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WEST COAST RARE 10 CHALLENGE

Prepared by: Roo Vandegrift, Bitty A. Roy, & Joanne Schwartz
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Recently described from Lane County, Oregon (in 2014), this is one odd Amanita! First, it is not tree-associated, but instead typically occurs in grasslands and is one of only a small number of non-mycorrhizal Amanita species. Second, it can fruit in very large numbers when the soil is disturbed. For example, it has been found in wet sorghum fields, and in a wet prairie that had been bulldozed. The disturbance that would have happened in these grasslands pre-Euro-American settlement is fire, and we do see this fungus more often in prairies that have been burnt.
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Description

This is not a showy fungus. In Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast, Siegel and Schwarz call it “small, dingy, squat, and quick to decay” (pg. 43). If you find an Amanita in a grassland that has a felted, matted grey cap and a volva that is scraggly-scaly (and not in a distinct ring), then you have most likely found it!

What else could it be?

There are a few mushroom species in grasslands that look like the Meadow Amanita. Other Amanita species may pop up from time to time, so check for that scraggly-scaly volva and mousy grey felted cap.

Shaggy Parasol mushrooms (Chlorophyllum species) have flat scales on the cap and a smooth stem.

Some species of Agaricus might seem similar, but they will not have the white gills and spores of the Meadow Amanita.


CautionNever eat wild mushrooms without a confident identification!
Contact Poison Control if you think you have eaten a poisonous mushroom: 1-800-222-1222.

When & Where?


Habitat

More information

Siegel N & Schwarz C. 2016. Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast: A Comprehensive Guide to the Fungi of Coastal Northern California. Ten Speed Press: pg. 43.

Arora D. 1986. Mushrooms Demystified. 2nd Edition. Ten Speed Press: pg. 275–276 (as “Anonymous Amanita”).

Tulloss RE, Lindgren JE, Arora D, Wolfe BE, & Rodríguez-Caycedo C. 2014. Amanita pruittii—a new, apparently saprotrophic species from US Pacific coastal states. Amanitace, 1(1): 1-9.

Tulloss RE, Lindgren JE, Arora D, Wolfe BE, Rodríguez Caycedo, C, Kudzma LV. 2020. Amanita pruittii. in: Tulloss RE, Yang ZL, eds. Amanitaceae studies. Accessed 24 Sept. 2020.
amanitaceae.org/?Amanita+pruittii

Mushroom Observer (19 obs.):
mushroomobserver.org/name/show_name/15254

iNaturalist (12 obs.):
iNaturalist.org/taxa/922857-Saproamanita-pruittii

What to do if you find it:

Make an observation

The first thing to do is to record your observation. We prefer to use the iNaturalist app for that (visit www.iNaturalist.org to learn more), but you could also upload your observation to Mushroom Observer (visit www.MushroomObserver.org). The QR code to the right will take you to the Fungal Diversity Survey (FunDiS for short) website on how to “Contribute Observations” to the project.

The best thing you can do is take lots of photographs and notes. Typically, smartphones will automatically georeference any photos taken, but it is good practice to note your exact location, preferably with GPS coordinates, and what trees or other habitat features are nearby. For example, was the mushroom growing from duff and humus, or from bare soil? Did it have a particular smell? 

Collect a specimen

If you are in an area where it is allowed and have any necessary permits, we strongly urge you to create a vouchered collection. This means a dried specimen for deposit in a herbarium, where researchers can access it for things like DNA sequencing. If you don’t know how to do this, please see: 

         fundis.org/sequence/sequence/dry-your-specimens 

In California, collecting mushrooms is usually allowed in National Forests with a permit. Permits can be obtained at the headquarters of the National Forest you're visiting, and are usually inexpensive or free. However, restrictions vary among the individual National Forests, so make sure to find out the specifics when picking up your permit. State and County Parks generally do not allow mushroom picking, but regulations vary, so make sure to check your destination before you go out. In Oregon, most State and Federal lands allow collecting up to a gallon without a permit, but again, regulations vary, so check ahead of time. 

Don’t forget to look for other mushrooms and fungi while you’re there! Like other Rare Fungi, part of why this mushroom is rare is because it grows in a place that mushroom pickers don’t generally go: Coastal Redwood Forests. Since you’ve already got iNaturalist open, why not record your other finds?

Most mushrooms are like fruit: picking an apple from an apple tree doesn’t hurt the tree. In the same way, harvesting mushrooms does not generally hurt the mycelium of the fungus. We do still recommend leaving some mushrooms behind, and not picking perennial mushrooms, like brackets and conks.

Who to contact

If you think you’ve found this mushroom, and you’re not sure about any of the above, such as how to report the find, whether you can collect it, or what to do with it once you have collected it, please contact us! 

      conservation@fundis.org

About Fungal Diversity Survey

FunDiS is dedicated to a world in which the fungal kingdom is fully documented, understood, appreciated and protected.