ADVERTISEMENT

[Slide Show] Seven Deadly 'Shrooms

Fungi hunters and hikers beware, here are seven super toxic mushrooms to avoid

1 of 7

BRAIN MUSHROOM

The Gyromitra esculenta , which is also known as a false morel or brain mushroom (given its convoluted surface), can be deadly when consumed raw. Although some in Spain, Sweden and other countries continue to cook and eat them, G.....[ More ]

HOODED FALSE MOREL

The brown saddle-shaped top might be mistaken for a delicious edible morel (which have to be cooked before eating), but the Gyromitra infula contains the toxin gyromitirin, which in the body turns into monomethylhydrazine, an ingredient in some rocket fuels.....[ More ]

MARBLED DEATH CAP

Found in Hawaii, Australia and South Africa, this death cap cousin also contains amatoxins. The Amanita marmorata is often found growing in evergreen Casuarina and eucalyptus forests and is assumed to have been brought to Hawaii from Australia, along with the imported trees.....[ More ]

DEATH CAP

This innocent-looking fungus is responsible for the bulk of mushroom-related deaths across the globe. Not to be mistaken for edible members of the Agaricus clan (including the common white, or button mushroom), the Amanita phalloides packs a toxic one-two punch with both phallotoxin and amanitin.....[ More ]

DESTROYING ANGEL

The Amanita virosa , the European destroying angel (and close relation to North America's toxic A. bisporigera and A. ocreata ), warns consumers off with an unpleasant odor. That, however, has not deterred some from tasting its deadly white flesh.....[ More ]

DEATH ANGEL

One of the more frequent killers, the Amanita bisporigera —or "death angel"—is white and can be confused with edible varieties, including button and meadow mushrooms. The death angel, however, contains amatoxin, which stops cell metabolism (thereby killing them), usually beginning with the liver and kidneys; it can cause death within days.....[ More ]

AUTUMN SKULLCAP

Found in temperate areas all over the world, the Galerina marginata (aka autumn skullcap, or deadly galerina) may look like a hallucinogenic fungus from the Psilocybe genus, but it is actually extremely toxic.....[ More ]

risk free title graphic

YES! Send me a free issue of Scientific American with no obligation to continue the subscription. If I like it, I will be billed for the one-year subscription.

cover image Subscribe Now
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Share this Article:
Scientific American Special Universe

Get the latest Special Collector's edition

Secrets of the Universe: Past, Present, Future

Order Now >

X

Email this Article

X