Observation 28210: Amanita phalloides var. alba Costantin & L.M. Dufour
When: 2009-11-14
Herbarium specimen reported

Notes: Rod Tulloss states “The white specimens of A. phalloides usually occur among ones with normal coloration. The name probably has no taxonomic value.” I’m not sure that is correct. Pale A. phalloides growing amongst normal colored ones are rather common, but these seem different. I have seen numerous collections, like these, where all the mushrooms are white. This is the first collection I have seen in the east bay, but I have seen many like this in Tomales Bay State Park.

[admin – Sat Aug 14 02:03:09 +0000 2010]: Changed location name from ‘Mountain View Cemetary, Oakland, California’ to ‘Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, California, USA

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Recognized by sight
Based on chemical features: Gills turn vinaceous in concentrated sulfuric acid

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Comments

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according to Dr. Tulloss…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-12-23 11:27:49 CST (-0500)

concentrated sulphuric acid will produce a purple or pink flash on just about any amanita, and is NOT a good test to distinguish phalloides from ocreata.
KOH is a far more valuable chemical test, with phalloides showing no color change, and ocreata turning bright yellow. Much easier to obtain and work with, too.

Since phalloides is an invasive species here in California, out of balance with the ecosystem and producing not only huge, but huge numbers of fruit bodies, it would stand to reason that white forms, which always occur within colored amanita species, would also become more numerous. Doesn’t make it a special variety.

Also, with your chemical test alone, doesn’t make your white phalloides-like mushroom an actual phalloides…remember the huge fruiting of ocreata last year in Santa Barbara, that killed that poor Italian-American mushroom hunter? And we have been seeing ocreata earlier and earlier, along with many other out of season “spring” fungi, like novinupta and velosa, both fruiting in recent years in the late fall.

let’s see the photos and documentation…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-12-22 13:02:25 CST (-0500)

of those “numerous” Tomales Bay collections of “white phalloides”. Chemical tests on every one to see if they weren’t in fact ocreata?

How do they differ from a normal phalloides, other than color? White forms (white from start to finish, not faded) are found within all of the colored amanitas, although I would hardly say that white phalloides are “common.”
Have you sent any of these white phalloides to Harvard for DNA analysis? If not, why not?!

BTW, nice to see you posting actual sightings here, rather than just things from the specimen tables.

Created: 2009-11-14 11:27:29 CST (-0500)
Last modified: 2011-09-26 17:43:42 CDT (-0400)
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