Amanita pantherina: The Ultimate Mushroom Guide
About The Amanita pantherina Mushroom
A beautiful but poisonous fungus, the white veil fragments on the ochre-brown cap are a helpful distinguishing feature of the Panthercap, as it is commonly called. This mushroom contains toxins similar to those in the Fly Agaric, Amanita muscaria.
Beware of confusing the Panthercap with Amanita excelsa, which is more common than Amanita pantherina. The veil fragments on the caps of Amanita excelsa are grey, whereas on Amanita pantherina they are pure white.
Until recently the common brown Panther Mushroom of the Pacific region of North America was thought to be the same as Amanita pantherina (DC.) Krombh. of Europe. Sequence data now makes it clear that we have a distinct, apparently endemic version of a notorious toxic mushroom. Amanita Pantherinoides was first described from near Seattle Washington in 1912.
It contains neurotoxins causing inebriation and delirium.
Amanita pantherina Side Effects
The Panther Mushroom has always been the most frequent cause of mushroom poisoning in BC and the Pacific Northwest. Because of its inebriating properties, it has the distinction of being among the few poisonous mushrooms sought out and eaten intentionally for their toxic effects.
The major toxins are muscimol and ibotenic acid, but other active substances have been identified, although with minor pharmacological activates.
Ibotenic acid is known to act on glutamic acid receptors in the central nervous system (CNS) and produces an excitatory action (Cleland, 1996), whereas muscimol is a potent agonist at GABAA receptors (Chebib and Johnston, 1999).
Although both muscimol and ibotenic acid are present in mushrooms, muscimol is produced by spontaneous decarboxylation of ibotenic acid that can occur during dehydration of the mushroom, digestion in the stomach, or after absorption in a variety of tissues.
Therefore, muscimol is mainly responsible for clinical signs. On activation by muscimol, the membrane permeability for anions increases, usually resulting in a slight, short-lasting hyperpolarization and associated decreased excitability of the receptive neuron. The effects on the CNS are similar to those produced by therapeutic doses of diazepam.
Toxins: Isoxazole compounds called Ibotenic acid, muscimol, and muscazone. Small amounts of muscarine may also be present.
Symptoms: Time of onset 15 minutes to 2 hours
Drowsiness, confusion, dizziness, uncoordinated movements, delirium, illusions, muscle twitching, deep sleep. In some cases, convulsions or seizures may also occur, especially in young children and dogs.
Amanita pantherina Classification
Swiss-born mycologist Augustin Pyramis De Candolle (1778 - 1841) described this species in 1815, naming it Agaricus pantherinus (most of the gilled mushrooms were included initially in the genus Agaricus.).
In 1871, Paul Kummer (1834 - 1912), a German mycologist, moved the Panthercap to its present genus, naming it Amanita pantherina.
Amanita pantherina Health Benefits
First of all, it`s a poisonous mushroom.
Amanita muscaria and Amanita pantherina are used in alternative medicine to treat various neurological symptoms.
However, these supposed health benefits are made up and no scientific study has ever verified these claims.
Currently, amanita mushrooms have no known, scientifically proven, beneficial health effects.
Amanita pantherina Cultivation
Amanita cultivation in a lab environment has always been a frustrating prospect due to the symbiotic relationship of this mushroom to its host trees, most of which are Birch trees that occur naturally in the wild. But if one has the right host trees in their area, and resides in the proper temperate zone or elevation, one can try and simply take a few dried or fresh caps that are in sporination (fully flattened or upturning with longitudinal tears along the striations), crush them up thoroughly, and mix the crushed pieces into the top soil. If one doesn’t want to make the initial investment of the caps simply chop up the stems from sporinating specimens, which will naturally have collected some of the falling spores, and mix with the soil.
Clark Heinrich states that he simply buries the stems under the proper host tree for cultivation, but then again he probably lives the perfect environment. The best time to try to start your Amanita Garden would be done in the fall when they are in their fruiting season. This would coincide with the natural rhythms of this mushroom, giving you the best hope for success. If you can’t get them planted in the Fall, there’s always early Spring, which would still allow the spores to receive their proper life cycle. If the season is dry just water your mushroom garden every few days. A host tree in a large container that can be left outdoors year-round may be a candidate for cultivation if one is in the right zone.
It cannot be commercially cultivated, due to its mycorrhizal relationship with the roots of pine trees. However, following the outlawing of psilocybin mushrooms in the United Kingdom in 2006, the sale of the still legal.
Amanita pantherina Growing
Grows from the ground near conifers and broadleaf trees. Common in spring, summer, and fall whenever temperature and moisture conditions are suitable. These are rather small to medium-sized Amanitas with a rather slender form.
The stem is usually longer than the cap is wide. This mushroom is usually found with conifer trees in natural areas but has adapted well to human-created urban settings where it happily thrives with a variety of non-native broadleaved trees and conifers. They make white spore prints.
Growing alone, scattered, or gregariously; fall and winter; along the West Coast from California to the Pacific Northwest, and reported from the southwestern Rocky Mountains.
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