Said to be “the world’s deadliest mushroom” appearing & spreading in British Columbia, Canada — in wild areas and also in urban ones. One problem is that it can look similar to common safe mushrooms.
I’m only supposing, but it’s my guess that if it's spreading and becoming common in BC, it might also be showing up in some areas of Washington state and Idaho. (If you live in those states, maybe check into this).
There are several other dangerous relatives all belonging to genus Amanita. Anyone who cannot reliably identify Amanita species from other mushrooms should NOT be gathering mushrooms to eat. In fact, I studied mushrooms of all sorts for ten years before I put one in my mouth! Though now I think this was over-cautious, still, I'm still here, picking, and have sold to the public and restaurants, since I gained a good reputation.
There are amanita species in the Midwest also. It pays to be careful.
I am very cautious about wild mushrooms. An avid mushroomer acquaintance once told me that there are NO morel lookalikes, so there was zero chance of an error with those. I knew he was wrong, so I didn’t go mushrooming with him, as while I needed (and still need) a good tutor, I knew he wasn’t it.
I have found some good educational sites on shrooms and have since learned how to identify morels from their toxic lookalikes. But that’s the extent of my wild shroom foraging. As a gardener, I tend to trust things I grow myself. 😸
I get very excited when I find a deathcap, I've only ever found two they are quite rare in the UK and over here in Denmark, lots of other amanitas the destroying angel is very common here, Deathcap tends to cause death among asians as they have a mushroom that looks very similar and is edible. There is no European fungus that is edible and looks like it that I know of. Cortinarius rubellus Deadly webcap is also a nasty one, and since it is what I call "a small brown job" it is quite hard to identify.
Amanita mycelium is one of the great expanse mycelium, the strands will grow rapidly and extend hundreds of feet in a few years, that is why there seems to be a huge spreading of this fungi.
As Alder Burns brought up, it takes years to learn identifying the different edibles and being able to differentiate them from the non edibles.
The only "short cut" to gaining this knowledge base that I am aware of is to find a mycelium group (mushroom group) and join them every chance you have to learn from the experienced mushroom hunters.
The absolute best way is to go through the college courses all the way to PHD, then you would be able to identify any mushroom on the planet, that does take about 10 years to complete though.
I have a friend that is a mycologist and I only go "shrooming" with him. I have lots of different species on my land but I do not wild harvest them, I grow mushroom logs and bags instead, that way I can't mess up identification.
You only get one chance with mushrooms you either get it right or you are very sick or dead.
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