Please do not re-click a link while waiting for a page to load. (It’s slower and degrades site speed for all users.)
To get images for machine learning, see MO Images for Machine Learning


When: 2013-08-07

Collection location: Rocky Mountain National Park, Larimer Co., Colorado, USA [Click for map]

Who: weed lady (Sylvia )

No specimen available

Species Lists


Proposed Names

78% (2)
Recognized by sight

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

= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
In the PNW, it could be either the European (true) muscaria or the North American
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2013-08-08 09:09:50 PDT (-0700)

species with the problematic name. This can be sorted microscopically and/or genetically. The question we face is with the name is that we can’t sequence the type of A. muscaria var. alba (much too old) and we very likely cannot sequence the the type of A. chrysoblema (nearly 100 years old now). We know that there exists white material that is conspecific with the mushroom that weed lady posted here.

We know (genetically) of two white muscarioids in North America (a white color variant of A. muscaria and a white color variant of the endemic North American entity (on this observation, at present, called A. muscaria subsp. flavivolvata). We have two names both based on North American collections…one from Michigan and one from New York. Jenkins did a brief comparison of the types and concluded they were identical. That should be rechecked. We should also see the genetics of a goodly number of white collections to see what we find. Some of those collections should come from Michigan and upstate New York if at all possible. Then we could assemble an argument. If there is only one white variant of subsp. flavivolvata and the two old names are taxonomic synonyms, then that is the best case scenario. Then the name of our “American muscaria” (ranging from Alaska to Costa Rica as an endemic) would be chrysoblema. It would be odd to have a yellow-staining white entity’s name on a dominantly red or yellow-capped species, but that’s the rules. Crazier things happen.

Very best,


what about along the west coast?
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2013-08-08 07:39:40 PDT (-0700)

I uncommonly but regularly find white muscaria in the Sierra (including recent collections from Yosemite, vouchered at UCB). It is far more common in the PNW.
I found a fairy ring of white muscaria along the flanks of Mt. Rainier a couple of years ago.

October in the PNW is the time to find these things in quantity.

I have been very curious about just where these white “muscaria” fit in, in the over-all amanita scheme of things, since my first collection of it back in Oregon in 2002.

This species is actually distinct from the European A. muscaria. EDITED
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2013-08-08 07:22:43 PDT (-0700)

Unfortunately, we are stuck on what the correct name should be. There is an existing name that might apply, but we haven’t evidence that really nails it down. On the other hand we have a provisional name that I have used in the past. At the moment we need white-capped material from Michigan or Central southern Canada for examination and DNA sequencing in order to help determine whether all such material corresponds to a single species. The problem is that such material seems rather rare. I want to take this opportunity to appeal to MO folks living in the north central part of forested North America to collect, photograph, takes notes on, and dry white muscaria-like material and contribute it to the cause of resolving the name of our most widespread, colorful, and recognizable Amanita.

EDIT: Anyone reading this comment is asked to help put out the word…we need white muscarioid dried specimens with good documentation (literally a good set of papers, a pedigree). The mailing address is here:

Very best,


Amanita sp.
By: weed lady (Sylvia )
2013-08-08 04:02:43 PDT (-0700)

Found at an elevation of about 8,000’ in soil. Trees mostly Ponderosa pines mixed with some hardwoods. Cap about 5" wide, color spectacular, a bright reddish orange. Guessing this is Amanita muscaria, but do not know the exact name. Found another in the same general area which was more of a yellow color