Amanita Augusta

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Amanita Augusta, Vancouver Island, BC
Amanita Augusta, Vancouver Island, BC, photo by Robert Logan

The Amanita Augusta, like most amanita species, is mycorrhizal. Meaning it forms symbiotic relationships with tree hosts, it has been associated with both conifers and hardwoods and can be found in mixed woodlands. It can be found at any time during the fall mushroom season. Amanita Augusta is a species of agaric fungus in the family Amanitaceae. It is not commonly found in the Pacific Northwest and I have only encountered it a few times.

Amanita Augusta was formerly known as Amanita Franchetii.  It has a wide range of cap colors, from bright yellow to blue, or chocolate brown. The veil is yellow and friable, covering the entire button when young. As the mushroom grows, the veil turns into yellow warts on the cap.

Amanita Augusta’s edibility is suspect, even though it has been classed as edible I believe it should not be taken for the table,  not because it has been proven to be poisonous, (chemical analysis has not thus far revealed the presence of the amatoxins found in some other Amanitas), the reason not to eat this is that it has poor taste and some say it is like eating cardboard.  It has recently been implicated in the deaths of ten people in China who displayed symptoms similar to those caused by amatoxin poisoning. Numerous mycologists have stated that this is false information as this mushroom does not even occur in China and if you look up the actual mushroom in the reports, it appears not to be an Amanita Augusta at all.

I do think this is a very beautiful mushroom and when I see one, I do feel lucky as they are not often seen here on Vancouver Island, I suggest you take a photo and then leave it in the ground.

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