Deadly Webcap Mushroom
Also known as
Deadly Webcap Fungus, Deadly Webcap
Photo by Eva Weme (CC BY 4.0)
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Deadly Webcap Mushroom Overview
Cortinarius rubellus looks like something from a fairy tale, but don't be fooled, because the deadly webcap mushroom is a killer. Although rare in the UK, the fungus has been the reported cause of several deaths in Europe. It's commonly mistaken for the edible Chanterelle, a mushroom popular with foragers. Deadly webcaps contain a poison called orellanine. The toxin works by producing long-lasting effects on those who ingest it. Three days after ingestion, flu-like symptoms become apparent, with headaches and vomiting reported as the main symptoms for previous cases. Eventually, the poison induces kidney failure in its victims, or in some cases, death. These mushrooms are seldom found in the UK, but they have previously been sighted growing in coniferous pine or spruce woodlands. It's closely associated with heather and bilberry, with growth most prominent from August to November.