Pt. Reyes Fungus Fair. Identified as Amanita augusta by myself at the time. Was met by a bit of disbelief by others, so Dr. Bruns ran the DNA, which confirmed my ID.

Bright yellow is indeed a color morph for Amanita augusta. Please make a note of it.


all photos by Tom Bruns.
all photos by Tom Bruns.
all photos by Tom Bruns.

Proposed Names

92% (2)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight: the bright yellow form.
Based on chemical features: exact (100%) DNA match to more commonly collected A. augusta color morphs.

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

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2015-06-25 13:13:45 CDT (-0500)


Let it die a natural death..
By: Mike McCurdy (lesmcurdy)
2015-06-07 18:57:25 CDT (-0500)

I don’t know why you brought the discussion to a subject you know my feelings on. I was perfectly happy not to go there.

By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2015-06-07 18:29:22 CDT (-0500)

let’s take this off list if you want to continue the discussion.

this is a path we have traveled before, and it doesn’t seem to have an end, hence my prior remark.

That’s quite condescending
By: Mike McCurdy (lesmcurdy)
2015-06-07 17:07:22 CDT (-0500)

if you are saying that if I don’t agree with you, I must not understand. Perhaps we simply disagree. BTW it’s more than taste that drives the process of getting a mushroom to market, proved by our “yellow foot”. I see nothing appealing about this mushroom. When I was selling wild mushrooms it never occurred to me to sell this mushroom, but it’s edible, grows abundantly, and holds up to shipping well, so someone saw the potential, and made a good business decision.

I suspect that in Europe A. franchettii is viewed as inedible, so why would you expect that it would be commonly eaten? How does that apply to the effort here to establish the edibility of A. augusta? These are separate issues since the species have been separated. My point is that I’m glad that there are those modern day folks willing to test a mushroom’s edibility. I would think that you of all people, would appreciate this since you have directly benefited. Isn’t A. velosa your favorite mushroom, yet until recently it was not considered edible. Now it is a favorite for many of us. You seem to think that the testing process is being done in an irresponsible way. Why?

If, in fact, it becomes accepted that A. augustus is edible, I don’t think you have to worry about seeing it in the market. I’ve never seen it in numbers that would sustain commercial trade of the mushroom (although it may in other areas).

webpage on Amanita augusta
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2015-06-07 14:39:04 CDT (-0500)

where I summarize all of this information, can be found on the BAMS website here:


I am aware that Arora got the colors right in MDM.
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2015-06-07 14:11:43 CDT (-0500)

And that same good info was also in the Second Edition. But “yellow” was not a color mentioned by Thiers, and some used his work as the ultimate authority here in CA. It was not the “age” of those hold-out mycologists so much as their ego and the inability to think flexibly. I am certainly not referring to Bruns here. Altho he might have scoffed, he then did the science to test the theory. He proved me and Arora right.

We both came to our own conclusions independently, though, through direct field observations.

Different folks have different palates. Ryane may have well thought it “yummy,” but many others were underwhelmed or even repulsed. Smokers have reduced sensitivities to food, so maybe there is that, too.

It is also noteworthy that even in Europe, where amanitas are commonly sold in markets, Amanita franchettii, augusta’s most similar European counterpoint, is never eaten. It no doubt is mildly toxic like many in the Validae, but it is the taste that gets those amanitas to market. Several other species in Validae are sold at market, including rubescens and flavorubens and flavoconia.

Testing edibility of mushrooms is something that has been done for many generations. Testing the edibility of unknown, potentially toxic amanitas is another thing entirely. The Amanita augusta were served to folks when there was nothing else available for the crowd to eat; same for the muscaria. That is more of an expediency thing, and unwitting human experimentation. Who would have signed on to “test” unknown amanitas if a myco-celebrity hadn’t been the one to offer up that platter?

And yes, I get that it was a pretty good bet, as long as the mushrooms were well cooked.

If you are truly testing edibility in any sort of scientific way, there must be controls and follow-up. To my knowledge, that was never done, for either muscaria or augusta.

It is not about differences in palate; it is about being careful with the lives of others, and which risks are reasonable and which will produce the most potential benefits.

ALL grisettes are edible, though not all are choice. ALL caesars are edible, although not universally enjoyed. Big diff between trying those and playing with the toxic species.

But if you don’t understand this, I can’t convince you here.

Yes, Ryane is missed dearly.
By: Mike McCurdy (lesmcurdy)
2015-06-07 13:11:57 CDT (-0500)

Funny that mycologists (of any age) would resist this. Even Arora’s first edition of Mushrooms Demystified lists a bright yellow form—which makes for 36 years of precedent.

I like the idea of establishing the edibility of any mushroom, and don’t understand why some resist that. Always nice to know. As for taste, there are some mushrooms we could all agree on, good and bad. Who would like a bitter bolete? Who would dislike a porcini? A lot of people dislike grisettes, but I like the 3 I’m familiar with, though thin fleshed, and fragile. Not easy to transport with big clunky boletes. Ryane’s description of A. augusta’s taste was “Yummy”.

ah, good ole Ryan.
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2015-06-07 11:30:56 CDT (-0500)

gone too soon.

I have been documenting these yellow forms for at least a decade, to the scoffing of other “older” mycologists here. But I always knew what I had.

nice to put an end to that nonsense with a little DNA confirmation.

I’ll bet that Ryane ate them with Arora … but really, edible (with thorough cooking, since they probably have those nasty, heat disabled hemolytic toxins) vs good? No one is claiming that they are actually good. Just cause you can do something …

Nice find
By: Mike McCurdy (lesmcurdy)
2015-06-05 12:34:30 CDT (-0500)

Four to five years ago I collected a bright yellow specimen with Ryane Snow who knew it for what it was. In fact, he recommended eating it, so there is precedent for recognizing the bright yellow form.

Created: 2015-02-02 10:49:43 CST (-0600)
Last modified: 2015-06-07 17:11:00 CDT (-0500)
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