The Destroying Angel mushroom

by , under All categories, Enrique


This innocent-white mushroom growing on moss is one of the deadliest you’ll ever find in the woods. This picture of the Destroying Angel (Amanita virosa) was taken on Sunday, August 26. I’ve picked mushrooms a long time and follow two rules: (1) I only pick those I know; (2) I never touch mushrooms I’m not familiar with.

  1. suburbanlife

    Enrique – the Amanita is a beautiful looking mushroom, as your photo show. However beauty can be deadly, and picking and eating mushrooms without adequate knowledge, or being absolutely certain is a foolhardy venture. This is a useful post and good information at this time of year in the northern latitudes, as mushroom picking time is upon us now. Thanks for providing an excellent link! G

  2. nemoo

    Hi G, a beautiful looking mushroom indeed but how deadly… You can distinguish the Destroying Angel from the Parasol (Macrolepiota procera) or Field mushroom (Agaricus campestris). The gills of these mushrooms are not white. There’s another beauty called the Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria) but not as poisonous as the Destroying Angel. You must be a pretty experienced mushroom picker as well.

  3. Paddy Whack

    Yes, definitely give that one a skip, but who knows a little experamentation, and you might get a little flight to heaven, anyway!. If you do come across any psilocybin mushrooms on your “trips” save some for me. Dry them out slow, no artificial heating.
    Forget the plentyful (Cantharellus cibarius) here in Finland. Who needs chanterelle when you can have psychodel……………………ic. Excuse me. Where was I? Yes, love those mushrooms. I’m into ORGANIC man.
    Ha, ha!!!
    Y;-) Paddy Whack “crazy by name crazy by nature”

  4. odette

    me and my dad saw some funny looking mushroom in our backyard it is a white ball coming up from the ground and it grows until it looks like the inside of a rooten watermelon with pinkish in color my dad says it smells horrible my brother says it is poisionus and deadly could you please give me your opinion on this mushroom we live in near the border of Mexico by the tip of Texas thank you

  5. Enrique

    Hi Odette, there is one important rule of thumb I follow with mushrooms: never touch mushrooms you are not 150% familiar with. One simple test you can do is cut the cap and place it on a white piece of paper under a cup.The color of the spores will give you one clue on wheat kind of a mushroom it is. Field mushrooms have violet spores while the Destroying Angel has white. It’s a bit difficult to say without a picture.

  6. MattG

    It is correct that once the cap opens the diference between Field and Angel is always the different coloured gills, white for angel, brown for Field or is there still a chance of confusing them also does the Angels cap brown with age like the Field mushroom?

  7. Enrique

    The color of the gills and the spores tell you what kind of a mushroom it is. All amanita mushrooms have white spores, like the Destroying Angel. But get in touch with an person who can show you this directly. I have cut the cap of mushrooms, placed them on white paper, and covered them with a cup. Presto! Soon you’ll see spores on the paper.

  8. DeTant Blomhat

    I thought the logical rule here used to be:
    – learn to know your poisonous mushrooms
    – eat only mushrooms you know

  9. Enrique

    DeTant, you are absolutely right! Learn to know the poisonous mushroom with a person who can recognize them and eat only mushrooms you are 150% familiar. All the mushrooms that I pick have been shown to me by a person who is familiar with the mushroom(s).