The death cap mushroom (Amanita phalloides) moves to a native tree in Victoria, British Columbia

Publication: Botany15 November 2016


Amanita phalloides (Vaill. ex Fr.) Link, the death cap mushroom, is an invasive ectomycorrhizal fungus in North America that was inadvertently introduced from Europe. Death cap mushrooms are highly toxic and have caused three recorded poisonings in British Columbia (BC), including one recent death. In BC, these mushrooms fruit mostly in urban environments in the greater Vancouver and Victoria areas under planted exotic broadleaf trees. In California, A. phalloides was demonstrated to also form ectomycorrhizas with a native oak species. Here we report that A. phalloides forms ectomycorrhizas with Quercus garryana, which is BC’s only native species of oak, and can fruit in association with this tree host. If death cap mushrooms spread in Q. garryana habitat, the risk for serious mushroom poisoning will increase, and mushroom harvesters, the medical community, and park managers will need to be made aware of this increased risk.


Amanita phalloides (Vaill. ex Fr.) Link, l’amanite phalloïde, est un champignon ectomycorhizien invasif d’Amérique du Nord qui a été introduit par inadvertance à partir d’Europe. Les amanites phalloïdes sont hautement toxiques et elles ont provoqué trois empoisonnements consignés en Colombie-Britannique (CB), dont un, récemment, mortel. En CB, ces champignons poussent principalement dans les environnements urbains des grandes régions de Vancouver et de Victoria, sous des arbres exotiques latifoliés plantés. En Californie, l’on a montré que A. phalloides forme aussi des ectomycorhizes avec une espèce de chêne indigène. Les auteurs rapportent ici que A. phalloides forme des ectomycorhizes avec Quercus garryana, la seule espèce indigène de chêne en CB, et qu’elle peut pousser en association avec cet arbre hôte. Si les amanites phalloïdes s’étendent dans l’habitat de Q. garryana, le risque d’empoisonnement sérieux par ce champignon augmentera et les cueilleurs de champignons, la communauté médicale et les gestionnaires de parcs doivent être conscients de ce risque accru. [Traduit par la Rédaction]
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Information & Authors


Published In

Botany cover image
Volume 95Number 4April 2017
Pages: 435 - 440


Received: 7 July 2016
Accepted: 25 October 2016
Published online: 15 November 2016


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Key Words

  1. ectomycorrhiza
  2. death cap mushroom
  3. Amanita phalloides
  4. Quercus garryana


  1. ectomycorhize
  2. amanite phalloïde
  3. Amanita phalloides
  4. Quercus garryana



Shannon M. Berch
British Columbia Ministry of Environment, North Road Lab, Victoria, BC V8W 9C4, Canada.
Paul Kroeger
395 East 40th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V5W 1M1, Canada.
Terrie Finston
MycoLogic Inc., c/o Biology Department, University of Victoria, P.O. Box 1700, STN CSC, Victoria, BC V8W 2Y2, Canada.


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