Destroying Angel

Amanita virosa

Appears in

By Roger Phillips

Published 2006

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Destroying Angel Amanita virosa (Fr.) Bertill. (illustrated (d) 70% life size) Cap 5–12cm across, conical at first then campanulate, sometimes with a slight umbo, later expanded but never totally smooth; pure white; slightly viscid. Stem 90–120×10–15mm, often slightly curved, ending in a narrow bulb enclosed in a greyish-tinged, bag-like volva; shaggy, fibrous surface; white, fragile ring is often torn or incomplete. Flesh white, instantly yellow with KOH, separating this species from the rare and deadly poisonous A. verna; smell sickly sweet. Gills free, crowded; white. Spores 8–10¼ in diameter, globose; amyloid. Spore print white. Habitat in mixed or deciduous woods; late summer to autumn. Occasional. Deadly poisonous causing same symptoms as A. phalloides. Note field photograph (c) taken by Geoffrey Kibby.