These 5 Poisonous Mushrooms Can Cause Death

Before picking mushrooms, it is better to make sure that they are not dangerous. Here’s how to better recognize them.

During a walk in forest, you come across a fly agaric, red and speckled with white. The image of the witch from Snow White comes to mind: this mushroom is toxic and hallucinogenic! You are right, but this amanita is not fatal. There are even more dangerous mushrooms. Here are five…

Amanita phalloides

Amanita phalloides. stock.adobe.com

Very widespread in Europe, the amanita phalloides is also called “Chalice of death” and it is not a coincidence. She is the first responsible for the deaths by poisoning in the world among the different species of fungi. Its ingestion causes the irremediable destruction of the liver and damage the kidneys. Other symptoms may occur: delusionstachycardia, dehydration, etc. Several historical figures have paid the price, such as the Roman emperor Claudius or even Charles VI of Habsburg. To date, no antidote is known.

The name of this mushroom, “phalloid”, means “of the shape of the phallus”, form of the young amanita. It is recognized by its conical hat, then flat, white, gray or yellow. It is often found associated with conifers or to leafy trees.

Margined galley

The marginalized galley. stock.adobe.com

The margined galley is a small mushroom, with a round hat whose color is degraded yellow, orange and brown. Its foot is straight or curved and often white above, ocher at the root. This mushroom belongs to the Strophariaceae family. Its danger lies in its resemblance to edible species such as the changing pholiote or the autumn galley.

The galère marginée contains, in some cases, six times more toxic substances than the amanita phalloides. It causes severe liver damage, hypothermia and can lead to the death of anyone who ingests too much of it. These symptoms often come on late.

Amanita vireuse

Amanita vireuse. stock.adobe.com

This cousin of the amanita phalloides has essentially the same characteristics. She is also known for her disturbing nickname: the Angel of Death. It is deadly because of the amanitine it contains, a highly toxic substance for humans. Symptoms, identical to those of amanita phalloides, usually occur four hours after ingestion.

This mushroom has a fairly high foot, which can reach 15 cm. It is perfectly white, the same color as the hat. You have to be extra vigilant because it looks like some edible agarics.

Annatto-colored Cortinarius

The annatto-colored cortinarius. stock.adobe.com

It is the most toxic of all cortinaires. The “annatto color”, is entirely covered with this rust color reminiscent of annatto (dye produced from the annatto tree). The hat is conical and hilly; the foot is robust and fibrous. It grows in plains, forests and mountains of July at december.

This fungus is highly deadly – ranked second only to the phalloid amanita. In 1987, it poisoned 26 students from the Coëtquidan military camp (Brittany) who were carrying out a survival operation in the forest. Three died, another suffered a heart transplant and two others are due for training sessions. dialysis until the end of their life. Symptoms may include: feeling of burn of the mouth, intense thirst, digestive disorders ; then renal failure and interstitial nephritis.

Patouillard’s Inocybe

Patouillard’s inocybe. stock.adobe.com

This fungus, named inocybe patouillardii by science, is from the family Inocybaceae. Its strange name was chosen by the Italian mycologist Giacomo Bresadola, in homage to his college Narcisse Théophile Patouillard. This inocybe can be recognized by its conical and hilly cap, with a cracked margin. Its coloring oscillates between white and ochre. The white, cylindrical and ridged root is buried deep in the earth.

Patouillard’s inocybe contains muscarine, a toxic element which leads to vomitingsweats, diarrhea and above all a slowing down of the heart which is often fatal.

Other Deadly Mushrooms

These five mushrooms must imperatively be recognized and avoided when picking. But you should know that they are not the only ones that can cause death. Here are some other names to remember:

  • spring amanita;
  • Gyromiter;
  • Horse tricholoma;
  • Coiled paxilla.

The list of dangerous mushrooms is long. These contain toxic substances but are not known to cause death: fly agaric, circular cudonia, livid entoloma, Josserand’s lepiote, etc.

These 5 Poisonous Mushrooms Can Cause Death