Amanita porphyria

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Amanita porphyria

[ Basidiomycetes > Agaricales > Amanitaceae > Amanita . . . ][]

by Michael Kuo

This northern conifer lover is distinguished by its bulbous, rimmed or collared stem base, its brown cap, and its grayish universal veil remnants and ring. The stem often has grayish fibrils, sometimes in vague zones, below the ring. Amanita porphyria bears a resemblance to Amanita brunnescens, but that species has whitish veils, and a stem that bruises reddish brown, terminating in a bulb that is "chiseled" or split vertically (though Amanita porphyria sometimes displays a cleft bulb, as well).


Ecology: Mycorrhizal with conifers, especially spruces and hemlocks (possibly also associated with hardwoods); growing alone, scattered, or gregariously; summer and fall; northern in distribution, recorded from northeastern North America and the Pacific Northwest.

Cap: 3-12 cm; convex, becoming broadly convex, often with a central hump; sticky at first or when wet; smooth; the margin not prominently lined; grayish brown to brown (see note below); often with scattered gray warts or patches.

Gills: Free from the stem or attached to it; white, sometimes grayish or bruising grayish in age; close.

Stem: 5-18 cm long; 1-1.5 cm thick; more or less equal above; terminating in a basal bulb that is rimmed or collared (and sometimes "cleft," causing confusion with Amanita brunnescens); with a grayish ring and gray fibrils below the ring, often arranged in vague zones (see top illustration); smooth above the ring; the grayish volva sometimes leaving fragments on the lower stem.

Flesh: White throughout.

Odor: Sometimes turniplike in age.

Spore Print: White.

Microscopic Features: Spores 8-10 x 7.5-9 µ; smooth; nearly round; amyloid.

REFERENCES: Albertini & Schweinitz, 1805. (Fries, 1821; Saccardo, 1887; Kauffman, 1918; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1979; Thiers, 1982; Arora, 1986; Jenkins, 1986; Phillips, 1991/2005; Lincoff, 1992; Barron, 1999; Roody, 2003; Tulloss, 2003; McNeil, 2006; Miller & Miller, 2006.) I have not collected this mushroom.

The European Amanita porphyria is brownish to grayish brown, but also demonstrates subtle purplish hues (see the link to a Polish example, below). North American authors frequently mention the lilac to purplish cast of the cap, but their illustrations tend to depict mushrooms that are simply brown or grayish brown--and other authors appear to believe that North American versions of Amanita porphyria lack the purple tones.

Further Online Information:

Amanita porphyria at Tulloss's Studies in Amanita Amanita porphyria at Roger's Mushrooms Amanita porphyria at Fungi of Poland