Amanita battarrae (Boud.) Bon

Phylum: Basidiomycota - Class: Agaricomycetes - Order: Agaricales - Family: Amanitaceae

Amanita battarrae

This rare mushroom is distinguished from other ringless Amanita species (often referred to as grisettes) by the zoned colouring of its marginally-grooved cap.

Amanita battarrae, a pale specimen

For a detailed description of the Amanita genus and identification of common species see our Simple Amanita Key...

Distribution

A rare sight in Britain and Ireland, Amanita battarrae is found throughout most of mainland Europe. A very similar species occurs in some parts of North America.

Taxonomic history

Described in 1902 by the French mycologist Jean Louis Émile Boudier, who named it Amanitopsis battarrae, this rare mushroom was given its currently-accepted scientific name in 1985 by the famous French mycologist Marcel Bon (1925 - 2014). In the interrim this mycorrhizal woodland mushroom was considered by many mycologists to be a variety of either Amanita vaginata or Amanita inaurata (Amanita ceciliae).

Synonyms of Amanita battarrae include Amanitopsis battarrae Boud., and Amanita umbrinolutea (Secr. ex Gillet) Bataille.

Etymology

The specific epithet battarrae honours Italian priest and naturalist Giovanni Antonio Battarra (1714 - 1789). Some people refer to this species as the Grey-zoned Ringless Amanita, although this is not included in the current (2016 edition) British Mycological Society's list of English Names of Fungi.

Identification guide

Cap of Amanita battarrrae

Cap

5 to 12cm diameter; various shades of grey-brown with a centre that becomes gradually darker as the fruitbody matures; occasionally with velar fragments when young. The cap is Initially egg-shaped and then convex, eventually flattening but retaining a shallow umbo; strongly lined at the margin, usually with a narrow dark band where the striations commence.

 

Gills

The gills of Amanita battarrae are creamy white, crowded, free or occasionally weakly adnexed. As with other grisettes, there are often a few short gills, of variable length and irregularly distributed.

Stem of Amanita battarrae

Stem

Stems of this rare grisette are usually 7 to 15cm long and 0.8 to 1.8cm in diameter, tapering (narrower at the top); white and covered in fine woolly grey-brown scales; clavate but not bulbous at the base.

As with the other grisettes there is no ring on the stem, but at the base of the stipe there is a white sac-like persistent volva with ooarge-brown spots, which is sometimes buried below ground level or in leaf litter. The stem flesh is whitish.

Spores of Amanita crocea, the Orange Grisette

Spores

Globose, smooth, 11-13µm; inamyloid.

Show larger image

Spore print

White.

Odour/taste

No significant odour; mild, pleasant taste.

Habitat & Ecological role

Mycorhizal with hardwood trees, particularly oaks but also Ash and Hazel; occasionally also in coniferous woodland.

Season

July to October in Britain and Ireland.

Similar species

Amanita vaginata has a grey-brown cap without significant zones; its stem is smooth and featureless.

Amanita fulva has a tawny-orange cap and white gills; its stem is smooth and featureless.

Culinary Notes

Concerns have been expressed that Amanita battarrea may be toxic, but in any case this is a rare mushroom about whose edibility little is known. My advice is that it should not be gathered for eating.

Reference Sources

Fascinated by Fungi, Pat O'Reilly, 2016.

BMS List of English Names for Fungi

Geoffrey Kibby, (2012) Genus Amanita in Great Britain, self-published monograph.

Funga Nordica: 2nd edition 2012. Edited by Knudsen, H. & Vesterholt, J. ISBN 9788798396130

Paul M. Kirk, Paul F. Cannon, David W. Minter and J. A. Stalpers (2008). Dictionary of the Fungi; CABI

Taxonomic history and synonym information on these pages is drawn from many sources but in particular from the British Mycological Society's GB Checklist of Fungi and (for basidiomycetes) on Kew's Checklist of the British & Irish Basidiomycota.

Acknowledgements

This page includes pictures kindly contributed by Simon Harding.

Top of page...


Pat O'Reilly

If you have found this information helpful, we are sure you would also find our book Fascinated by Fungi by Pat O'Reilly very useful. Author-signed hardback copies at a special discount price are available here...

Other nature books from First Nature...