Amanita citrina


Text © Loredana Battisti



English translation by Mario Beltramini



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Yellow-white cap with patchy or floccose decorations © Giuseppe Mazza

Family: Amanitaceae Roze

Genus: Amanita Persoon

Subgenus: Amanitina (Gilbert) Gilbert

Section : Mappae Gilbert

Amanita citrina (Schaeffer) Persoon 1797

The name of the species comes from the Latin citrum
(=lemon), with reference to its colour.

The Section Mappae is characterized by basidiomata with
general or universal veil with mixed hyphal structure:
filamentous at the base and sphaerocystic in the upper
half, so that with the growth the veil tears close to the
margin of the cap, leaving some floccose remains on it; the
other half remains at the base of the stipe in form of a
volva adnate to the bulb, forming a "circumcised" small
collar. Other characters which distinguish the Section are:
non striated margin of the cap and base of the stipe
clearly bulbous.

Cap: 8-12 cm, normally fleshy, from globose to hemispheric
to convex to flat, with smooth margin, pale yellow-white,
citrine-yellow, at times with light green tones, smooth
margin, with more or less decoration of small patches or
whitish-cream floccosities, which can easily disappear, and
brown when ripe.

Hymenophore: lamellae thick, free to stipe, with truncated
lamellulae, white with light yellow reflexes, fully sharp,
concolorous. Spore print white.

Stipe: 5-12 x 1-2 cm, generally slender, cylindrical,
fistulous, enlarged at the base in a sub spherical-ovoid
bulb, of white colour, with citrine tones. Ring wide and
membranous, persistent, light yellow. Volva sub membranous,
circumcised, wide, adherent to the bulb, light

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Amanita citrina: basidia, spores, elements of the general veil © Pierluigi Angeli

Flesh: thick, compact, persistently white. Horse-radish,
disgusting, smell.

Chemical reactions: amyloid spores in contact with Melzer’s

Habitat: ubiquitous, summer-autumn, latifolious woods (oaks,
hazels, horn beams and chestnut trees), but also conifer

Edibility: not edible, due to its bad horse-radish smell.

Notes: easily recognizable, due to its light-yellow
colouring, smooth margin, bulbous volva clearly
circumcised, unpleasant smell.

Varieties and similar species:

Amanita citrina var. alba (Price) Quelet & Bataille 1902,
identical to the type, but completely white.

Amanita citrina for. crassior Massart & Rouzeau 1999, of
bigger size, and habitat maritime pines.

Amanita asteropus Sabo ex Romagnesi 1963, from which it
differs mainly for the big bulb clearly edged and
pentagonal, star-shaped (from which the Latin name).

Remarks: In the old times, it was mistaken with the
A. phalloides (poisonous-deadly), and consequently,
considered as poisonous too, but, on the contrary, it is
harmless, but uneatable due to its unpleasant smell. The
Amanita citrina , easily mistaken with the A. phalloides ,
also because often they share the same growing area,
differentiates for the following characters: big, bulky,
bulb, circumcised volva, patches on the cap, horse-radish
smell. The A. phalloides shows: sac-like volva, wide and
free, glabrous cap with innate fibrils, furthermore does
not have an unpleasant smell.


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