Grey Spotted Amanita - Amanita excelsa

Main features

  • Fruits Summer to Autumn

  • Grows in woodland with deciduous and coniferous trees

  • Can be found as individual fruits or in small groups

  • Mid smell of raddish

  • Cap pale grey-brown to dark brown

  • Dirty grey volval remnants remain on the cap but easily washed away

  • Cap starts off dome-shaped and flattens with width of 8 - 15cm

  • Sturdy white stem up to 12cm and 1.5 - 2.5 cm in diameter

  • Has a ring with striations on its upper surface

  • Stem has a swollen base

  • Stem is smooth or grooved above the ring and scaly below 

  • Volval sac remnants at base of stem only visible in very young specimens

  • Flesh is white

  • The crowded and adnexed gills are white

  • Spore print is white

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Grey Spotted Amanita- Amanita excelsa

Edible mushroom - advanced

Other common names: Grey Warted Amanita, False Panther Cap

 

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.  Excelsa is from the Latin Excelcus and means tall or elevated

Season - when will I find it? From Summer to Autumn
 

Habitat - where will I find it? The Grey Spotted Amanita grows in association with deciduous and coniferous trees

Description - what does it look like? 

Growth: The Grey Spotted Amanita 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 Grey Spotted Amanita range from a pale grey-brown colour to dark brown. They can reach between 8cm and 15cm, are domed at first and eventually flatten out.

Grey patchy fragments of the veil/volva remain on the cap, though these can be easily washed away or wiped off.

Gills: The white gills are crowded and adnexed (narrowly attached at the top of them stem)

Flesh: White

Stem: Sturdy and white in colour, the stem can reach 8 to 12cm tall, and is 1.5 - 2.5cm wide. It has a stem ring, or skirt, which has striated grooves on the upper surface.

The stem surface above the ring often has striated grooves, although it can also be smooth. Below the ring, the stem surface is scaly.

Only very young specimens has visible volval remains at the base of the stem. Instead, the base of the stem appears swollen

Smell: Mildly of raddish

Spore colour: White

Possible lookalikes Could be confused with the deadly poisonous Panther Cap (Amanita pantherina), but the veil remnants are bright white and it does not have striations on the skirt/ring. Also, the Blusher (Amanita rubescens), but this bruises pink when damaged

Use as a food Must be thoroughly cooked 

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. It could also 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!