Amanita lanei

Amanita lanei

Amanita lanei (= Amanita calyptrata and Amanita calyptroderma), also called coccoli or coccora, is a white-spored mushroom that fruits naturally in the coastal forests of the western United States during the fall and winter. A spring form occurs which has a light yellow cap.

Description

This mushroom is recognized by its large, orange-brown cap partially covered by a thick patch of universal veil, its white gills and spores, its cream-colored stalk adorned with a partial veil, and by the presence of a large, saclike volva at the base of the stalk.

The spores of this species do not change color when placed in a solution of Melzer's reagent, and thus are termed inamyloid. This characteristic in combination with the absence of a bulb at the base of the stalk place this mushroom in the Section Vaginatae.

Classification

Rodham E. Tulloss suggests that there may in fact be several distinct species currently grouped under the name Amanita lanei. For a brief discussion of the confused history behind the species name of this mushroom, read Nathan Wilson's article on A. lanei

Distribution and habitat

This mushroom forms mycorrhizae with Madrone (Arbutus menziesii) in the southern part of its range (Central California northwards to Washington). However, in the northern part of its range (Washington to southern Canada), its preferred host is Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii).

Edibility

Experienced mushroom hunters regard this mushroom as a good edible species, but caution must be exercised when collecting A. lanei for the table, since it can be confused with other species in the genus Amanita. This genus contains some of the deadliest mushrooms in the world, most notably A. phalloides, A. ocreata and A. virosa. The spring form of A. lanei is nearly the same color as the A. phalloides and the edible species can be differentiated by its striate cap margin, lack of a true bulb at the base of the stem, volva attachment and inamyloid spores.

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