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Poisonous Plants in GB

52 53 deAth cAp And pAnther cAp Amanita phalloides Amanita pantherina Death Cap. Family Amanitaceae. Found in broadleaved woodland from late summer to autumn. The cap varies from pale yellow to olive green and is 5 to 15 cm or 2 to 6 inches across with a stem 8 to 15 cm or 3 to 6 inches tall. The cap peels freely and has white gills. There is a ring on the upper stem, and a pronounced volva or death cup at the base though this can be hidden by leaf litter. Young mushrooms emerge from a white egg. Death cap is the most common cause of fatal mushroom poisoning and there is no antidote. It has been mistaken for the straw mushroom Volvariella volvacea, various green russulas, and puffballs and stinkhorns during the egg stage. Toxicity, symptoms and poisoning are identical to the destroying angel see page 54. Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI came to a mushy end by eating death caps, leading to the war of Austrian succession. In his Mmoires Voltaire wrote that Ce plat de champignons a chang la destine de lEurope. Panther Cap. Family Amanitaceae. The panther cap, Amanita pantherina, is superficially similar to the fly agaric, although the cap is ochraceous brown, and it is found in both broadleaved and coniferous woodlands from summer to autumn. However it is even more toxic containing very large amounts of muscimol and ibotenic acid, and when ingested affects the central nervous system, causing disorientation, hallucination and perceptual disturbance with exaggerated movement followed by coma and death if eaten in sufficient quantity. A number of deaths have resulted from the ingestion of this elegant mushroom.
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