When: 2011-09-26

Collection location: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, USA [Click for map]

Who: Dave W (Dave W)

Specimen available

Cap is not a shiny as what I understand (not from first hand observations) about phalloides. This would be an uncommon find around here.

Growing under oak trees on a sloping lawn alongside Wilkes Barre Boulevard (a busy downtown street).

Awaiting spore print.

A piece of the sheathing volval sac broke off.

Yesterday at the New Jersey Fungus Festival somebody brought in a collection that really looked like phalloides. It was IDed as such.


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Drs. Anne Pringle and Ben Wolfe confirm…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2012-04-16 14:23:09 CDT (-0400)

as far as they know (and they looked), this is a first record for PA. A note to the Public Health and Poison Control folks in the Wilkes-Barre area is probably a good thing to do. The site is already noted in the “material examined” data field on the techtab of the webpage I previously mentioned (below).

As Debbie noted, it looks (once again) as if this site was created by introduction with either oak or pine. Most of the eastern US sites seem to be a result of introduction by White Pine or Norway Spruce…in my experience (I hasten to add). However, the very early park site in Rochester, NY, was under a large solitary oak if I understood Dr. Tanghe correctly.


does sound as though the oak host was introduced…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2012-04-16 13:53:42 CDT (-0400)

so far, no signs of it escaping into the wild, though? At least I hope so!

By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2012-04-16 13:35:49 CDT (-0400)
Cristina worked this specimen up…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2012-04-16 13:29:55 CDT (-0400)

and we agree that it is A. phalloides. I would be very interested to know if anyone viewing this page knows of another site (or other sites) for phalloides anywhere in Pennsylvania. If so, I’d like to know the earliest date where such a viewer saw or collected phalloides.


The area is a landscaped hill
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2012-04-12 12:33:13 CDT (-0400)

alongside a main road in the city of Wilkes-Barre. The oaks and pines on the hill were planted when the area was landscaped… sometime within the previous 40 years.

Material received and cataloged…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2012-04-12 12:29:33 CDT (-0400)

We’ll take a look at this.

Thank you, David.


Misunderstood me…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2012-04-12 12:28:57 CDT (-0400)

Dave said the tree was planted 40 years ago. I don’t know of records of phalloides from Pennsylvania.


curious about your 40 year statement, Rod…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2011-09-29 16:53:25 CDT (-0400)

40 years of verified and vouchered phalloides sightings from PA?

to my knowledge, none of the eastern phalloides populations have escaped into the wild and become invasive, like has happened in CA.

has that changed anywhere? are they now found in the wilds of NJ, rather than just in pine plantations?

certainly they could be associated with many different host trees, as is shown by their many associations around the world (Rod’s fine website shows a long list of ’em).

do the large and abundant MR nodes of phalloides also occur in eastern populations? I thought that it was just a CA thing…MR nodes for phalloides are rarely found in its native populations in Europe. I thought the abundance of nodes were indicative of it’s being out of balance with it’s environment, hence the invasive part, and its concomitant prodigious fruiting here in California.

We have the dubious honor of CA phalloides being the largest examples of that species in the world.

Sucks to be us! ;)

After 40 years, …
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2011-09-29 16:24:26 CDT (-0400)

I think you need to take both the pine and the oaks into account as possible symbionts. It is possible that the mushroom is connected to trees of both genera at the site. The mycorrhizal structure of A. phalloides [according to what I learned from (now Dr.) Ben Wolfe] is rather easy to recognize. It looks a bit like an underground snowflake attached to a root hair. If you can figure out what root you have in your hand when you find such a “snowflake,” then you can know at least one tree that is a symbiont of your phalloides.

Very best,


The oaks which the mushroom
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2011-09-29 14:36:53 CDT (-0400)

were found growing under did not strike me as an unusual species of oak. (I really need to learn my trees better.) But the trees on the lawn were all ones planted, probably when the road was put in about 40 years ago. So this mycorrhizal mushroom probably got introduced along with the tree. There was also a pine in the vicinity… maybe 40 or 50 feet away from the mushroom.

I think that this is phalloides, too…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2011-09-29 11:50:00 CDT (-0400)

the subtle, embedded radial fibers in the cap, as well as the cap color and bulbous base with a membranous sac all say phalloides to me. not all phalloides are shiny; a metallic sheen tends to occur with drying; this example is quite fresh.

Could this be an introduced tree host, since it is on a lawn?

Newly posted photo shows
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2011-09-28 20:05:55 CDT (-0400)

upper side of ring striate, which is mentioned on the Amanita Studies site. Spores seem small for phalloides though; when I consider that my micrometer gives measurements that run about 15% short it looks to me like these spores have lengths all the way down to 7, and top out at about 10 or so. Otherwise, this really looks like phalloides to me.

Odor sweet with a hint of pungent. No odor of raw potatoes.