Amanita brunnescens (Cleft-foot Amanita)

Description: Brownish cap with whitish patches; stalk with large, vertically split basal bulb; bruising reddish-brown.

Cap: 1-6" (2.5-15 cm) wide; convex, becoming flat or with knob; margin sometimes faintly radially lined; sticky, usually with small fibers; dark brown to olive-brown or whitish toward margin, with whitish to pale brown patches. Flesh white, discoloring reddish-brown.

Gills: free or nearly so, close, broad, cream-white.

Stalk: 2-6" (5-15 cm) long, 3/8-3/4" (1-2 cm) thick, with abrupt, sharp-edged bulb that splits vertically; smooth to scruffy; white, discoloring reddish-brown from base upward.

Veils: universal veil white to pale brownish; leaving patches on cap and rarely about stalk base. Partial veil membranous, whitish; leaving collapsing pendant ring on upper stalk.

Spores: 7-10 m; round, smooth, colorless, amyloid. Spore print white.

Edibility: Possibly poisonous.

Season: July-October.

Habitat: On the ground, in dry deciduous woods, especially among oak.

Range: Quebec to Florida, west to Michigan and E. Texas.

Look-alikes: The deadly A. phalloides has saclike cup about stalk base. A. rubescens and A. spissa have club-shaped stalks without abrupt basal bulb. A. citrina has variety with same bulb characteristic, but is greenish-yellow. A. inaurata has charcoal patches on its radially furrowed cap.

Comments: A summer variety, which is pure white but also brusises reddish-brown, is common in eastern oak woods and called either A. brunnescens var. pallidaor A. aestivalis.

Amanita brunnescens image and excerpt from Gary H. Lincoff's National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms, (1981/2004, pp. 527-528 , images #126, 134).

Amanita brunnescens (Cleft-foot Amanita)
Amanita brunnescens (Cleft-foot Amanita)2
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