Amanita calyptroderma G.F. Atk. & V.G. Ballen
Annls mycol. 7(4): 365. 1909.
Common Names: coccoli, coccora
Synonyms: Amanita calyptrata Peck, Amanita lanei (Murr.) Sacc. & Trott.
Cap 8-25 cm broad, convex, becoming nearly plane in age; margin decurved to plane at maturity, conspicuously striate; surface sticky when moist, smooth, typically partially covered with a thick, white patch of universal veil tissue; color variable: dark-brown, orange brown, (typical form), yellow-brown, lemon-yellow in a spring form, white in a rare variant; colors fading in age, often to buff or pale-tan; flesh white to cream, thick; odor mild.
Gills close, adnexed to free, close, white to cream.
Stipe 10-20 cm long, 1.5-4 cm thick, more or less equal, the core hollow to stuffed; surface smooth or with scattered fibrils, color varying from white to pale yellow; partial veil membranous, forming a fragile, pendulous, superior ring; volva thick, white, membranous, sac-like, erect from the stipe base.
Spores 8-11 x 5-6 µm, elliptical, smooth, nonamyloid. Spore print white.
Scattered to gregarious in mixed hardwood/conifer woods; fruiting from late fall to early winter.
Edible, but often not recommended due to the possibility of confusion with toxic Amanitas.
Because this large, beautiful, and edible mushroom could be mistaken for Amanita phalloides (death cap), only collectors with years of local experience should consider it for the table. Amanita calyptroderma is recognized by a combination of characters: an orange-brown cap (in the typical form), with a thick white universal veil patch and conspicuously striate margin, hollow stipe, and a thick white volva cup which stands erect from stipe. Amanita phalloides when young and fresh has a yellowish-green to yellowish-brown, smooth cap, the universal veil patch usually thin and appressed, the cap margin not striate or obscurely so, the stipe usually solid, not hollow, and the volva, thin and membranous. While the differences between these two species are considerable, it should be noted that in age they become less obvious, thus mistakes can and have happened.
There has been long confusion about the correct name for this species. There are both nomenclatural and taxonomic problems to resolve to determine the correct name. This is discussed in detail in our forthcoming book, California Mushrooms.
Atkinson, G. F. (1909). Preliminary notes on some new species of Agaricaceae and Clavaria. Annales Mycologici 7 (4): 365-376. (Protologue)
Jenkins, David T. (1986). Amanita of North America. Mad River Press: Eureka, CA. 197 p.
Smith, A.H. (1949). Mushrooms in their Natural Habitats. Sawyer's Inc: Portland, OR. 626 p.
Thiers, Harry D. (1982). The Agaricales (Gilled Fungi) of California. 1. Amanitaceae. Mad River Press: Eureka, CA. 53 p.