Grey Spotted Amanita Amanita excelsa var. spissa

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By Roger Phillips

Published 2006

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Grey Spotted Amanita Amanita excelsa var. spissa (Fr.) Neville & Poumerat syn. A. spissa (Fr.) Opiz (illustrated 60% life size) Cap 6–10cm across; greyish or brownish, variable; covered in whitish-grey, hoary patches of volva, eventually losing these to become bare and smooth. Stem 60–120×15–25mm with swollen base, which is deeply buried in the ground; white; lined above the large white ring, which also shows strong line marks on its upper surface, covered in small scales below, in a concentric pattern towards the base; the volva is hardly perceivable on the base. Flesh white, turning purple when treated with sulphuric acid; firm; smell slight but unpleasant, radishy. Gills with a slight decurrent tooth, crowded; white. Spores 9–10×8–9¼, broadly ellipsoid; amyloid. Spore print white. Habitat in deciduous or coniferous woodland, summer to autumn. Frequent. Said to be edible but best avoided, since it can easily be confused with the poisonous A. pantherina. The two may be distinguished by the difference of the velar remnants (greyish in A. excelsa, white in A. pantherina) and the presence of a distinct rim around the stem base of A. pantherina. Note this is the common form of A. excelsa; A. excelsa var. excelsa is more slender and lacks the radish odour.