What You Should Know
Amanita vaginata is an edible mushroom in the fungus family Amanitaceae. Unlike many other Amanita mushrooms, it lacks a ring on the stem. The cap is gray or brownish and has furrows around the edge that duplicate the gill pattern underneath. It has a widespread distribution in North America. It is also found in the Azores, Australia, Iran and Scotland.
It is often found in urban settings or in public parks where the earth has been disturbed at some point in the relatively recent past.
Although not poisonous, most authors advise against consumption due to the possibility of mistaking other poisonous species of Amanita. In raw form can be poisonous, it requires mandatory boiling.
Other names: Grisette, Grisette Amanita, Ringless Amanita, Grauer Scheidenstreifling (German).
Amanita vaginata Mushroom Identification
5.5-10.0 cm broad, convex, expanding to plano-convex, in age sometimes centrally depressed with a low umbo; margin at first decurved, plane to elevated at maturity, tuberculate-striate, the striations up to 1.2 cm long; surface when young partially covered with a membranous, white universal veil patch or patches which may discolor pale ochraceous-brown; at maturity the veil patches typically disappearing, the cap then grey to gray-brown, sticky when moist, glabrous except for the margin; context white to pale grey, firm, up to 1 cm thick; odor and taste mild.
The gills narrowly attached to free, close, thin, up to 1 cm broad, white to pallid, the edges minutely fringed, grayish near the margin in some specimens, lamellulae up to 5-seried.
6-13 cm long, 1.2-2.0 cm thick, more or less equal, not bulbous, stuffed to hollow; surface of apex pruinose, the ornamentation often arranged in faint grey longitudinal lines over a pallid background, elsewhere gray-brown, squamulose, more coarsely so near the base; universal veil white, membranous, saccate, sometimes discoloring like the cap patches, attached near the stipe base, flaring gradually, not abruptly, from the volva base; partial veil absent.
Spores 8.0-11.5 x 7.5-10 µm, subglobose to globose, smooth, thin-walled, hilar appendage distinct, contents granular with one to several guttules, inamyloid; spore print white.
This mycorrhizal species grows singly or numerous in both coniferous and hardwood forests. It can occur frequently in grassy areas at the edge of forests, unkempt lawns, and suburban areas where the ground has been recently disturbed. A widely distributed mushroom.
July to October.
Amanita vaginata Look-Alikes
It rarely or never occurs in southern Europe. The cap is bright orange with striped edges and a yellow stem.
Has an orange cap with gray veil fragments and a distinctive patch pattern on the stem.
The cap is yellow-orange with an apricot bump in the center. The gills are white. The odor is sweet and the taste is nutty.
Has a darker brownish colored cap and lacks the zig-zag pattern on the stem.
Amanita vaginata Taxonomy and Etymology
In 1782 French mycologist, Jean Baptiste Francois (Pierre) Bulliard described species Agaricus vaginatus.
In 1783 Swedish mycologist Elias Magnus Fries transferred this species to the genus Amanita and named it Amanita vaginata.
The generic name "grisette" comes from the French word gris, which means gray, and also applies to coarse grey woollen fabrics. The name was associated with young women of the French working class who wore gray dresses made of the material.
The special epithet vaginata comes from the Latin vaginatus, which means "protected by a sheath". Which refers to the shape of the volva's shell that surrounds the base of a tree trunk.
This species is very variable and for some of them sometimes given the status of independent species.
Amanita battarrae var. vaginata - the main form with an ash-gray cap, a whitish stem and a white volva, spores 9-12 microns.
Amanita vaginata var. plumbea (Bull.) Quel. & Bataille, 1902 = Amanitopsis plumbea (Schaeff.) J. Schröt. 1889 - distinguished by a lead-gray color with a bluish tint.
Amanita vaginata f. olivaceoviridis (Fabry), 1971 = Amanitopsis vaginata var. olivaceoviridis (Fabry) Wasser, 1992 - has an olive-green cap, whitish stem with pubescence near the base, spores 10-13 µm, basidia 40-45 × 12-14 µm.
Amanitopsis vaginata var. lividopallescens (Secr.) Gillet, 1874 = Amanita lividopallescens Romagn., 1982 - whitish young caps, later ocher-gray with uneven (spotted) coloration; volva does not disappear, well expressed; spores 11-14 µm.
Amanitopsis vaginata var. alba E.-J. Gilbert, 1918 - has a cap up to 9 cm in size, white or whitish; stem and volvo are white; spores 10-12×9-10 µm.
Amanitopsis vaginata var. friabilis Karst., 1879 = Amanitopsis friabilis (Karst.) Sacc., 1887 = Amanita friabilis (Karst.) Bas, 1974 - cap is brownish grayish, covered with dark gray flakes; stem granular-scaly; volva may disappear; spores 10-12×8-10 µm, basidia 45-60×9-12 µm/
Amanitopsis vaginata var. umbrinolutea (Secr.) Wasser, 1978 = Amanitopsis umbrinolutea (Secr.) E.-J. Gilbert, 1928 = Amanita umbrinolutea Secr., 1833 = Amanita battarrae (Boud.) Bon, 1985 - cap is up to 12 cm in diameter, yellow-olive or grayish brown; the stem is grayish-brown or ocher, covered with weakly expressed scales; volva has the same color as a stem and well expressed.
Amanita vaginata Synonyms
Agaricus vaginatus Bull., 1783 (basionym)
Vaginata livida Gray, 1821
Amanitopsis vaginata (Bull.) Roze, 1876
Amanitopsis vaginatus (Bull.) Roze, 1876
Amanitopsis vaginata subsp. vaginata (Bull.) Roze, 1876
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