Amanita rubecens or more commonly known as the blusher, is a very nice tasting sweet edible mushroom. However this mushroom needs to be treated with caution as it is known to contain a hemolytic toxin in its raw state, This can cause anaemia if eaten raw. All wild edible mushrooms need to be cooked, as some wild mushrooms contain toxins that need to be cooked for them to be broken down. Also wild mushrooms can harbour nasty parasites and bacteria.
This mushroom can grow in a variety of different locations including coniferous and deciduous woodland.
This is another mushroom whose scientific name makes sense.
Amanita is derived from Greek amanitai (plural) meaning a variety of fungus.
rubecens from Latin simply means red or reddened.
This mushroom appears from the ground emerging from an egg (volva) with the remnants remaining on the cap as warts, it then transforms itself from a stocky lump into an elegant tall mushroom.
The Cap: The cap starts out hemispherical in appearance but flattens out as it matures. When mature the cap can range in size from 5cm-15cm in diameter and is usually pinky/brown in colour with the top dotted with grey spots which are the remnants of the egg ( these however can be washed off in heavy rain)
The Gills: The gills are white in colour although sometimes spotted with red dots, crowded and annexed-free ( meaning the gills do not connect to the stem).
The Stem can be around 5cm-20cm long and 1cm-2cm wide although can be quite bulbous at the base. It is generally white above the ring on stems (annulus) which remains and more reddish brown below the ring. The stem becomes hollow and brittle as the mushroom matures and if cut will bruise pink.
There are a variety of native Amanitas that are grey in colour including Amanita umbrinella (picture above) however the native Amanitas will not stain or bruise pink/ruby if cut or bruised.
Please use this reference as a tool for identification only and never eat any mushroom unless you do your own research and you are 100% sure. Remember if in doubt leave it out!