Amanita gemmata (Gemmed Amanita)

Description: Buff-yellow cap with cream patches, ring on stalk, and basal cup attached to stalk or with small, free collar.

Cap: 1-4" (2.5-10 cm) wide; rounded, becoming convex to flat; margin radially lined; tacky when wet, smooth; pale yellow to buff, with small, irregularly placed, cream patches.

Gills: free or slightly attached, crowded, broad to narrow, white.

Stalk: 2-5" (5-12.5 cm) long, 1/4-3/4" (0.5-2 cm) thick, somewhat enlarged near oval basal bulb; slightly cottony to smooth, white or cream.

Veils: universal veil white to cream; leaving patches on cap and stalk base, or basal cup attached to stalk or with free rim at tip of bulb. Partial veil white; often leaving evanescent, pendant ring on upper stalk.

Spores: 8.7-11 X 5.5-8.5 m; broadly elliptical, smooth, colorless, nonamyloid. Spore print white.

Edibility: Possibly poisonous.

Season: June-October; November-February in California.

Habitat: On the ground, in oak and pine woods; woods and parks in urban areas.

Range: Throughout North America.

Look-alikes: A. citrina has pale greenish-yellow cap, abruptly bulbous base, and amyloid spores.

Comments: The Jonquil Amanita (A. junquillea) and Russulalike amanita (A. russuloides) may only be variants of this species. It is thought to have hybridized with the poisonous Panther (A. pantherina ) in the Northwest, producing mushrooms with characteristics of both species. The Gemmed Amanita often loses its ring and veil remnants, especially after a rain, and can then be mistaken for a Russula or Tricholoma. This mushroom is sometimes eaten; however, it may well be a species complex, and some of its forms may contain toxins, so it is best avoided.

Amanita gemmata image and excerpt from Gary H. Lincoff's National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms, (1981/2004, pp. 537-538 , images #128 and 129).

Amanita gemmata (Gemmed Amanita)
Amanita gemmata (Gemmed Amanita)2