Probably the the most feared family in the fungi world is the agarics and with good reason the family holds some pretty feared fungi , the panther cap , and Destroying Angel are just the tip of the iceberg but within the family are some prized edible mushrooms one that I find in abundance is the blusher Amanita rubescens and due to it’s passing similarities to the panther cap Amanita pantherina , is one that deserves a great deal of attention when identifying .
When I say passing similarities I mean it as on close inspection they are quite different and easy to tell apart
* I always think of the blusher as the panthercaps ugly brother , the cap is much more slap happy than the Panthercap generally darker in the centre getting lighter towards the exterior the colour is a chestnut brown which can often appear a wishy washy whereas the panther is a rich continuous chestnut brown often darker towards the edges .
* The ring or veil is pendulous hanging loosely to the stipe ( stalk ) often quite long up to 2 cm in length with vertical lines sometimes appearing as pleats often quite scruffy and torn and thin/delicate to touch .
* The blushers beauty spots are quite different to the panther cap they are random in placement and dull in colour ranging from cream/grey to light brown/ochre they are thin and easily moved and sometimes wash off completely .
The Panther cap has white scales that are uniformed in placement and much thicker with obvious depth and are difficult to move .
* the stipe / stem has a bulbous base and is not white on close inspection but more grey and damage / bruises a pale pink / red colour quite quickly ( this extends to the gills as well )
* There is something to be said about the gills being less crowded than the panther cap but as each mushroom is different it’s very hard to tell and is near useless for identification .
So quick glance you are looking for a paler rim on the cap. Red staining and a bulbous base ,
Idiots guide as the panther cap does not stain red has uniformed scales and a dark continuous top and grows from a sack .
Panther caps are not a joke and there are recorded poisonings from eating them and real diligence is needed when making an identification
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