Amanitaville on the coast
We found no less than 5 different species of Amanitas in the Central Oregon coast range near the Umqua river on Halloween day. Amazing specimens. I am sorry that I was too excited to take many photos, but I have one and the rest from when I got home. The main cluster, and most exciting was underneath a big leaf maple, though Doug firs were nearby. 4 GIANtT mushrooms, one with a stem of 12″ and cap of 8″, were pushing through the moss and maple leaves on a glorious fall day. I picked them all hoping they were A. calyptroderma, a species we had sampled at the Eugene club’s mushroom show. I am not experienced in identifying the edible Amanitas and have been taught to avoid all of them. As I learn, I have become more comfortable with the concept of trying Amanitas, but not finding and eating them myself.
I CAREFULLY dug up each one getting all of the volva from the base which was mostly buried in the ground and wrapped them gently in wax paper. As soon as I got home, I started to work on them with all the info and every book I could find. I emailed my trusted identifiers with photos and descriptions and posted on PNW mushroom identification’s FB page. From everything I learned, these are Amanita calyptroderma, though a darker brown version than usual. No one would give me the green light on eating them unless I drove to the valley for a hands-on ID. I totally get that. Then they froze outside and their features have changed. If only I could find these often enough to get completely familiar and comfortable. They are just too close to the deadly A. phalloides to make it worth the experiment. Maybe next time. More Amanitas later.