Observation 198904: Amanita vernicoccora Bojantchev & R.M. Davis

When: 2015-02-15

Collection location: El Dorado, California, USA [Click for map]

Who: Andrew S (AmatoxinAndy)

No specimen available

Growing under live oak and in the vicinity of Ponderosa pine. Pictured specimen had a cap 14 cm across and a stipe of approx. 14 cm. However, a nearby giant specimen had a cap 24 cm across, stipe about 15 cm. Ample rainfall ended about 6 days prior; several of this species were just erupting from ground in same area.

Large whitish patch of universal veil on cap; otherwise cream-colored surface of cap. Striations around edge of cap clearly present, though not prominent.

Cross-section of stipe shows hollow interior filled with white gelatinous material. Stipe tapers toward base, with prominent volva.

Guessing A. velosa, but very large nearby specimen makes me consider coccoli, eg A. vernicoccora. Suggestions welcome!

Distinctly fishy smell, mentioned in references for A. vernicoccora but not present at first in pictured specimen and barely perceptible in aforementioned giant specimen, was clearly present after samples sat out overnight. Supports new consensus…

Spore print white; spores elliptical, smooth.


Striations around margin are visible, and picture shows white patch of universal veil tissue with otherwise off-white, cream-colored cap.
Saclike volva; something like skirt-like ring on stipe
Stipe stripped of volva shows lack of bulb; cross-sections of stipe show hollow structure and gelatinous material in center

Proposed Names

-22% (2)
Used references: Arora, D. Mushrooms Demystified 2nd ed

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

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
Thank you
By: Andrew S (AmatoxinAndy)
2015-02-17 20:59:53 CET (+0100)

Okay, thanks very much. I’ll take your word for it on the odor of A. velosa; all I know is that these samples (A. vernicoccora) needed to be relocated onto the front lawn after 24 hours!

an amanita annulus …
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2015-02-17 16:23:19 CET (+0100)

can be an ephemeral thing. as I mentioned to you privately, never just use one feature to make an ID.

both velosa and vernicoccora can have a fishy odor, so no help there!

altho color is highly variable in amanitas, in this case, vernicoccora is either cool toned yellow or pure white; velosas are never a cool toned yellow, but can be a pale orange, hen’s egg brown, tan, bright orange (in S. CA) or pure white. They always lack an annulus, and often have a shaggy aspect to their upper stipe.

EXPERIENCE is your best guide. Collect many before you eat any. Also, get a visual sense by looking at the many permutations of these species right here on MO.

The life you save may be your own.

By: Andrew S (AmatoxinAndy)
2015-02-16 19:46:01 CET (+0100)

Thank you, good tip. The larger specimen (not pictured) didn’t have much to speak of in regards to a ring on stipe, so apparently the presence of one is informative, absence not so much…

Velosa vs. vernicoccora…
By: Randy Longnecker (Randy L.)
2015-02-16 18:13:22 CET (+0100)

An easy way to tell them apart is by the skirt-like ring present on the stipe of vernicoccora.

Something fishy…
By: Andrew S (AmatoxinAndy)
2015-02-16 17:24:00 CET (+0100)

Distinct fishy smell, strongest in older/larger specimen, was present after samples sat out overnight, supporting new consensus. Thanks to all for input.

Created: 2015-02-16 06:27:59 CET (+0100)
Last modified: 2015-02-17 16:18:17 CET (+0100)
Viewed: 107 times, last viewed: 2018-01-26 18:56:13 CET (+0100)
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