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Amanita bisporigera   (Eastern destroying angel)
North America, Mexico
Cap 3-10 cm diameter, stem 6-14 cm tall * 0.7-1.8 cm thick
Lethally poisonous

Amanita bisporigera, commonly known as Eastern destroying angel amanita is a lethally poisonous mushroom found in mixed coniferous and deciduous forests of eastern North America south to Mexico, but are rare in western North America. The mushroom contains a complex group of poisonous substances called amatoxins and one mushroom often contains enough amatoxins to kill an adult human.

Cap egg-shaped to convex to somewhat flattened. Surface smooth and white, sometimes with a pale tan- or cream-coloured tint in the center. The surface is either dry or when the environment is moist, slightly sticky. The flesh is thin and white, and does not change colour when bruised. The margin of the cap is rolled inwards in young specimens. Gills white and crowded closely together. They are either free from attachment to the stipe or just barely reach it. Stem thick, solid and tapers slightly upward. The surface, in young specimens especially, is frequently fibrillose (covered with small slender fibers), or squamulose (covered with small scales). The bulb at the base of the stipe is spherical or nearly so. The delicate ring on the upper part of the stipe is a remnant of the partial veil that extends from the cap margin to the stalk and covers the gills during development. It is white, thin, membranous, and hangs like a skirt.

Similar species include Amanita virosa which is a bigger, less slender but equally deadly mushroom and Leucoagaricus leucothites. It can also be confused with edible Button mushrooms (Agaricus species). They have faint pink to brown gills, where Amanita bisporigera has white gills.

Amanita bisporigera on the MushroomExpert.Com Web site.

The first and third photo is by Huafang and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

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