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Amanita species 01: The Sand Dune Amanita

[ Basidiomycetes > Agaricales > Amanitaceae > Amanita . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

I find this Amanita in sand dunes near the coast of Lake Michigan, in Emmet County, MI. It is a very curious amanita, since it grows without any trees nearby (the closest trees are eastern white pines, over 50 yards away) and is apparently mycorrhizal with huckleberry bushes, which grow in abundance in the immediate vicinity. The same sand dunes often hold several well known sand-loving mushrooms, including Russula ventricosipes and Laccaria trullisata.

The "Sand Dune Amanita" has a flimsy sacklike volva and a sturdy ring. These features, together with its amyloid spores and naked cap margin, place it in section Phalloideae--perhaps in the vicinity of species like Amanita bisporigera. I performed the Meixner Test to determine whether deadly amatoxins were present in the Sand Dune Amanita, and my results (illustrated to the right) were clearly positive.


Ecology: Apparently mycorrhizal with huckleberry, but with eastern white pines present at a distance of over 50 yards; solitary in back dunes, about 5 miles from Lake Michigan; September; Emmet County, MI.

Cap: 3.5-6 cm; convex; whitish with hints of rose; margin faintly lined; without universal veil remnants.

Gills: Free from the stem; close; with a few short-gills; white.

Stem: 20 x 1.5 cm; tapered to apex; without a basal bulb; white to off-white; terminating in a sack-like, whitish, fairly adherent volva; with a high, skirtlike ring; sometimes rooting.

Flesh: White.

Odor: Not distinctive, or rancid when past maturity.

Chemical Reactions: KOH on cap surface yellow.

Spore Print: Presumably white.

Microscopic Features: Spores 9-13 x 6-9 µ; broadly ellipsoid; smooth; amyloid. Basidia 4-spored; unclamped. Pileipellis a slightly gelatinized cutis of hyphae 2.5-7 µ wide. Lamellar trama bilateral; subhymenium cellular.

REFERENCES: Herb. Kuo 09120413, 09110511.

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Amanita sp 01

Amanita sp 01

Amanita sp 01

Amanita sp 01

Amanita sp 01
Results of the Meixner Test on the Sand Dune Amanita (in the middle).

Amanita sp 01

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Kuo, M. (2013, May). Amanita sp. 01: The sand dune amanita. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: