Observation 29672: Amanita stirps Muscaria

When: 2009-12-06

Collection location: Canyon, Contra Costa Co., California, USA [Click for map]

Who: BakerSt10

Specimen available

Growing with oak & madrone.
I think this is in the gemmata group but it is a little different.


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= Observer’s choice
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Well, things like “gemmata group” have worked before…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2009-12-07 21:32:01 CST (-0600)

I can understand the point, Deb. I’m flexible, too. Do something that’s consistent with what’s been done before.


The votes…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2009-12-07 20:07:36 CST (-0600)

Hmm. It’s not a knockdown. It’s the algorithm. One person voted “possible” and one person (yeah, it was me) voted “doubtful.” To me that’s like a vote of 2 on a scale of 0-8, followed by a vote of 1. Its the algorithm that permits valuations to go below zero that makes the number value of the total vote look so small.

I’m not suggesting that a change in the algorithm is worth the effort. I don’t really see a point in challenging the system that has worked pretty well except for the emotive response that one might feel (I do) when we see a negative valuation. I think the process is not broken…it’s just a special “one off” that was created for MO (so far as I know).

Very best,


perhaps we need new terminology for the western “gemmata”…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-12-07 20:01:47 CST (-0600)

since it comes up as the described European form when listed on MO. Use of quotes? Use of gemmata group? I’m flexible!

By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2009-12-07 19:24:50 CST (-0600)

I think I better speak for myself on this point. The European gemmata is very unlikely to be on the West Coast. However, there is/are one or more things people call “gemmata”…as long as we all agree that it isn’t the European gemmata…especially since we don’t know how many “gemmatas” there are on the West Coast…I am just trying to avoid making heat without light and saying “gemmata” like everyone else.

There are plenty of things about which everyone is equally ignorant…I think it’s better just to be clear about what we don’t know…there’s so much of it. At any rate, at this point it would take some real effort to propose a “right” answer with any credibility. I have too much on my plate for that effort to come from me.

Very best,


the first time that I saw these I also thought aprica…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-12-07 15:49:16 CST (-0600)

but the UV is wrong for that species. the weird orange-yellow color reminded me of the aprica color, tho, as did that weird volva like a cross between gemmata and muscaria. BTW, according to Rod, apparently there IS some gemmata on the West coast.

Ain’t taxonomy fun?

that explains the identical (to this sighting) cluster of three on the table!
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-12-07 13:29:49 CST (-0600)

and you can go ahead and check the box for herbarium specimen too, I took two fruit bodies home with me, leaving one for the masses.

proximity is not taxonomy…any mushroom can grow next to another; sometimes, they can even even be conjoined.

MSSF fungus fair
By: BakerSt10
2009-12-07 12:27:37 CST (-0600)

I brought these mushrooms to the fair and they were on display Sunday.They were growing right next to a gemmata.

good timing on this sighting…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-12-07 11:54:53 CST (-0600)

I have found these curious amanitas in Huckleberry Preserve (just up canyon from Canyon)and despite their orangey color, I do not believe them to be aprica, since the veil remnants can be cleanly removed from the cap. More material was also brought into the MSSF fungus fair this past weekend, but misidentified as a gemmata, which it is clearly not (it IS a member of section amanita, tho). I have the dessicata, and will pursue further.

Nice pix
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2009-12-07 11:15:38 CST (-0600)

The frosty appearance around some of the volva suggests that the volva is partially still attached to the cap’s skin (a characteristic of A. aprica). The problem is that I don’t know if there are other gemmatoid amanitas in the West that also have the same property and produce a “frosty” appearance.

What about cap color here? Can that serve as a clue? The Amanita Studies species page for aprica gives the cap color as “bright yellow to egg yellow to lemon yellow or bright orangish yellow, occasionally orange (especially in the middle).”

Also look at the bulbs in the third pic. The volva in A. aprica is exceptional for the gemmatoid taxa in that it forms rings as in many of the muscarioid species. However, I think I see small limbs (limbate volva) on the stipe bases in the cited pic.