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False Deathcap - Amanita citrina

False Deathcap - Amanita citrina

Main features

  • Fruits in Autumn

  • Grows in woodland with deciduous and coniferous trees

  • Can be found as individual fruits or in small groups

  • Smells of raw potato

  • Cap white with lemon tinge

  • Volval remnants remains on the cap are white and turn dirty-white with age

  • Cap starts off dome-shaped and flattens with width of 5-0cm

  • Sturdy white stem with lemon tinge 5-8cm tall and and 1-2cm in diameter

  • Has a ring 

  • Volval at base of stem is bulbous and has a gutter

  • The crowded white gills are free

  • Spore print is white

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False Deathcap - Amanita citrina

Inedible/poisonous mushroom - advanced identification

Other common names: Citron Amanita


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.  Citrina is from Modern Latin Citrinus, meaning lemon-coloured

Season - when will I find it? Autumn

Habitat - where will I find it? The False Deathcap grows in association with deciduous and coniferous trees, often favouring slightly alkaline or neutral soil

Description - what does it look like? 

Growth: The False Deathcap 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 the |False Deatcap is white tinged with lemon-yellow. There is also a pure white variant (var. alba). They can reach between 5cm and 10cm wide, and are domed at first and eventually flatten out.

Bright-white fragments of the veil/volva remain on the cap, turning dirty-white with age. However, these can be washed away in heavy rain.

Gills: The white gills are crowded and free of the stem

Flesh: White

Stem: Sturdy and white with a lemon tinge, the stem can reach 5 to 8cm tall, and is 0.5-1.5cm wide. It has a stem ring, or skirt, that usually persists.

The volval remains as a swollen bulb with a gutter at the base of the stem

Smell: Raw potato

Spore colour: White

Possible lookalikes Could be confused with the deadly poisonous Deathcap (Amanita phalloides), but its veil remnants often don't remain on the cap, the cap is oliveaceous in colour, it has a sickly sweet smell and a bag-like volva. The white variant could be confused with the white variant of the Deathcap, and also the Destroying Angel (Amanita virosa). The latter has no distrinct smells, a bag-like volva and a fragile high-up veil. The Destroying Angel and Deathcap are deadly poisonous

Use as a food Although some sources class this mushroom as edible, other class it as inedible or even mildly toxic. This conflicting information, combined with its similarity to deadly poisonous Amanitas mean it should stay off the menu

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 is classed as inedible or possibly mildly poisonous

Importance to other species Provides food for a the larvae of a number of fly species, slugs, snails and some mammals

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!

False Deathcap - Amanita citrina - gills
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