Amanita gemmata: The Ultimate Mushroom Guide
About The Amanita Gemmate Mushroom
There are two groups of booted Amanitas: the panthers and the gemmed Amanitas. The pantherinae and gemmatae have usually been treated as separate groups, built around the large, dark brown A. pantherina and the much smaller yellow A. gemmata. That’s is pretty much how these species groups split up in Europe (where the taxonomy was devised). However, this doesn’t fit our North American mushrooms very well: we only have one dark brown species, and it isn’t very big, which also means that our biggest ones in North America are pale.
Amanita gemmata is typically found growing in forests or other natural areas, or the landscape. It can be found growing singly or in small groups in mixed hardwood-conifer forests, or pure pine stands. Their seasons begin in late spring or early summer and ends in the fall.
There are a lot of these pale booted Amanitas, all across the continent; and most of them are still officially unnamed, especially the smaller ones.
Other names: Jonquil Amanita.
Amanita gemmata Identification
Mycorrhizal with various hardwoods and conifers (Largent & collaborators  document mycorrhizal association of Amanita gemmata with manzanita and lodgepole pine, while others report it under various hardwoods and conifers); growing alone, scattered, or gregariously; summer, fall, and winter; California and the Pacific Northwest.
3-11 cm; convex to planoconvex or flat; dull yellow, fading to nearly whitish; sticky when fresh; when young covered with white warts that are easily lost as the mushroom matures; bald; the margin often lined by maturity.
Free from the stem; close or nearly distant; whitish; with frequent short-gills.
4-14 cm long; 1-2 cm thick; tapering slightly to the apex; with a small basal bulb; bald or finely hairy; white; with a fragile white ring that is easily lost; with a white volva that typically clings tightly to the bulb and extends to form a free rim on the upper edge of the bulb, but may fragment into soft patches or warts at the top of the bulb.
Flesh: White; unchanging when sliced.
Spore Print: White.
Amanita gemmata Taxonomy & Etymology
This species was first described scientifically in 1838 by the great Swedish mycologist Elias Magnus Fries, who named it Agaricus gemmatus. (Most of the gilled mushrooms were included initially in the genus Agaricus!) In 1866 the French statistician Louis-Adolphe Bertillon (1821 - 1883) transferred it to the genus Amanita, when its name became Amanita gemmata.
Synonyms of this species include Amanita muscaria var. gemmata Quél., Amanitopsis gemmata Sacc., Amanitaria gemmata J-E Gilbert, and Venenarius gemmatus Murrill. Amanita junquillea Quél. is also considered by some authorities to be synonymous with Amanita gemmata.
The specific epithet means gemmed or jewelled, and some people refer to Amanita gemmata as the Gemmed Amanita.
Amanita gemmata Toxicity
Toxicity is suspected to be due to the presence of muscimol and ibotenic acid.
Generally, symptoms of poisoning appear within three hours of ingestion of the mushroom as visual hallucinations, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, irregular and slow heart beat and agitation. Severe cases involving coma, convulsions, or death are extremely rare
Amanita gemmata Psychoactive Alkaloid
The Jewelled Amanita is known to contain the same psychoactive chemical compounds - ibotenic acid and muscimol - as are found in the hallucinogenic Fly Agaric, Amanita muscaria. The concentrations of toxins in Amanita gemmata may be variable, and some authorities believe that this species may hybridise with Amanita pantherina, another hallucinogenic and hence toxic toadstool.
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