While mushrooms may be a popular pizza topping, and the occasional cartoon showcases characters surviving in the woods off mysteriously appearing shrooms, most varieties of mushrooms are actually dangerous for humans to consume. Here are the 5 most poisonous mushrooms that grow right here in North America.
1. Amanita Gemmata:
This is typically a golden mushroom with white spots covering the top. It usually grows in the fall and summer, and is completely deadly if eaten.
2. Gyromitra Esculenta:
This mushroom holds a mousy brown or soft yellow color and is shaped like a brain. Mostly any mushroom that resembles brain-like characteristics is poisonous, however this particular mushroom is deadly. *Many coniferous forest mushrooms are deadly.
3. Amanita Phalloides:
Otherwise known as the self-explanatory “death mushroom”, this mushroom looks like most edible mushrooms but it is actually extremely deadly. It has a thick white stalk and a yellowish cap. If eaten, it will result in vomiting, a quick recovery, then liver and kidney failure, which results in a coma or death.
4. Omphalotus Olearius:
his mushroom is known as the Jack O’ Lantern mushroom and grows in California as well as various parts of Asia, including Japan. These mushrooms have a beautiful appearance with bioluminescent features; meaning they glow in the dark. They grow in small orange clusters and if ingested will cause vomiting, stomach cramps, and dehydration.
5. Amanita Ocreata:
This mushroom is rightfully named the angel of death. It is responsible for 90-95% of mushroom poisonings. It is widely distributed in North America as well as Europe. These mushrooms cause severe stomach issues, leading to kidney failure, then death.
*Anything that starts with “amanita” is probably something you do not want to eat.