Gray False Death Cap

(Amanita citrina var. grisea)

Conservation Status
Gray False Death Cap
Photo by Scott Schad
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

not listed

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Gray False Death Cap is a large, easily recognized mushroom that is mycorrhizal with hardwoods. It is common and widespread.

The stalk is ivory white, smooth, 2½ to 4¾ tall, and to wide. It may be slightly cottony toward the base. At the base of the stalk is a cup-like structure (volva). This is a remnant of a protective, egg-like covering (universal veil) that completely envelopes the developing mushroom when young. It may be partially or completely buried in the ground. It adheres tightly to the stem and is not sack-like. Toward the top of the stalk, below the cap and gills, is a membranous ring. This is the remnant of a protective covering (inner veil) of the developing gills. It is white to pale yellow and is persistent, remaining on the stalk at maturity of the mushroom.

The cap is smooth, dry, flat to convex, and 2 to 4¾ in diameter. It is pale greenish-yellow to yellowish-white when young. As it ages it becomes white or ivory white with pale greenish-yellow to yellowish-white near the center. It has scattered, irregular, buff patches or warts, but these may disappear with age.

The gills are white, closely spaced, and are not attached to the stalk. They sometimes turn yellowish with age.

The spores are white, cream, or yellowish.

Although edible, most field guides list Gray False Death Cap as poisonous due to its close resemblance to Death Cap. It has a strong odor of raw potato.

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
 

Destroying Angel (Amanita bisporigera and Amanita virosa) is pure white throughout, both when young and when mature. The cup is sack-like. The cap usually does not have patches or warts.

Lavender False Death Cap (Amanita citrina f. lavendula) has a flush of lavender in the universal veil and sometimes lavender streaks on the cap.

White False Death Cap (Amanita citrina var. alba) is white throughout. It has a milder odor.

 
     
 
Habitat and Hosts
 
 

Oak and pine forests.

 
     
 
Ecology
 
 

Season

 
 

Summer and fall

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7, 24, 29.

 
  5/3/2010      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common and widespread

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Fungi (fungi)  
  Subkingdom Dikarya  
  Division Basidiomycota (club fungi)  
  Subdivision Agaricomycotina (jelly fungi, yeasts, and mushrooms)  
  Class Agaricomycetes (mushroom-forming fungi)  
  Subclass Agaricomycetidae  
  Order Agaricales (common gilled mushrooms and allies)  
  Suborder Pluteineae  
  Family Amanitaceae (Amanita mushrooms and allies)  
  Tribe Amaniteae  
  Genus Amanita (Amanita mushrooms)  
  Subgenus Lepidella  
  Section Validae  
  Species Amanita citrina (False Death Cap)  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Amanita citrina f. mappa

Amanita mappa

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

Amanite Citrine

False Death Cap

Gray False Death Cap

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Mycorrhizal

A symbiotic, usually beneficial relationship between a fungus and the tiny rootlets of a plant, usually a tree.

 

Universal veil

An egg-like structure that envelopes all or most of a developing gill mushroom. Remnants of the universal veil sometimes visible on a mature mushroom are patchy warts on the cap, a ring on the stem, and a volva at the base of the stem.

 

Volva

Also called cup. A cup-like covering at the base of a mushroom stem, sometimes buried. It is the remnants of the universal veil ruptured by the mushroom pushing through. It is found on Amanita, Volvariella, and some other mushrooms.

       
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Scott Schad
       

Shorter one cupped up this morning, tall one still holding rain water from two days ago. The one coming up I assume is the same? I am guessing they are Gray False but not sure.

  Gray False Death Cap   Gray False Death Cap
       
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
   
  Gray False Death Cap   Gray False Death Cap
       
  Gray False Death Cap    
       
       

 

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  Scott Schad
7/28/2016

Location: Todd County

Shorter one cupped up this morning, tall one still holding rain water from two days ago. The one coming up I assume is the same? I am guessing they are Gray False but not sure.

Gray False Death Cap

 
           
           
 
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