Public Description of Amanita brunnescens G.F. Atk.

Title: Public Description (Default)
Name: Amanita brunnescens G.F. Atk.
View: public
Edit: public
Version: 6
Previous Version 

Descriptions: Create
 Public Description (Default) [Edit]
 Draft For Wild Mushrooms Of The Northeastern United States By Erlon Bailey (Private)
 Draft For Amanitaceae By Chaelthomas (Private)

Description status: Unreviewed

Taxonomic Classification:

Domain: Eukarya
Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Agaricales
Family: Amanitaceae

General Description:

Commonly known as the Cleft-foot Amanita or the Brown Blusher, Amanita brunnescens is common mycorrhizal basidiomycete fungus in the eastern hardwood forests of North America. It is recognized by the brown staining flesh and it’s bulbous stipe. The bulb frequently has vertical splits (clefts) in it. The cap color varies from white to brown. The stipe is generally white or whitish often with brown stains.

Diagnostic Description:

Pileus: 3.5-15cm across; grayish-brown, brown, olive-brown or white; paler at margin;
often radially streaked; viscid when wet; convex, plane or shallowly depressed in age;
margin non-striate; universal veil leaving white, floccose patches
when present; pileus flesh white, staining brown.

Stipe: 5-15cm long, 8-21mm at apex; surface white, staining brown,
smooth to floccose-squamulose; flesh white, staining reddish brown to
brown; central, round, tapered upward; abruptly bulbous; basal bulb
marginate, globous to sub-globous; bulb often with distinct vertical

Partial veil: present; white to dingy white, membranous, pendant,
superior, thin, persistent; usually attached, but can become free.

Universal veil: present, white; collar-like?, membranous?

Hymenophore: lamelluate, white, crowded, smooth, free; lamellulae generally present.

Spore print: white

Spores: 7.5-10 × 7-8.6 microns, globose to subglobose, smooth, hyaline, amyloid.

The spores measure (7.0-) 8.0 – 9.2 (-9.5) x (6.5-) 7.2 – 8.5 (-9.2) ┬Ám and are globose to subglobose (occasionally broadly ellipsoid) and amyloid. Clamps are absent from bases of basidia. (Tulloss)

Odor: indistinct or of raw potatoes

Frequency: common

Grouping: solitary, scattered, gregarious


Eastern United States, but there have been reports from the northwestern United States as well.

Recorded from the following states in USA:
Maine, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania,
Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee,
North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi,
Louisiana, California, Oregon (Jenkins). To be expected
in all east coast states.


Associated with hardwoods. Oaks in particular.

Look Alikes:

Can be confused with Amanita rubescens (stains red, no abrupt bulb) or Amanita porphyria (doesn’t stain, associated with conifers, often with purplish tones).

It can be compared to the European species A. asteropus Sabo ex Romagn. There is some question as to whether A. aestivalis Singer is a distinct species. If A. aestivalis and A. brunnescens are distinct, then it is not yet known to which of these species A. brunnescens var. pallida L. Krieg. must be assigned as a synonym. A. lectotype will have to be located and designated for var. pallida; however, it is quite possible that that will not resolve the issue. The original description of the variety seems to be broad enough to include A. aestivalis and pale individuals of A. brunnescens. Note that the cap color in A. brunnescens is very variable; the specimens in the bottom photograph (above) were found in close proximity and include cap colors ranging from pale citrine to brown. One pileus (second from right) is have citrine and half brown. — R. E. Tulloss (copied from Jan. 8, 2010)


Expected to be poisonous.


Bessette, Alan E. (1997). Mushrooms of Northeastern North America: Amanita brunnescens var. brunnescens. (pp. 62). Syracuse University Press.

Jenkins, David T. (1986). Amanita of North America. (p. 151). Mad River Press.

Roody, William C. (2003). Mushrooms of West Virginia and the Central Appalachians: Amanita brunnescens var. brunnescens. (p. 49). The University Press of Kentucky.

Tulloss, Rod. (2010). Amanita Studies Site: (Jan. 8, 2010)


Current Name:
Amanita brunnescens G.F. Atk., Proc. Am. phil. Soc. 57: 354 (1918)

Amanitina brunnescens (G.F. Atk.) E.-J. Gilbert, in Bresadola, Iconogr. Mycol. 27(Suppl. 1): 78 (1941

Description author: Nathan Wilson (Request Authorship Credit)
Description editors: Erlon Bailey, walt sturgeon

Created: 2009-10-05 22:39:38 CDT (-0400) by Erlon Bailey (Herbert Baker)
Last modified: 2011-12-24 21:08:02 CST (-0500) by walt sturgeon (Mycowalt)
Viewed: 307 times, last viewed: 2020-07-28 09:24:00 CDT (-0400)