Blusher - Amanita rubescens
Fruits Summer to Autumn
Grows in woodland with deciduous and coniferous trees
Can be found as individual fruits or in small groups
Cap pale tan to dark brown, bruising dark pink when damaged
Volval remnants remains on the cap and are dirty-white or grey
Cap starts off dome-shaped and flattens with width of 5-20cm
Sturdy white stem up to 17cm and and 1-2cm in diameter
Has a ring with striations on its upper surface
Stem has a swollen base
Volval sac remnants at base of stem only visible in very young specimens
Flesh is white, bruising dark pink when damaged
The crowded and adnate to free gills are white, bruising dark pink when damaged
Spore print is white
Blusher - Amanita rubescens
Edible mushroom - advanced
Other common names: Blusher Mushroom, The Blusher
Scientific name meaning: Amanita originates from the Greek Amanitai, which is though to mean "of the Amanus", which is a range of mountains in Turkey. Rubescens is Latin and means to become red, a reference to the red bruising this mushroom exhibits
Season - when will I find it? From Summer to Autumn
Habitat - where will I find it? The Blusher grows in association with deciduous and coniferous trees, often favouring slightly acidic poor soil
Description - what does it look like?
Growth: The Blusher is a mycorrhizal fungi growing in association with different trees. fruits are often found individually, but can also be found in small groups.
It begins growing in an egg-like sac called a volva, or universal veil
Cap: The caps of Blusher range from a pale tan colour to dark brown. They can reach between 5cm and 20cm, are domed at first and eventually flatten out
Grey or dirty-white fragments of the veil/volva remain on the cap, though these can be washed away in heavy rain.
The cap will bruise dark pink when damaged.
Gills: The white gills are crowded, adnate to free. Older specimens may have red or pink speckles. When damaged, the gills bruise dark pink
Flesh: White, bruising dark pink when damaged
Stem: Sturdy and white in colour, the stem can reach 7 to 15cm tall, and is 1-2cm wide. It has a stem ring, or skirt, which has striations on the upper surface.
Where the stem has been damaged, the flesh will bruise a dark pink.
In older specimens, the stem is often hollow.
Only very young specimens has visible volval remains at the base of the stem. Instead, the base of the stem appears swollen
Spore colour: White
Possible lookalikes Could be confused with the deadly poisonous Panther Cap (Amanita pantherina), but the veil remnants are white, it doesn't not bruise dark pink and does not have striations on the skirt/ring. Also, the Grey Spotted Amanita (Amanita excelsa), but this does not bruise dark pink, and the Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria), but the veil remnants are white and it does not bruise dark pink
Use as a food Must be thoroughly cooked as it contains a haemolytic toxin in its raw state
Use in herbal medicine None known
If you are suffering from any ailment or need medical advice, please see your General Practitioner
Hazards This mushroom must be cooked thoroughly as it contains a haemolytic toxin in its raw state. It could easily be confused with poisonous Amanitas
Importance to other species Provides food for a the larvae of a number of fly species. Worth remembering when harvesting. Younger specimens tend to have less livestock inside!
Always stay safe when foraging. You need to be 100% sure of your identification, 100% sure that your foraged item is edible, and 100% sure that you are not allergic to it (it is good practice to always try a small amount of any new food you are consuming). If in doubt, leave it out!