Amanitaceae Gallery

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

Taxonomic history of the genus Amanita

Deathcap, Amanita phalloides
Amanita phalloides

The Amanita genus, which contains more than 600 species worldwide, was first named (with its present meaning and with the Fly Agaric, Amanita muscaria, as the 'type species') in 1797 by Christiaan Hendrik Persoon.


The origin of the genus name Amanita is lost in the mists of time. Several alternative hypotheses have been out forward, but one that many authorities suggest is credible is that it is in some way a reference to Mount Amanon, a mountain in Cicilia overlooking the north-eastern Mediterranean.

This group of agarics (fungi with caps and gills mounted upon a stem) is well know for the prized edible Caesar's Mushroom (Amanita caesarea) as well as several deadly poisonous species - Amanita phalloides and Amanita virosa , for example. This group also contains Amanita muscaria, commonly known as the Fly Agaric, one of the most beautiful of all the gilled fungi.

Top of page...

If you have found this information helpful, please consider helping to keep First Nature online by making a small donation towards the web hosting and internet costs.

Any donations over and above the essential running costs will help support the conservation work of Plantlife, the Rvers Trust and charitable botanic gardens - as do author royalties and publisher proceeds from Pat and Sue's nature books - available from First Nature...

© 1995 - 2021 First Nature: a not-for-profit volunteer-run resource

Please help to keep this free resource online...

Terms of use - Privacy policy - Disable cookies - Links policy