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

Amanita smithiana
smiths amanita

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

Introduction to the Macrofungi

© Michael Beug  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #18473)

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Distribution of Amanita smithiana
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Species Information

Subgenus Lepidella. Features include white color; tall stature; cap with often indistinct, cottony, white warts that become tan colored when dried out; ragged scaly stem with spindle-shaped bulb that is often rooting; poorly developed ring; volva with concentric zones; mild to pungent odor; and conifer habitat in or near rotten wood. According to D. Miller, pers. comm. this is a group of two or three species. Amanita smithiana is common. An old specimen can look quite different from a fresh one.

Collections have been examined from BC, WA, OR, ID, CA, and NM, (Tulloss(3)). It is also found in Mexico (Tulloss(5)).
5-17cm across, hemispherical then convex to flat-convex, sometimes subumbonate [somewhat umbonate], margin decurved [downcurved] at first, finally flaring upward when old, margin projecting slightly beyond gills; cap "white or whitish or ivory, sometimes becoming pale tan in dry weather, infrequently with pinkish staining, sometimes yellowish on margin from handling or drying", subviscid [slightly viscid] at first, remaining tacky when moist, becoming shiny on drying, and developing kid leather texture, margin non-striate, appendiculate with dense white floccose submembranous [somewhat membranous] material; universal veil "white to whitish to pale buff to pale pinkish buff to cream buff to tan to brownish", darker colors apparently attributable to warm dry weather and/or age, occurring as floccose/felted patches or occasionally as easily crushed, subpyramidal or subconical warts especially over disc, in either case reduced to unevenly distributed, finer flocculence toward margin, removable as long as cap remains moist, (Tulloss(3))
up to 1.5-2cm thick at stem, thinning evenly to margin; in both cap and stem white, and unchanging when cut or bruised, (Tulloss(3))
free to narrowly adnate, sometimes with a faint decurrent line on stem apex, close to crowded, 0.6-1.1cm broad, broadest about halfway from stem to cap margin, rarely forking, subgills "truncate to rounded truncate (short ones) or attenuate (longer ones), often unevenly distributed" among gills; "white to cream to ivory to pale pinkish buff in mass, in side view clay white or occasionally translucent, sometimes becoming cream in age"; edge white fringed-flocculose, (Tulloss(3))
6-16cm x 1-3.5cm, equal or widening downward, "usually solid, occasionally with a short hollow lumen, commonly lacking insect tunnels", bulb broadly or narrowly fusiform [spindle-shaped], up to 13cm or more long and up to 5.5cm wide, with occasional extended root-like projection that is very difficult to collect in its entirety, but may be 30cm long; stem "white, bruising slowly buff to pinkish buff where handled"; "decorated with floccose/squamulose zones that can disappear with age and with fibrils that may become somewhat brownish", (Tulloss(3)), VOLVA in broken concentric rings of irregular warts at top of bulb, detersile [removable], (Tulloss(3))
on stem universal veil in broken rings of irregular warts at top of bulb, removable; partial veil as floccose-fibrillose-submembranous ring, superior, ragged, or lacerate, (Tulloss(3))
absent to mild to somewhat faintly pungent or salty or like dust from ground bark of Douglas fir, to yeast-like or with cut surfaces smelling like green tomatoes or tomato plants, very strong and unpleasant when old, almost ham-like with tinges of chlorine, (Tulloss(3))
mild to somewhat sweet or lacking; when cooked: radish-like, superb to moderately acidic bitter, (Tulloss(3)), [do not taste]
Microscopic spores:
spores (6.5)8.5-12.0(16.0) x (4.3)5.8-7.9(10.8) microns, elliptic to elongate, often adaxially flattened, sometimes swollen at one end, smooth, amyloid, contents guttulate or granular; basidia dominantly 4-spored, occasionally 1-spored, rarely 2- or 3-spored, 43-70 x 8.5-13.8(15.0) microns, thin-walled, slenderly clavate, clamps and proliferated clamps rather common, (Tulloss(3))
Spore deposit:
white to pale cream (Tulloss(3))

Habitat / Range

single to gregarious, usually under conifers, often amidst or near very rotten wood; fruiting in fall, occasionally summer, winter, spring (September to December, occasionally July, August, or January, once collection in May), (Tulloss(3)), fall, winter, spring, summer

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Range and Status Information Links


poisonous, in a number of poisonings A. smithiana has been considered a possible cause with the following picture: after 4-10 or more hours, gastrointestinal symptoms, followed by kidney failure with or without liver failure, (Tulloss(3))

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

Species References

Tulloss(3), Tulloss(5), Lincoff(2)*, Ammirati(1)*, Lindgren(1), Trudell(4)*, Sept(1)*, Desjardin(6)*, Siegel(2)*, Marrone(1)*, McAdoo(1)*

References for the fungi

General References