When: 2014-10-30

Collection location: Swisshome, Lane Co., Oregon, USA [Click for map]

Who: Caius Loica-Mersa (caiusmersa)

No specimen available

Growing on a slope, in a thick forest of Western hemlock, maple, and the occasional Douglas fir. Quite a large and beautiful, pristine mushroom. I didn’t measure it exactly but probably a bit over 1 foot tall. The stem is rather thick and strong, which leads me to think it is A. pachycolea rather than A. vaginata. I would appreciate any feedback as I am curious to try eating some of the edible Amanitas eventually but I feel like I still need more experience. Other characters I used for id-ing: the obvious lines running inwards from the cap edge, deep sac-like volva (several inches), no obvious sign of a veil on the stem, but the mushroom is in such a pristine condition, it seems to me like you can see some remnants of a veil of sorts deep down near the bottom of the volva (see second photo). Anyone have a clue why the stem looks that way near the bottom?

Proposed Names

75% (4)
Used references: Using the small Arora field guide (All That the Rain Promises and More)

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= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
you are wise to be conservative in your amanita eating, Caius.
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2016-09-15 19:05:43 CDT (-0400)

grisettes like this one are some of the easiest of all amanitas to ID, at least to section!

IMO, pachycholea is the best tasting of our western lot, and unmistakeable once you become familiar with it.

Very large size (our largest western grisette), dark umbonate cap, sometimes zonate, prominent striations at the cap edge, with a very thick and long universal veil (volva) left at the base, which stains orangish with age.

There is no question in my mind that this is/was a pachycolea. Treat your amanitas like fresh meat, and they won’t decay quite so rapidly. Try eating the next one you find, especially ones in such fine shape … the caps are very nice broiled and stuffed with cheese. This is one of the rare substantial grisettes that holds up well to such robust treatment.

Yes, you’re right.,
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2014-11-15 13:00:49 CST (-0500)

Important foundational experience #1 … :)

Species of Amanita sect. Vaginatae are short-lived. Moreover, drying needs to be relatively quick because the microscopic structure of the gills is very liable to collapse if the mushroom is not dried quickly.

Very best,


This one needs to be dried quick…
By: Caius Loica-Mersa (caiusmersa)
2014-11-15 01:32:06 CST (-0500)

Unfortunately, Rod, I didn’t get a chance to dry it…I left this and a couple of other mushrooms of the same species of my trunk and they disintegrated into a gross ooze within two days…I left it there one day too many it seems!

Very nice pictures, Caius.
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2014-10-30 19:57:05 CDT (-0400)

I agree that this is probably A. pachycolea.


What you see inside the volval sac…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2014-10-30 19:56:07 CDT (-0400)

is the tissue that originally (in the primordium) filled the space between what became the lower edges of the gills and what became the stem. It is not analogous to a partial veil and is often detectable in species that have a skirt on the stem. For example the rings around the stem base in muscaria-like taxa are actually remants of a limbus internus that was once solid, and broke up to make the rings.

Very best,

Rod Tulloss

With regard to a recent discussion on MO,…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2014-10-30 19:50:48 CDT (-0400)

Is it possible for you to obtain this material and dry it for study?

Very best,