When: 2004-08-11

Collection location: West Virginia, USA [Click for map]

Who: John Plischke (John Plischke)

No specimen available

This one came from west Virginia. About 2 1/2 inches tall. Although this photo does not show it also did have a slight bluish cast. It was about 2 inches wide.

[admin – Sat Aug 14 02:07:42 +0000 2010]: Changed location name from ‘West Virginia’ to ‘West Virginia, USA’

Species Lists


Proposed Names

31% (3)
Recognized by sight
27% (3)
Recognized by sight
74% (3)
Recognized by sight: blue color cited by observer plus location.

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= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
here’s Rod’s page on this mushroom from the ATBI in the Smokies…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-02-17 11:45:25 CST (-0600)


includes a photo, and spore measurements (Dimi!).

The ATBI (which included all biological taxa, not just mushrooms) was an intensive and thorough survey of Smokey Mountain ecosystems and their inhabitants, and was the model for our recent series of five California Mycoblitzes. For further details on the Pt. Reyes Mycoblitz, go here:


By: John Plischke (John Plischke)
2009-02-14 20:24:35 CST (-0600)

I dug it up after the photo and it had a bulb with a sac sticking up. It was definately an Amanita I was just a bad photographer. I dont like photographing single mushrooms prefer groups of 3 with one standing and one turned ove showing underneath and the 3rd showing any other features that couldbe helpful. Sometimes I do take singles if it is unusual or if I never saw it before. I do that just in case i never get to see it again. I always hope to get better sopecimens sometime and retake the photo and discard the old one if its not very good.

did you dig it up, John, to see if it had a volva or not?
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-02-13 09:12:44 CST (-0600)

as a highly skilled, long-time observer, what features told you that this was an amanita?
because i know you and your skill level, I trust what you say is based on facts not fantasy. Just like I trust Dimi’s opinions about our western corts, altho even he can be wrong, so i guess you could be, too.
So, convince us!

Is there one decent photo of that critical species — Amanita mediinox?
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-02-13 01:37:47 CST (-0600)

> I didn’t say I was sure it was an Amanita, just said that there
> is an Amanita species with a top that is that > color.

Well, you know well enough that the avid Amanita fans/groupies will
jump on even a vaguely conditional (Jesuit) statement like a bona-fide
coronation, but let’s stick to the basics here.

Rod, you’re touching on a philosophical theme here that transcends this
particular “Observation” and I plan to cover on MushroomTalk in
greater length.

BTW, I have 3000 photos of things that I know what they are, but
nobody else would, i.e. “bad photos”. Similarly, you may know that
this particular photo represents a rare Amanita that only you know
(and I would trust you!), but is it instructive enough for us to use?

Now, the key question here — as the sole purpose of an image is to
convey information — what role do bad images have in this scheme of

In my book spoiled images belong to the garbage can, just like rotten
tomatoes, spoiled goods, etc. No need to flaunt them about and claim
that they represent an unaltered piece of reality (=beauty).

What happens when you utilize garbage photos as a vehicle of
information? Nothing. You simply feed people garbage information.
That’s all. Most people are Ok with that while few people like me
object and get their own camera and start shooting.

Now, having said all that, is there one good quality photo of that
critical species — Amanita mediinox nom. prov. that we can use to
base our species concept, at least in part?

D. www.mushroomhobby.com

P.S. As I said earlier, that photo here fits like a tiny piece of a
jigsaw puzzle into many concepts — I can relate a number of Entoloma,
Pluteus and even Tricholoma. And repeating — is there one good
element here to suggests anything like an Amanita. Look at the bottom
of the stipe, do you see even the remotest suggestion of a volval cup?
I try hard, but I can’t. I’d love someone to teach me Amanita here,
but just teach me “well” is all I can ask for.

Is it an Amanita…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2009-02-12 22:07:32 CST (-0600)

Well, Dimitar, I didn’t say I was sure it was an Amanita, I just said that there is an Amanita species with a top that is that color. Dried material. Dried material. Dried material. It’s a reasonably good mycological mantra. A. mediinox has a bulb and a limbate volva as in A. phalloides. The spores are rather narrow for section Phalloideae. I guess we have to ask John to drive back to WV and take another photo of a specimen with this color cap that he then dries so that someone can verify (or not) the genus…at least.

Very best,


Amanita mediinox Tulloss nom. prov.
By: John Plischke (John Plischke)
2009-02-12 20:44:32 CST (-0600)

Thats the one. I remember that the Amanita was the same one as Ashville but I neever knew it had a name. I do not remember anything about the stipe base. I took a number of slides of it but this one was the only one that turned out. The really like the name Midnight Amanita. Sounds like a great description for it. Thank you, John

ah yes, the famous SE blue amanita!
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-02-12 15:41:20 CST (-0600)

I wrote Coleman about this curiousity last night when I saw John’s posting, already given a number and a provisional name by Rod, and here is what she replied: So, Rod’s blue amanita is Amanita sp. S9 (=mediinox Tulloss nom. prov.).

In its blueish prime, it is a spectacular fungus and unmistakeably amanita. In fact, the Asheville Mushroom Club has a wonderful illustration of it on one of their old T-Shirts. Sadly (for Amanitarita, at least), it is now “out of print”, but after much whining on my part, they are seriously considering doing it again, altho the original silk screens were destroyed, and it won’t be easy.
Bless them for trying, tho. Any other orders? ;)
I am jealous that you got to see one, John!!!!

One masterfully disguised Amanita.
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-02-11 23:51:17 CST (-0600)

Rod, if you say Amanita then it surely is one of the best disguised
ones that I’ve ever seen.

There is an Amanita with a cap like this…but it’s a little bigger, I think…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2009-02-11 23:17:21 CST (-0600)

I think I see a skirt on the stipe, too. Do you remember anything about the base of the stipe, John? The picture reminds me of the Midnight Amanita [like a very dark black (reportedly, blue-black in some lights) phalloides, becoming paler when its fully opened] that has been reported from West Virgnia, western North Carolina, and eastern Tennessee. Bill Roody has seen it and sent me material of it. So have folks from Asheville. I’ve only seen it fresh myself one time — on a foray near Cherokee Orchards in GSMNP with the folks organized by Ron Petersen et al. (U. Tenn., Knoxville).


Hey John, anything but Amanita.
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-02-11 21:52:34 CST (-0600)

We’ll never know from a single photo, but Amanita is the last
thing I see looking at the photo — say Pluteus, Entoloma, even
Tricholoma, but Amanita. Show me one typical Amanita feature in
there and I’ll believe you — volva, veil on the cap, annulus….

How are you, BTW?

By: John Plischke (John Plischke)
2009-02-11 21:36:34 CST (-0600)

Sorry bad photo It was only a single and do not have another view,

West Virginia is a pretty big place
By: Dan Molter (shroomydan)
2009-02-11 20:59:11 CST (-0600)

Can you narrow down the location a bit? It is also not possible to tell from the photo if it is even an Amanita. We need to see the gills, the annulus if present, the bulb if present. As it stands, this observation is not much use to science.