Death Cap Mushroom (Amanita phalloides)
Watercolor and colored pencil

The death cap mushroom, as evidenced from its name, is one of the most deadly and toxic mushrooms in the world. It is pale and common in appearance, with a close resemblance to several edible species (caesar’s and straw mushroom), making it confusing to even skilled mushroom collectors and dangerous to those seeking culinary adventures. It is widely distributed across Europe and has been accidentally introduced in some places due to its associations with various non-native oak, chestnut and other tree species. Amanita, and many other mushrooms, form “ectomycorrhizal” networks with plants, an important relationship which moves nutrients between the plant and the fungus and throughout layers of soil.

This illustration was produced for the exemplar pages of the Encyclopedia of Life (

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