A picture of a Destroying Angel Mushroom

Destroying Angel Mushroom

Amanita virosa

Also known as

Destroying Angel Fungus, Destroying Angel

Amanita virosa 09 by Σ64 (CC BY 3.0)

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A photo of Destroying Angel Mushroom
Amanita virosa 01
A photo of Destroying Angel Mushroom
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Amanita virosa 12

Destroying Angel Mushroom Overview

Amanita virosa is more well known by the name Destroying Angel Mushroom and it is one of the most renowned deadly mushrooms. It only takes a small fragment of the fungus to contaminate a meal, quickly turning a tasty recipe into a deadly dish. This fungus contains a type of toxin collectively known as amatoxins. These can be extremely harmful, even in small doses. The toxins do not break down after heating, termed thermostable. Therefore any toxic effects are not reduced by cooking. Amatoxins work by blocking an enzyme involved in protein synthesis in animal cells. It can travel through the body within the bloodstream, becoming fatal when it reaches the liver and heart. The main symptoms reported in victims include headaches, dizziness, sickness and diarrhoea, shortness of breath, insomnia, liver and kidney failure, and in many cases, death. Find these mushrooms growing in broadleaved woodland from July through to November. They grow from the ground, with a notable association for birch. If found please don't get too close!