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 like radishes.
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.
The most similar European taxa are A. bulbosa (Schaeff.) Lam. and A bulbosa var. citrina (Schaeff.) Gillet. 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.
30 - 78 mm wide, brown often having lavender or purple or reddish cast when young, often gray (in Schweinitz’ water color cited above) to grayish brown at maturity, virgate, sometimes rain-soaked specimens becoming pallid (e.g. very pale tan-gray, with buff disc) or depigmented, convex, then planoconvex to shallowly depressed, with umbo in depression, becoming concave in age, ?; context white, unchanging when cut or bruised, 7 - 8 mm thick, 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, crowded, buff to cream to off-white in mass, pale cream in side view, unchanging when cut or bruised, 7 - 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, plentiful.
70 - 110 × 3 - 14 mm, white, becoming off-white, cylindric, at times somewhat sinuate, often with areas of gray fibrils below partial veil or with smears of gray thing material (limbus internus?), narrowing upward or subcylindric; bulb 16 - 23 × 7 - 35 mm, often submarginate to marginate, vertically split sometimes, often abrupt or subabrupt; context pale cream, sometimes stained yellow-brown in center of bulb, hollow to stuffed, with central cylinder 1.5 - 4 mm wide, ?; partial veil superior, gray-brown to gray, becoming blackish with age (from edge upward), membranous, persistent, striate above, collapsing on stipe; universal veil absent or occasionally as submembranous limb attached at bulb margin, whitish, see comments concerning gray material left on stipe below partial veil.
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.
[137/7/5] (7.5-) 8.0 - 9.8 (-11.2) × (7.0-) 7.5 - 9.2 (-11.0) µm, (L = (8.5-) 8.6 - 8.9 µm;
L’ = 8.9 µm; W = (8.0-) 8.1 - 8.5 µm; W’ = 8.3 µm; Q = (1.0-) 1.02 - 1.12 (-1.26); Q = 1.05 - 1.07; Q’ = 1.06), 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.
Solitary to subgregarious. Norway: In oligotrophic Pinus sylvestris forest in humus with pH = 4.0±. Switzerland: At 1000 m elev. Under Fagus and Picea. California: In sand with some organic content with Arctoctaphylos, Castanopsis, Pinus, and Quercus. Vermont: In duff in sandy road cut with Tsuga canadensis, F. grandifolia, and Acer sp. Washington: Under T. heterophylla or in conifer duff at about 30 m elev. in old growth Tsuga forest.
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 U.S]." 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).
RET European material:
CZECH REPUBLIC: SOUTH BOHEMIA—Nadějov, 2.x.2006 Dr. Jan Borovička 25 (RET 404-9); Široké Blato Nature Reserve, 3.x.2006 J. Borovička 26 (RET 404-2), 4.x.2006 J. Borovička 28 (RET 404-1).
FRANCE: LANDES—Gastes, 18.xi.1997 C. Ricard s.n. [F. Massart 97069] (in herb. F. Massart, RET 278-8).
NORWAY: AUST-AGDER—Gjerstad, Svarttjern For. Reserve [UTM: ML 9135], 18.viii.1987 T. E. Brandrud 439-87 (O).
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); 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); Kongsberg, SW side Store Lauarvann [UTMWGS84 NM 379,025], 20.viii.1999 R. E. Tulloss 8-20-99-B (O 35964; RET 309-8).
SWITZERLAND: ZUG—Zug, 10.ix.1992 Carmine Lavorato 920910-35 (in herb. C. Lavorato; RET 079-1).
RET North American material:
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); Kill Devil Anglican Church Camp, 17.ix.2004 Noah Siegel s.n. (RET 384-8); Lomond, Stuckless Pond, 14.ix.2004 R. E. Tulloss, Maria Voitk ∓ K .J. Harrison [Tulloss 9-14-04-A] (RET 383-4); Stanleyville, 13.ix.2004 Maria Voitke & R. E. Tulloss s.n. (RET 383-9); unkn. loc., Velo Soots & Pat Burchell s.n. [Tulloss 9-28-03-B] (RET 370-10).
U.S.A.: CALIFORNIA—Santa 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).
OREGON—Multnomah Co. - Larch Mtn., 23.x.2010 Sava Krstić s.n. [mushroomobserver.org #56515] (RET 456-9).
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).
[NOTE: See Thiers 28378 (SFSU) and RET's east coast material from both U.S. and Canada.]
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 great 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, verruculose patches.
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 collector.
In eastern North America, porphyry-capped material that appears very similar to that illustrated on this page from Norway and Switzerland; however, there also specimens commonly referred to A. porphyria by eastern North American mycologists that have distinctly different pileus coloration. These collections require further study. 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.<
Tulloss has referred to some collections of this species as "sp. NW6" in correspondence and local checklists.
A. H. Smith’s notes (MICH) indicate that he felt that there was "intergrading" between the present species and "Amanita citrina". Tulloss has not yet seen any evidence of this.
—R. E. Tulloss
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