The following is based
on the descriptions by Albertini and Schweinitz (1805)
and Neville and Poumarat (2004).
The cap of Amanita porphyria is (25-) 40 - 80 mm wide, dull red to
grayish dull red to graying purple or pale brown gray to violaceous brown to violaceous gray brown, darkest in the center,
hemispherical then convex, with or without a broad umbo, finally planar, viscid, shiny, with the distinct appearence of having innate radial
fibers, and with a nonstriate and nonappendiculate margin. The volva is present as rather large violaceous gray- brown to violaceous gray
plaques. The flesh is whitish or pale cream, except fora narrow violaceous gray-brown region just under the cap skin.
The gills are free, rather crowded, whitish to pale yellowish gray, 4.5 - 8 mm broad, with a finely flocculose edge. The short gills are attenuate.
The stem is 60 - 110 × 6 - 14 mm, cylindric or slightly narrowing upwards, white or whitish, with fine
striations above the ring, with violaceous gray or violaceous brownish
longitudinal fibers present below the ring, solid and firm at first,
giving the impression of the center being stuffed with cotton after some
matureing, slowly becoming hollow. The bulb is subglobose, marginate,
and 12 - 36 mm wide. The ring is membranous, thin, skirt-like, finally
collapsing on the stem, whitish or pale gray at first, rapidly becoming
violaceous gray overall and violaceous brownish near the edge. The volva
is present as a more or less irregular plaques on the lower stem or
bulb, friable, at first whitish or pale gray, rapidly becoming brownish
lilac-gray particularly in detached fragments, with a short cottony
white free limb on the bulb's upper margin; the limb may be 1 - 6 mm
high (rarely higher). The flesh is whitish or pale cream.
The odor is of radishes or newly dug potatoes.
The taste is not recorded.
According to Neville and Poumarat (2004), the spores
measure 7.5 - 9.5 × 7 - 9 µm and are globose to subglobose
and amyloid. Clamps are absent at bases of
basidia. Spores measured by
RET from European and U.S. collections are as follows:
(7.5-) 8.0 - 9.8
(-11.2) × (7.0-) 7.5 - 9.2 (-11.0) µm and are globose to
subglobose, infrequently broadly ellipsoid.
This species was originally described from eastern Germany (between the Oder and Elbe rivers) and is associated with fir (Abies alba), spruce (Picea abies), pines (Pinus sylvestris), and occasionally with broad-leaved trees such as beeches (Fagus sylvatica), birches (Betula pubescens), aspen (Populus tremula), etc. In North America it is associated with species of the same genera as well as with Chinquapin (Castanopsis) and Manzanita (Arctostaphylos).
The most similar European taxon is
A. mappa (Batsch)
Fr.. The present species is widely reported in
northern North America. In North America, it is
similar to one or more taxa called "A. citrina"
by American mycologists. Some of these taxa
with pale straw-colored caps have a ring that
becomes gray with age. The range of cap color
for the species in North America is as broad as has
been reported from Europe. In the northwest,
specimens are sometimes completely white except for
their gray ring. In eastern North America,
the cap colors seen in the above illustrations are
sometimes observed, however, in Newfoundland
(photo) the caps are much paler and lack the red tint almost entirely. Occasionally, specimens are found which are strongly virgate with pigments ranging from grayish yellow to brown, sometimes having an apparent olivaceous tint. Whether some or all of the taxa referred to in North America as A. porphyria are indeed the same species as reported in Europe is an open question.—R. E. Tulloss and L. Possiel
≡Amanita porphyria f. tenuior (Fr.) Veselý. 1933. Ann. Mycol 31(4): 235. [Superfluous combination.]
?=Fungus colubrinus Paulet. 1793. Trait. Champ. 2: 317, index .
≡Hypophyllum colubrinum Paulet nom. inval. 1808-1835. Ibid.: pl. 152 (fig. 2). [Devalidated name. The name Amanita Pers. is conserved against Amanita Boehm. of which Hypophylum is an isonym. (Donk. 1962. Beih. Nova Hedwigia 5: 145.)]
=Amanita porphyria var. tenera Boud. 1902. Bull. Soc. Mycol. France 18: 259.
≡Amanita porphyria f. tenera (Boud.) Veselý. 1933. Ann. Mycol. 31(4): 236.
For more taxonomic synonyms see the Amanita Nomenclator (t.b.d.).
The editors of this site owe a great debt to Dr. Cornelis Bas
whose famous cigar box files of Amanita nomenclatural information
gathered over three or more decades were made available to RET for computerization
and make up the lion's share of the nomenclatural information presented on this site.
Zhang et al. (2004), Key Lab. Biodivers. Biogeogr., Kunming Inst. Bot., Yunnan, China
Albertini and Schweinitz. 1805. op. cit.: taf. 11 (fig. 1). [It is possible that this lectotype could be rejected because it does not conform with the protolog with regard to the stipe and the lamellae being white [at least at first].
Neville and Poumarat. 2004. Fungi Europeaei 9: 820. [The authors express reservations that the selected plate does not conform with the text of the protolog.]
Olive text indicates a specimen that has not been
thoroughly examined (for example, for microscopic details) and marks other places in the text
where data is missing or uncertain.
Coloring of the habit illustration is clearly incorrect
in copies I have seen—e.g., having a brown stipe.
Schweinitz prepared water colors of many of the species
that appear in his works. These water colors are
often very good quality technical illustrations and are
clearly based on individual collections. The water
color of A. porphyria is in a bound volume in the
Ewell Sale Stewart Library, of the Philadelphia Academy
of Natural Sciences, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. For some
reason it shows an entirely gray fruiting body (gray
pileus and gray stipe). Possibly this is due to
sulfides or other compounds forming in the pigments over
the series since the painting's creation; however, no
cause has been assigned scientifically.
29 - 78 mm wide, virgate, at first with darker streaks
brown to umbrinous brown (e.g. 6D3), often with lavender
or purple or reddish cast when young (this, at least
sometimes, due to paler pinkish brown ground color, e.g.,
ca. 6C3), with pink tint disappearing with age and brown
becoming darker (e.g., 6F4 or darker), often gray (in
Schweinitz’ water color cited above) to grayish brown to
maturity, sometimes rain-soaked specimens becoming pallid
(e.g. very pale tan-gray, with buff disc, sometimes with
citrin ground color) or depigmented, unchanging when cut
hemispheric to broadly campanulate to convex,
then planoconvex to shallowly
depressed with umbo in depression, becoming concave in
age, tacky, shiny, subshiny when dry;
context white except for
thin brownish gray layer below pileipellis, unchanging
when cut or bruised, 2 - 8 mm thick, thinning evenly to
margin or thinning rather rapidly for about 0.75 pileus
radius and then thinning evenly to margin; margin
nonstriate, nonappendiculate; universal veil
absent or in small, friable patches, detersile, white
or very pallid at first, becoming concolorous with
pileus or grayer.
narrowly adnate at first, then free, seceding, sometimes
with short decurrent lines on stipe apex, sometimes
lacking such lines, crowded to subcrowded, buff
to cream to off-white to white in mass, pale cream to
white in side view, unchanging when cut or bruised,
2.5 - 7.5 mm broad, broadest at about 75% of distance
from stipe to pileus margin, ??;
lamellulae attenuate to subattenuate to truncate,
unevenly distributed, of diverse lengths,
60 - 110 × 3 - 14 mm, white, becoming off-white to
brown with handling, narrowing upward or subcylindric
or cylindric, flaring just at apex,
at times somewhat sinuate, faintly longitudinally
striatulate, often with areas of
brownish gray or gray fibrils (sometimes joined at tips)
below partial veil or with smears of gray thin material
(limbus internus?), with all decoration tending to darken
with age; bulb 10 - 23 × 7 - 35 mm, subglobose to
submarginate to marginate, vertically split sometimes,
often abrupt or subabrupt; context off-white to
pale cream, sometimes stained yellow-brown in center of
bulb, hollow to stuffed to solid, with central cylinder
0+ - 4 mm wide, with larval tunnels
partial veil superior to median, gray-brown to
gray, becoming blackish with age (from free edge upward),
membranous, persistent, striate above, collapsing on
stipe; universal veil absent or occasionally as
short submembranous limb or narrow ridge attached at
bulb margin, whitish,
sometimes graying and then black with age as with
gray material left on stipe below partial
Odor of potatoes or raphanoid, sometimes faintly. Taste not recorded.
Spot test for laccase (syringaldazine) - negative throughout basidiome. Spot test for tyrosinase (paracresol) - positive in scattered samll spots on stipe and bulb surfaces and in context of same and on lamella edge near stipe apex. Test voucher: Tulloss 8-21-87-G. Similar results for phenoloxidase spot tests with L-tyrosine, paracresol, and syringaldazine are reported by Marr et al. (1986). All tests were performed on North American material.
wst-near = 25 µm (?); wst-far = 35 µm (?); comprising irregularly shaped branched cells (uninflated or partially inflated) and partially inflated cells and ellipsoid to ovoid to subglobose inflated cells (up to 25 × 16.0 µm, but mostly under two thirds this length) in (3-) 4 - 5 layers in branching structure (usually smallest near bases of basidia) and uninflated hyphal segments, with basidia usually arising from small inflated cells, but also arising from cells of other listed types.
30 - 46 × 9.2 - 14.5 µm, dominantly 4-, infrequently 2-sterigmate, with sterigmata up to 7.5 × 4.5 µm; clamps rare(?) to absent.
RET: [157/8/6] (7.2-) 7.5 - 9.8 (-11.2) ×
(6.8-) 7.0 - 9.2 (-11.0) µm,
(L = (7.8-) 8.5 - 8.9 µm;
L’ = 8.7 µm; W = (7.1-) 8.0 - 8.5 µm;
W’ = 8.1 µm; Q = (1.0-) 1.02 - 1.14 (-1.26);
Q = 1.05 - 1.07 (-1.10);
Q’ = 1.07), hyaline,
colorless, smooth, thin-walled, amyloid, globose to
subglobose, often at least slightly adaxially flattened,
occasionally expanded at one end; apiculus
sublateral, small, cylindric; contents dominantly
monoguttulate, occasionally multiguttulate to granular;
white in deposit.
[Note: The abnormally small spores from RET 245-6
have affected the above data unduly because the overall
sample size is small. The data from
the small spores are provided here:
[20/1/1] 7.2 - 8.2 (-8.5) × 6.8 - 7.5 (-10.5) μm,
(L = 7.8 μm; W = 7.1 μm;
Q = 1.0 - 1.15 (-1.17); Q = 1.10).]—ed.
Solitary to subgregarious. Norway: In
oligotrophic Pinus sylvestris forest in humus with
pH = 4.0± or in Picea abies
forest. Switzerland: At 1000 m elev. Under
Fagus and Picea. California, U.S.A.:
In sand with some organic content with
Arctostaphylos, Castanopsis, Pinus,
and Quercus. New York, U.S.A.: At ca.
500 m elev. Vermont, U.S.A.: In duff in
sandy road cut with Tsuga canadensis, F.
grandifolia, and Acer sp. Washington,
U.S.A.: Under T. heterophylla or in conifer duff
at about 30 m elev. in old growth Tsuga
A. H. Smith’s notes in MICH say: "Solitary to scattered
on rich humus, especially in hemlock [Tsuga]
forests, frequent in its favorite habitat in the
eastern, central and western states [of the
Gulden et al. (1985)
report that A. porphyria is one of the few
species of Amanita not in Amanita
section Vaginatae found rather commonly in
treeline forests of northern Europe.
Zhang et al. (2004) voucher for sequencing: GERMANY: UNKN. STATE—Schwarzwald, s.d. unkn. coll. s.n. (HKAS 31531).
CANADA: NEWFOUNDLAND &
LABRADOR—Isl. of Newfoundland - Gros Morne Nat.
Pk., Trout Lake Campground, 30.ix.2003 Dr. Kuulo
Kalamees s.n. [Tulloss 9-30-03-B] (RET 370-9, nrITS
& nrLSU seq'd.); Kill Devil Anglican Church Camp,
17.ix.2004 Noah Siegel s.n. (RET 384-8, nrITS &
nrLSU seq'd.); Lomond, Stuckless
Pond, 14.ix.2004 R. E. Tulloss, Maria Voitk ∓
K .J. Harrison [Tulloss 9-14-04-A] (RET 383-4);
Stanleyville [49.4665° N/ 57.7805° W, 30 m elev.],
13.ix.2004 Maria Voitke & R. E. Tulloss s.n.
(RET 383-9); unkn. loc., 28.ix.2003 Velo
Soots & Pat Burchell s.n. [Tulloss 9-28-03-B]
(RET 370-10, nrITS & nrLSU seq'd.).
CZECH REPUBLIC: SOUTH
BOHEMIA—Nadějov, 2.x.2006 Dr. Jan Borovička 25
(RET 404-9, nrITS & nrLSU seq'd.); Široké Blato
Nature Reserve, 3.x.2006 J. Borovička 26 (RET 404-2,
nrITS & nrLSU seq.'d.), 4.x.2006
J. Borovička 28 (RET 404-1).
AUST-AGDER—Gjerstad, Svarttjern For. Reserve
[UTM: ML 9135], 18.viii.1987 T. E. Brandrud 439-87
BUSKERUD—Kongsberg, Efteløt prestegård
[UTMWGS84 NM 455,012-013], 20.viii.1999 L.
Winter, S. Aasrum & M. Nuñez s.n. [Tulloss
8-20-99-G] (O 36126; RET 309-7, nrITS seq'd.);
Kongsberg, Jondalseva i Jondalen [UTMWGS84
NM 30-31,18], 21.viii.1999 Even W. Hanssen, B. Krømer,
R. Kristiansen & V. Timmerman s.n. [RET 8-21-99-F]
(O 36126; RET 309-6); Kongsberg, Lindåskroken
[UTMWGS84 NM 35,01-02, 350 m], 21.viii.1999
P. Marstad, H. Myhre & T. Torjesen s.n.
[Tulloss 8-21-99-C] (O 35658; RET 311-2, nrITS seq'd.);
Kongsberg, SW side Store Lauarvann
[UTMWGS84 NM 379,025], 20.viii.1999 R. E.
Tulloss 8-20-99-B (O 35964; RET 309-8, nrITS &
10.ix.1992 Carmine Lavorato 920910-35 (in herb. C.
Lavorato; RET 079-1, nrITS & nrLSU seq'd.).
Cruz Co. - Henry Cowell Redwoods St. Pk., campgrd. area
ca. Graham Hill Rd., 15.i.2003 D. Arora & R. E.
Tulloss [Tulloss 1-15-03-B] (RET 366-3, nrITS &
MAINE: Washington Co. -
S of Steuben, ca Eagle Hill Institute, 12.ix.2013
Igor Safonov et al. s.n. (RET 578-2).
MASSACHUSETTS—Berkshire Co., Savoy Mills St.
For., 15.viii.1986 Len Frank s.n. [Tulloss 8-15-86-G]
NEW HAMPSHIRE—Cheshire Co. - Rindge, campus
of Franklin Pierce College [42.7788° N/ 72.0555° W, 319
m], 18.viii.1989 Beryl Stevenson s.n. [Tulloss
8-18-89-G] (RET 245-6, nrITS & nrLSU seq'd.).
NEW YORK—Franklin Co. -
Paul Smith’s [44°26'02" N/ 74°15'06" W, 500 m],
21.viii.1987 Bruce Vansant s.n. [Tulloss 8-21-87-B]
(RET 018-5), David C. & R. E. Tulloss 8-21-87-G
OREGON—Coos Co. - North
Bend, Horsfall Beach [ca. 48°26’60” N/ 124°15’20” W,
ca. 9 m], 19.x.2013 Laurel Caplan s.n. (RET
589-9). Multnomah Co. - Larch Mtn.,
23.x.2010 Sava Krstić s.n. [mushroomobserver #56515
] (RET 456-9, nrITS & nrLSU seq'd.).
VERMONT—Pownal Co. - County Rd, 29.viii.1981 NEMF81 participant s.n. [Tulloss 8-29-81-H] (RET 166-9).
WASHINGTON—Klickitat Co. - GPNF, W side Cascade Crk., 8.ix.1990 J. E. Lindgren 90-28 (RET 083-2). Skamania Co. - GPNF, Pacific Crest Tr., Trout Crk., 8.ix.1990 J. E. Lindgren 90-48 (RET 083-1). Skagit Co. - Rockport St. Pk., 18.x.1992 Kathi Marlowe s.n. [B. McAdoo 215#6] (RET 077-1).
All the information that I have collected here is from
material with a purplish brown to brown pileus and a
conspicuously gray annulus.
I have examined Schweinitz’s watercolor of this species
at the Library of the Academy of Natural Sciences,
Philadelphia. It is believed that this watercolor
was made during the period of Scwheinitz’s time in
Germany and association with Albertini—not during
Schweinitz's time in North America. Schweinitz
was a fine draftsman and used color with
subtlety. On the whole, the watercolors are very
well preserved and familiar taxa can be judged to be
lifelike and accurate. As a consequence, one
would believe the painting of Amanita porphyria
to be an accurate representation of the species and
more valuable than the obviously improperly colored
illustration that appears in the protolog.
The watercolor depicts a pair of basidiomes with gray,
umbonate pilei having nonstriate margins. The
pilei are completely without remnants of universal
veil. The lamellae are white with concolorous
edges. The stipe is notably (although palely)
grayish. The annulus appears white on the upper
surface; the lower surface may be showing in part and
should be re-examined with greater care than I was able
to give it during the exhibition at which I was able to
examine the painting. The basal bulbs of the
stipes are white and sublimbate to subabrupt; one
is white; the other is white with raised ochraceous tan,
The watercolor, although more subtly colored than the
protolog's illustration still does not depict the fungus
described in the protolog—a fungus with a pileus that is
purplish at first and that becomes livid and an annulus
that becomes livid on a white stipe. It would
appear that neither the published plate nor the
watercolor can serve as a lectotype. Moreover,
the date of the watercolor is (so far as I know)
unknown; if this is true, the painting cannot be
demonstrated to be a syntype.
As far as the they have been compared to date, the match
between the European material and the specimens from the
Pacific Northwest of the United States is
excellent. There is essentially no difference in
the anatomy of the hymenium, subhymenium, and lamella
trama between specimens in the two groups.
The pileus of McAdoo 215#6 was rather pallid for this
species (very pale tan-gray, with buff disc); however,
anatomically, the material is identical with the other
specimens of the present taxon that were examined;
moreover, the typical grayish annulus was noted by the
In eastern North America, porphyry-capped material that
appears very similar to that illustrated on this page
from Norway and Switzerland has occasionally been
reported; however, there are also specimens commonly
referred to A. porphyria by eastern North
American mycologists that have distinctly different
pileus coloration. For example, the pilei of material
from the Island of Newfoundland that Tulloss has seen
in the field have a tan pileus with a warm brown
disc. However, collections with the two variations
of cap pigmentation have been found to yield identical
nrITS and nrLSU sequences (unpublished data).
Tulloss has referred to some collections of this species
as "sp. NW6" in correspondence and local
checklists. Material from New York and New
Hampshire with cap coloring not porphyry have previously
been called A. sp-N17
on this site. Prior to development of this site,
these name was written "sp. N17"
in correspondence, keys, and draft descriptions.
A collection of this latter
"possible taxon" has yielded DNA nrITS and nrLSU
sequences that are those of the present taxon.
A. H. Smith’s notes (MICH) indicate that he felt that
there was "intergrading" between the present species
and "Amanita citrina". Tulloss has not
seen any evidence of this. There is no supporting
genetic evidence that A. porphyria has crossed
with any other taxon of stirps Citrina.
—R. E. Tulloss
Information to support the viewer in reading the content of "technical" tabs
can be found here.
Each spore data set is intended to comprise a set of measurements from a single specimen made by a single observer;
and explanations prepared for this site talk about specimen-observer pairs associated with each data set.
Combining more data into a single data set is non-optimal because it obscures observer differences
(which may be valuable for instructional purposes, for example) and may obscure instances in which
a single collection inadvertently contains a mixture of taxa.