Amanita porphyria

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Amanita porphyria
Amanita porphyria Alb. & Schwein 355243 2013-08-06 (cropped).jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Agaricales
Family: Amanitaceae
Genus: Amanita
A. porphyria
Binomial name
Amanita porphyria
  • Agaricus porphyreus (Alb. & Schwein.) Fr., Syst. mycol. (Lundae) 1: 14 (1821)
  • Agaricus recutitus Fr., Epicr. syst. mycol. (Uppsala): 6 (1838)
  • Amanita recutita (Fr.) Gillet, Hyménomycètes (Alençon): 42 (1874)
Amanita porphyria
View the Mycomorphbox template that generates the following list
Mycological characteristics
gills on hymenium
cap is convex
hymenium is free
stipe has a ring and volva
spore print is white
ecology is mycorrhizal
edibility: inedible

Amanita porphyria, also known as the grey veiled amanita, is a fairly common, inedible mushroom of the genus Amanita found in Europe and North America.


Amanita citrina group.jpg

A. porphyria is similar in overall shape and smell to the very common Amanita citrina, but the cap colour is different and the ring has a grey/violet coloration.[1]

The smooth cap is hemispherical when young and later flat, sometimes with grey patches of veil.[2][3] It is about 4–10 cm in diameter,[1][4][3] and brown with either a purplish or a greyish hue.[1][4][5][3][2][6] The name porphyria refers to the purple tint.[7]

As normal in the genus Amanita, the gills are white and free from the stem and the spores are white.

The stem is 5–12 cm high and 0.6-1.5 cm thick, with a basal bulb which may[1][4][5] or may not[6] be surrounded by a white membranous volva.[3] The fragile ring is grey-violet[1][4] or blackens.[3][2]

The flesh is white with a smell of raw potato[1][3][6] or radish.[1][4]

The amyloid[4] spores are almost spherical with a diameter of 8-10  µm.[3][6]

Distribution, habitat, ecology and human impact[edit]

A. porphyria usually grows on poor soil under coniferous trees, especially spruce,[6] but also fir,[4] hemlock,[5] and some deciduous ones such as birch.[3] It is mycorrhizal, living in symbiosis with the trees.[5]

It occurs from summer to autumn and is commoner in mountains or further to the north.[1][4] In Europe it is very common in boreal or hemiboreal forests but less so in temperate areas.[3] It is also found in northern North America from east to west. There has been some uncertainty whether the North American "version" should really be classified under a different name,[5] but there is now firm DNA evidence that all the variants actually belong to the same species.[8] It has also been recorded in Australia.[9]

A. porphyria is not suitable for consumption. More importantly, it can easily be confused with much more poisonous species, such as the Panther cap (Amanita pantherina).[2]


This fungus was described in 1805 under the current name, Amanita porphyria, by Johannes Baptista von Albertini and Lewis David de Schweinitz in their work Conspectus Fungorum in Lusatiae superioris agro Niskiensi crescentium e methodo Persooniana ("An overview of fungi growing in the area of Niesky in Upper Lusatia, according to the methodology of Persoon"[10]). The name was then sanctioned by Fries, meaning that the name Amanita porphyria is given priority even if the normal nomenclatural rules would give precedence to another name - and indeed the Danish mycologist Heinrich Christian Friedrich Schumacher had already described the same species as Agaricus gracilis in 1803. The sanctioning can be shown in the author string by means of a colon as in the following: "A. porphyria Alb. & Schwein. : Fr."[11][10]

The epithet porphyria comes from the Ancient Greek word porphúra (πορφύρα), meaning the Tyrian purple dye. This colour may be seen in the cap of the mushroom (though it is not always evident).[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Bon, Marcel (1987). The Mushrooms and Toadstools of Britain and North-Western Europe. Hodder & Stoughton. p. 298. ISBN 0-340-39935-X.
  2. ^ a b c d Phillips, Roger (2010). Mushrooms and Other Fungi of North America. Buffalo, NY: Firefly Books. p. 33. ISBN 978-1-55407-651-2.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Knudsen, H.; Vesterholt, J., eds. (2018). Funga Nordica Agaricoid, boletoid, clavarioid, cyphelloid and gasteroid genera. Copenhagen: Nordsvamp. p. 383. ISBN 978-87-983961-3-0.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Eyssartier, G.; Roux, P. (2013). Le guide des champignons France et Europe (in French). Belin. p. 296. ISBN 978-2-7011-8289-6.
  5. ^ a b c d e Kuo, M. (May 2013). "Amanita porphyria". the MushroomExpert.Com Web site. Retrieved 2020-04-12.
  6. ^ a b c d e Læssøe, H.; Petersen, Jens (2019). Fungi of Temperate Europe. Princeton University Press. p. 362. ISBN 9780691180373.
  7. ^ a b Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert. "πορφύρα". A Greek-English Lexico. Perseus Digital Library. Retrieved 2020-04-13.
  8. ^ Tulloss, RE; Possiel, L. (2020). "Amanita porphyria". Retrieved 2020-04-12.
  9. ^ "Amanita porphyria Alb. & Schwein". Atlas of Living Australia. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Retrieved 2020-04-13.
  10. ^ a b Hewitt, David; Karakenian, Jason; Amram, Peter; Schmull, Michaela (January 2016). "An Early Mycota: Johannes Baptista von Albertini and Lewis David von Schweinitz's Conspectus fungorum in Lusatiae superioris agro Niskiensi crescentium, with a Translation of the Latin Introduction into English". Bartonia; Proceedings of the Philadelphia Botanical Club. 69: 47–61. Retrieved 2020-04-13.
  11. ^ "Amanita porphyria page". Species Fungorum. Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. Retrieved 2020-04-13.

External links[edit]

Media related to Amanita porphyria at Wikimedia Commons