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mushroom poisonings

Other Toxic Mushrooms

The mushrooms below are the most likely to cause non-fatal mushroom poisonings in California:

Chlorophyllum molybdites | Omphalotus olivascens | Agaricus xanthodermus and californicus

Chlorophyllum molybdites Chlorophyllum molybdites
© photo by Nathan Wilson
Chlorophyllum brunneumChlorophyllum brunneum
© photo by Doug Smith

Chlorophyllum molybdites

Chlorophyllum molybdites, the "Green-spored Parasol.” Most common cause of serious but non-fatal mushroom poisoning in North America. Toxins unknown. Rapid onset of severe GI effects, over the course of several days. Primarily a semi-tropical mushroom of Eastern North America and Southern California, it has recently been showing up more frequently in the Bay Area. A large, attractive lawn mushroom, it is almost identical to the common and commonly eaten Chlorophyllum racodes/brunneum or the “Shaggy Parasol”. Differs primarily by spore color (racodes spores are white) and time of fruiting/habitat: racodes is found along roadsides and in gardens and compost; molybdites is found in grass, and prefers warmer weather.

Omphalotus olivascen - jack o lantern
© photo by Debbie Viess

Omphalotus olivascens

Omphalotus olivascens, the "Jack 'O Lantern" mushroom. Produces rapid onset, serious gastro-intestinal symptoms, sometimes of several days duration. Hallucinations are possible, but uncommon. Primary toxins are illudin M and S, with symptoms similar to muscarine poisoning. Omphalotus has been mistaken for the edible golden chanterelle; the Jack 'O Lantern’s growth on wood (wood may be buried), true, deep gills, and orange rather than white flesh, often with a greenish tinge, distinguish it. Omphalotus olivascens can also sometimes show a striking zonation of the gills.

Agaricus xanthodermus
Agaricus xanthodermus Agaricus californicus

© photos by Darvin DeShazer

Agaricus xanthodermus and A. californicus

Agaricus “barficus” complex, (A. xanthodermus and A. californicus),“Meadow Mushrooms” that stain yellow, smell like phenol. Common cause of unpleasant but usually self-limiting mushroom poisoning. Toxins unknown. Rapid onset of gastrointestinal symptoms. Toxic Agaricus species are common in lawns and in landscaping, and therefore tempting to novice hunters. The toxic species are grossly similar to store-bought button mushrooms and several wild and edible Agaricus species.

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