E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Amanita alpinicola
no common name

Species account author: Ian Gibson.
Extracted from Matchmaker: Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest.

Introduction to the Macrofungi

© Michael Beug  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #15253)

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Distribution of Amanita alpinicola
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Species Information

Subgenus Amanita. Specimens hardly break through the surface in spring and early summer after snow melt. Other features include a whitish to pale yellow, slightly viscid cap with innate, thin to cottony patches (warts), a thin, fragile annulus (ring) on the stem, a volva that is a tidy, short, thick, free-margined cup below ragged tissue on the stem, and a white spore deposit. A.H. Smith''s provisional name Amanita alpina could not be used because Amanita alpina Contu was described in 1997 (albeit not validly at that time).

The original publication of the species mentions a) collections examined from ID and (including holotype) MT, b) occurrence in May in WA and ID, c) occurrence in a few places in the Pacific Northwest, and d) DNA ITS sequencing from a root tip in the Sierra Nevada of California suggesting its presence there, (Cripps). At present it is only known from a few sites in BC, WA, ID, and MT (Lindgren). A number of collections from Oregon at Oregon State University are labeled as Amanita alpina.
3-9cm across, convex to flat; "whitish, cream to pale yellow, not bruising"; slightly viscid, with thin to floccose [cottony] warts that are "white to tan", "margin with short striations only in extreme age"
close to crowded, broad; white to creamy, not staining, (Lindgren), free, crowded (about 200 or more), well separated with a few short subgills or not, "rounded out, rather broad"; "white to cream"; sticky, edges white-floccose, (Cripps)
3-9cm x 1-2.5cm at top, with rounded bulb at base that often tapers to a point; "stem partially stuffed", white; surface powdery, (Lindgren), 5-10(18)cm x 1-3cm, "equal, narrower in the middle or gradually enlarging towards base, rounding out and then often with a point at very base"; white; floccose on upper part and fibrillose on lower part, "often with torn tissue", (Cripps), VOLVA "short, free margin, not inrolled", (Lindgren), "as a tidy cup, rather thick, rimmed (or with several ''rims'' in layers), dirty white, persistent, tough, often covered with adhering soil", (Cripps)
annulus fleeting on many, others with partial rings or ragged tissue, (Lindgren), annulus thin, fragile, white, "often as a band of tissue, easily disappearing or none (exannulate form), often with torn/ragged tissue in zones" on lower stem, (Cripps)
not distinctive, (Lindgren), "indistinct or unpleasant to slightly fruity", (Cripps)
Microscopic spores:
spores 9-12 x 6-7.5 microns, elliptic, inamyloid, (Lindgren), spores (holotype) 9-12 x 7-8 microns, elliptic, smooth, inamyloid, colorless, thin-walled, 1-guttulate, "apiculus sublateral"; basidia 4-spored, 49-70 x 7-14 microns, clavate, sterigmata <= 7 x 1.5 microns; rare, thin clamps at the base of basidia, in other tissues not observed, (Cripps)
Spore deposit:
[presumably white]

Habitat / Range

scattered with Pinus albicaulis or P. monticola at higher elevations, fruiting in summer, (Lindgren), in high, dry habitats mostly half-buried in soil (sometimes fully opened fruitbodies buried); in Montana fruiting in late spring to early summer, soon after snow melt; ectomycorrhizal with five needle western pines including at least Pinus albicaulis (Whitebark Pine) and possibly P. monticola (Western White Pine), and also with three-needle Pinus jeffreyi (Jeffrey Pine), (Cripps)

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Amanita alpina A.H. Sm. nom. prov. (invalid name)

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Genetic information (NCBI Taxonomy Database)
Taxonomic Information from the World Flora Online
Index Fungorium
Taxonomic reference: in Cripps, Lindgren & Barge, Mycotaxon 132(3): 669. 2017; Amanita alpina A.H. Sm. nom. prov. (invalid name)

Additional Range and Status Information Links


unknown (Lindgren(2)), likely toxic, with one report of poisoning, closely related to Amanitas such as A. muscaria that contain ibotenic acid and muscimol, (Cripps)

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

Species References

Cripps(8)*, Lindgren(2)

References for the fungi

General References