Physical Description of the Genus Amanita
The mushrooms in Amanita include some of the world's most famous (and most deadly) fungi. Amanita species are recognized by their (usually) pale gills, which are free from the stem; their white spore prints; the presence of a universal veil that often creates a volva or other distinctive features on the stem; and their more or less dry caps (as opposed to the slimy caps in Limacella). Many species of Amanita have warts or patches on their caps, and most have a ring on the stem.
Although there are some edible mushrooms in the genus, no amanita should be eaten. The genus contains lethal mushrooms that are quite similar to the "edible" ones. See Mushroom Toxins and The Meixner Test for information on the poisons present in the most dangerous amanitas.
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