Collector’s_Name: Joanne Schwartz
Substrate: Pine needle duff over loose soil – stipe base well into soil
Host: Bishop Pine, Pinus muricata
Habit: Solitary
Spore_Print: white
Smell_and_Taste: Odor: none; Taste umami
Size: Overall height 16cm
Chem_Test: KOH negative
Cap: One small spot of white material, possibly universal veil remnant; Width 55mm, over cap 68mm, thickness 3mm. No striations visible on margin.
Spore_Structure: Gills free with serrate edges, 1 series
Stipe: Hollow and stuffed, slightly tomentose; height 148mm; max width 17mm; Min with 14mm
Base: Possible volva appressed: lower 50mm of base is flaky; swollen for lower 35mm; mycelium extends into duff
Habitat_Condition_(Old_growth_thru_highly_disturbed): Pine forest on steep slope. Pines live. With Manzanita.
Stain/Bruise: none
Other: Cap dry, stipe moist and fresh

Species Lists


loose, pendulous annulus
hollow stipe
White balance accurate

Proposed Names

-56% (1)
Recognized by sight: veil remnants, volva, hollow stipe, gills

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= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
I agree about the spores…
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2021-03-27 11:27:44 CDT (-0400)

most likely being non-amyloid. Reading Joanne’s comments it seems Santa Cruz Island is an interesting location that may include some unusual species. Yup, the flavoconia group are the only types that come to my mind which somewhat resemble this, and that have amyloid spores.

I doubt that this will have amyloid spores
By: Alan Rockefeller (Alan Rockefeller)
2021-03-27 02:58:21 CDT (-0400)

The only red Amanita we have on the west coast is Amanita muscaria sensu lato, which has inamyloid spores. Amanita sect. Caesareae can also be red, but we don’t have any red ones in the west, and those have inamyloid spores too. The only chance that the spores would be amyloid is if this is section Validae, around Amanita flavoconia, however nothing in the flavoconia group occurs out west.

By: Joanne Schwartz (ExplorerDJ)
2021-03-26 19:46:23 CDT (-0400)

Thanks, Dave. I haven’t had any since the 1980’s but have just requested some from an academic friend. Maybe I’ll be fortunate.

Joanne, might it be possible…
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2021-03-24 01:01:10 CDT (-0400)

for you to get some Melzer’s reagent? As Rod suggested below, it seems like an interesting question whether the spores of this are amyloid. I spent a fair amount of time last night trying to decide whether I thought this fruit body represented section Amanita (non amyloid spores) or Validae (amyloid spores). The gestalt suggests section Amanita, but what appears to be friable plate-like volval deposits on the stipe base seems to suggest Validae. Applying a drop of Melzer’s to a substantial spore print collected on a non-reactive surface would immediately settle such a question.

Here in PA I have found it to be virtually impossible to obtain Melzer’s from any local source (compounding pharmacy), even though my doctor agreed to write a prescription.

My information dates from working on muscariods wih Dr. Geml in 2007-8.
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2021-03-23 18:57:26 CDT (-0400)

An interesting update. Thank you.


These islands were never connected
By: Joanne Schwartz (ExplorerDJ)
2021-03-23 18:37:43 CDT (-0400)

Thanks, Rod. I will get it barcoded so we’ll likely know in a couple of months.
In the past decade it has been determined that all geologic evidence shows that none of the 8 CA channel islands were ever connected to what is now California – and likely, at low water levels, were at least 4 miles from the mainland. They might have spun around the east-most islands and could have been close to Baja long ago, but that theory is disputed. But four miles (or the current 11-30 miles) certainly allowed floating and wind-born debris, as well as material carried by vessels during at least the past 14K years, to reach the islands from the mainland multiple times.

Santa Cruz Island has some very cool species. Some of the amanitas appear to…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2021-03-23 17:32:07 CDT (-0400)

…be undescribed. The lack of striations on the cap edge may not point away from inamyloid spores in this case. The cap may be very robust due to being in an island habitat and where there is an advantage to being able to store water. We know that there have been multiple times when mainland forest stretched to the island and a number of organisms may have crossed from what is now the mainland during the periods of opportunity to do so. Muscarioid taxa certainly left populations on the island several times.


There does seem to be pale tan universal veil on the bootom of the partial veil.
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2021-03-23 17:27:21 CDT (-0400)

So that increases the likelihood that this is an amanita.

Very best,