This genus does not really have a common name, as many of the species already have well-known names like Fly Agaric and Blusher. Collectively they are often referred to by the Latin name Amanitas. It is a very important genus that includes some extremely poisonous species. All Amanitas have some sort of volva at the base of the stem: be sure to examine the whole stem to aid identification, as the volva may be a large, floppy sac or just the remnants showing up as bulbous ridges. The volva covers the whole mushroom before it begins to expand, and it often leaves volval remnants or patches on the cap in maturity. Some, but not all, have rings on the stem as well as the basal volva. Never eat any species in this genus until you are totally certain that it is edible: remember, it is an Amanita that is reputed to have poisoned the Roman Emperor Claudius Caesar.
© 2006 All rights reserved. Published by Macmillan.