This Amanita caesarea-look-alike is known from mountainous, southern Arizona; and, in that region, it is collected for the table. It is called "Amanita caesarea" in that region because of its habit and coloration, but appears to be rather distantly related to that European species.
The cap of Amanita cochiseana is 60 - 150 mm wide, egg-shaped at first, then convex to broadly convex with an incurved margin, and becoming nearly flat with a decurved margin. The cap does not develop an umbo. It is sometimes entirely pale orange at first, soon pale orange-ochre to pale buff to pale orangish buff over an area including the cap's center and orange-brown outside this decolored region (except bright yellow-orange to bright yellow on margin), with orange and brown tints disappearing on exposure, and then becoming entirely intense yellow except for the discolored region in the center (latter remaining as above or becoming nearly white), viscid to dry, often matt (especially in decolored region). The cap is sometimes shiny. The cap's flesh is white to pale cream, with a layer of intense yellow just below the cap's skin, a pale yellow area over the gills near stipe, and sometimes with a narrow watery yellow region just above the gills. The flesh is unchanging when cut or bruised. The cap's margin is striate for 10% to 20% of the cap's radius. Volval remnants are usually absent or, occasionally, are present as a single white, membranous, off-center patch. The cap's skin is often bright orange red to red in cross section even in just below a faded portion of the cap's surface.
The gills of this species are free to narrowly adnate (with or without a decurrent tooth), with a prominent decurrent line on the stem, crowded, yellow to bright (or brilliant) yellow to orange-yellow in mass, yellow to pale yellowish cream in side view, close, and with the edge yellow (often brilliant) and somewhat minutely decorated or not. Some forking or growing-togteher of the gills has been noted. The short gills are truncate to subtruncate to rounded truncate, of diverse lengths, common, and unevenly distributed.
The stem is 60 - 120 × 10 - 25 mm, subcylindric to cylindric or narrowing either downward or upward, pointed below, cream to white to pale yellow near the base becoming more intensely yellow upwards, sometimes orangish yellow or yellow-orange above the midpoint (or only above the partial veil), and not flaring at apex. The stem's surface is decorated with pale yellow, and often rather thin, felted/floccose scales (some with orange tint), with a ground color fading with age, faintly and finely striat below the ring, and faintly and very finely short-hairy above the ring. The stem's flesh is pale cream to off-white to pale yellow, sometimes more strongly yellow (especially near the surface) in the 20 - 30 mm nearest to the stem's very top, unchanging when cut or bruised, with larva tunnels the same color as surrounding flesh or grayish or brownish gray. The stem is stuffed with white cottony material and becomes hollow. The stem's ring is rather near the top of the stem and is copious (flaring beyond the limits of the volva at first and eventually collapsing), skirt-like, bright yellow to yellow orange above and pale yellow to yellowish or orangish tan below, becoming darker orange with age, membranous, usually with regular margin, sometimes tearing, strongly striate above, and felted below. Often, there is an apparent secondary (lower) ring, often projecting straight out from the stem at first, and sometimes shredded. (See the description of the volva's internal limb, below.) This "second ring" often has a ragged edge, is much smaller than the "true ring" and approximately the same color as the "true ring" or yellow or grayish yellow and (e.g.) 20 - 30 mm below the "true ring," and eventually collapses into a thickened wavy line on the stem. The volva is present as a copious sack, ovoid at first, white, staining slightly from contact with the soil, sometimes becoming a bit grayish in age, thick (with limb 2.5 - 4+ mm thick at mid-height), soft (even cottony) on the exterior, somewhat leathery, 46 - 88 × 28 - 55 mm, and divides into several (often pointed) lobes. Inside the volva there is a distinct, white internal limb at about mid-height of the main volval limb and attached (easily seen in "button" specimens) to a thin yellow to orangish yellow, felted sheath tha cover much of the stem in the "button". It is this felted extension of the internal limb that eventually forms the "secondary ring."
The odor is pleasant and faintly fruity or earthy. The taste was not recorded.
The spores of this species measure (8.2-) 9.0 - 11.9 (-13.6) × (6.0-) 6.8 - 8.1 (-9.4) µm and are broadly ellipsoid to ellipsoid (infrequently subglobose, occasionally elongate) and inamyloid. Clamps are rather common at the bases of basidia.
Amanita cochiseana is known from Coconino and Cochise Counties in Arizona, U.S.A. It occurs there in forests contain one or more species of one or more of the following tree genera: fir (Abies), oak (Quercus), and pine (Pinus).
At present, RET has assigned this species to his stirps Calyptroderma because of its dry-appearing stem and the structure of its subhymenium. This group of the Caesareae seems to be limited in distribution to the western U.S. and Mexico.
This species is commonly collected for the table in the region from which it is known. It is locally called "A. caesareae" due to its superficial resemblance to that European species.—R. E. Tulloss
Tulloss nom. prov.
"Cochise's American Caesar"
=Amanita caesarea sensu States. 1990. Mushr. Truff. Southw.: 56 [with unnumbered fig.].
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.
28.viii.1991 R. Redman s.n. [CMP1606] (RET 497-10)
S. Sanchez et al., (direct deposit), Roy. Ontario Mus., Toronto
Arora. 1991. All Rain Promises: 67 [as "Amanita caesarea"]
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.
The following is based on original research of R. E. Tulloss.
60 - 150 mm wide, egg-shaped, then convex to broadly convex with incurved margin, becoming nearly planar with decurved margin, not umbonate, sometimes entirely pale orange at first, soon pale orange-ochre to pale buff to pale orangish buff over area including disc and orange-brown outside this decolored region (except bright yellow-orange to bright yellow on margin), with orange and brown tints disappearing on exposure, then becoming entirely intense yellow except for decolored region of disc (latter remaining as above or becoming nearly white), viscid to dry, often matt (especially in decolored region), sometimes shiny; context white to pale cream, with intense yellow below pileipellis (in region 2 - 3 mm thick in disc) and pale yellow over lamellae near stipe, sometimes watery yellow over lamellae, unchanging when cut or bruised, 8 - 13 mm thick, thinning evenly to margin or to within 3 - 10 mm of margin and thence a membrane to margin; margin striate (0.1 - 0.2R), nonappendiculate; universal veil absent or, occasionally, as single white membranous patch off-center; pileipellis often bright orange red to red in cross section even in region with faded surface.
free to narrowly adnate (with or without decurrent tooth), with prominent decurrent line on stipe, crowded, yellow to bright (or brilliant) yellow to orange-yellow in mass, yellow (3A4 or a little more intense than 2A3) to pale yellowish cream in side view, close, 7.5 - 13 mm broad, with edge yellow (often brilliant) and somewhat fimbriate/flocculose or not, some forking or anastomosing; lamellulae truncate to subtruncate to rounded truncate, of diverse lengths, common, unevenly distributed.
60 - 120 × 10 - 25 mm, subcylindric to cylindric or narrowing downward or upward, pointed below, cream to white to pale yellow near base becoming more intensely yellow upwards, sometimes orangish yellow or yellow-orange above midpoint (or only above partial veil), not flaring at apex, surface decorated with pale yellow and often rather thin felted/floccose scales (some with orange tint), with ground color fading with age, faintly striatulate below annuli, faintly pruinose above partial veil; context pale cream to off-white to pale yellow (between 3A2 and 3A3), sometimes more strongly yellow (especially near surface) in 20 - 30 mm nearest apex, unchanging when cut or bruised, larva tunnels concolorous to sordid to brownish gray, stuffed with white cottony material, becoming hollow, with central cylinder 7.5 - 13 mm wide; partial veil subapical to superior, copious, flaring beyond limits of volva at first, eventually collapsing, skirt-like, bright yellow to yellow orange above and pale yellow to yellowish or orangish tan below, becoming darker orange with age, membranous, usually with regular margin, sometimes tearing, strongly striate above, felted below, with apparent secondary annulus (often perpendicular to stipe, sometimes shredded, see description of limbus internus, below) having ragged edge and being much smaller and entirely concolorous with partial veil or yellow or grayish yellow and submedian to median (e.g., 20 - 30 mm below partial veil) and eventually collapsing to thickened wavy line; universal veil as copious saccate volva, ovoid at first, white, staining slightly from contact with soil, sometimes sordid in age, thick (with limb 2.5 - 4+ mm thick at mid-height), membranous, soft (even cottony), leathery, 46 - 88 × 28 - 55 mm, dividing into several (often pointed) lobes, with distinct white limbus internus at about mid-height of limb and attached (easily seen in "button" specimens) to thin yellow to orangish yellow felted sheath of stipe (with latter eventually forming inferior "secondary annulus").
Odor pleasant, faintly fruity/earthy. Taste not recorded. EDIBLE.
Syringaldazine spot test for laccase - negative throughout both young and mature basidiomes. Paracresol spot test for tyrosinase - scattered positive reactions in interior of universal veil limb, on lower stipe surface, in material in central cylinder of stipe, in small spots in pileus context, in spots on pileipellis surface (only in mature specimen). Test vouchers: CMP1301, CMP1303.
not pseudoparenchymatic (not comprising only inflated cells).
33 - 62 × 8.0 - 11.6 µm, thin-walled, 4-sterigmate, with sterigmata up to ? × ? µm; clamps present, small.
[220/11/7] (8.2-) 9.0 - 11.9 (-13.6) × (6.0-) 6.8 - 8.1 (-9.4) µm, (L = (9.5-) 9.7 - 10.8 µm; L’ = 10.2 µm; W = 6.9 - 7.5 (-7.8) µm; W’= 7.3 µm; Q = (1.09-) 1.26 - 1.57 (-1.63); Q = (1.29-) 1.34 - 1.49; Q’ = 1.40), hyaline, colorless, thin-walled, smooth, inamyloid, broadly ellipsoid to ellipsoid, infrequently subglobose, occasionally elongate, often adaxially flattened, sometimes swollen at one end; apiculus sublateral, cylindric to truncate-conic, short; contents monoguttulate with some additional granules; white in deposit.
Solitary to gregarious from 1630 to 2600 m elev. Arizona: With Pinus arizonica and Pseudotsuga menziesii or under P. menziesii, P. flexilis, and P. engelmanii with P. arizonica nearby or under "mixed pines" or with Abies concolor, P. menziesii, P. arizonica, Juniperus deppeana, P. chihuahuana or with P. engelmannii or in Quercus-Pinus forest or with P. ponderosa. New Mexico: With P. ponderosa and Quercus scrub.
Co. - CMP site #1, 5.ix.1994 J. S. States AEF1302
(MICH as "A. caesarea"); CMP site #5,
28.viii.1991 R. Redman s.n. [CMP1606] (RET 497-10),
3.ix.1993 J. S. States AEF999 (MICH as "A.
caesarea"); CMP site #10
[31°55’59” N/ 109°16’16” W, 2134 m], 30.viii.1993
Susan B. Fleming s.n. [CMP3145] (RET 511-7); CMP site
#28, viii.1993 A. Ortiz s.n.
[CMP3701] (RET 498-1); CMP site #30
[31.9150° N/ 109.2844° W, 2492 m], 14.viii.1990
J. S. States s.n. [CMP0384] (RET 511-6, nrITS
seq'd.), Robert M. Chapman, F. H. Nishida & R. E.
Tulloss 8-18-91-E [CMP0641] (RET 426-7, nrITS
& nrLSU seq'd.), 28.viii.1991 Jerold Turney
& G. Holmes s.n. [CMP1746] (RET 511-2); CMP
site #46, 21.viii.1992 R. L. Homola s.n. [CMP1301 ;
Tulloss 8-21-92-H] (RET 426-2, nrITS seq'd.), R. E.
Tulloss 8-21-92-Z [CMP1303] (RET 426-3, nrITS &
nrLSU seq'd.), 8-21-92-AA [CMP1839] (RET 426-8,
nrITS & nrLSU seq'd.). Coconino Co. -
San Francisco Peaks, 20.viii.1988 J. S. States
AEF796 (MICH as "A. caesarea").
Santa Clara Co. - Santa Rita Mtns., Mt. Wrightson
Tr., 28.viii.1996 J. S. States AEF1456 (MICH as
NEW MÉXICO—Colfax Co. - NNW of Cimarron,
Carson Nat. For., Valle Vidal Unit, McCrystal Crk.
Campgr., 22.viii.1992 Margaret L. McKee & Mr.
& Mrs. J. D. Shields, Jr. s.n. [Tulloss
8-22-92-JDS1] (RET 072-5, formerly "Amanita
Grant Co. - F. R. 150 [33.1251° N/ 108.0069° W,
2420 m], 16.viii.2013 R. M. Chapman 1436
Co. - Jerez Mtns. s.d. C. Barrows 1516 (in two
This entity is often determined as
(Scop.:Fr.) Grev. and seems very much like that
species in a number of respects; however, its ramose
to subramose subhymenium, apparent "double annulus,"
strong color change to yellow upon exposure, and
?? differentiate it from
the European species. The same characters
serve to separate the present species from the group
phenetically very similar to
(Berk. & Broome) Sacc.
Based on current knowledge, the greatest
morphological affinity of the present taxon is with
vernicoccora of the U.S. western coastal
states. As A. H. Smith noted in an
unpublished manuscript (MICH), [1} neither of these
taxa has a "double annulus"; [2} nor are they like
A. cochiseana in pileus pigmentation; and
 a large, membranous calyptra of universal veil
is almost always present on their expanded
pilei. Smith (ibid.) also noted that
A. calyptroderma has spores that, on average,
are narrower and, hence, have a higher Q’
than those of A. cochiseana. The same
is true of A. vernnicoccora. In
addition, fruiting bodies of the latter often have
a fish-like odor and taste (for some people) that
is not removed by cooking.
Phylogenetic studies have indicated strong support
for the separation of the three taxa
(Sánchez-Ramírez et al., unpub. data).
States AEF796 is the voucher collection
corresponding to the illustration of the present species by States (1990: 56).
RET has called the present species "Amanita
sp. AZ6," "Amanita sp. AZ20," and
"Amanita sp-NM07 in preliminary drafts of
this description, in correspondence, in checklists,
in keys, and on this site.
—R. E. Tulloss
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