Death cap mushrooms have been found in parts of Greater Victoria but are not native to the area. (Black Press file photo)

Deadly mushroom spotted in Greater Victoria

Early return of death cap mushrooms prompts Island Health warning

Island Health is warning residents to be on the lookout after extremely toxic death cap mushrooms have made an early appearance in Greater Victoria.

While the Amanita phalloides mushroom usually fruits in the fall, some were spotted last week growing in the Uplands and Cedar Hill areas by the South Vancouver Island Mycological Society. It is likely the cause is from intense lawn watering, which may cause the mushrooms to grow earlier.

RELATED: Victoria toddler dies after ingesting poisonous mushroom

If ingested these mushrooms can be fatal or cause liver and kidney damage. Back in 2016, a three-year-old Victoria toddler died after ingesting the mushroom. He was treated at Victoria General Hospital before being airlifted to a hospital in Edmonton for treatment. He later died in hospital.

“We are concerned about people with limited knowledge of poisonous and non-poisonous mushrooms. The differences can be subtle and even microscopic in some cases. Picking wild mushrooms should be left to people with significant expertise,” said Dr. Richard Stanwick, Island Health’s chief medical health officer, in a statement.

He warned “poisonous mushrooms, such as the death cap, can be found in both urban and rural areas.”

RELATED: Experts warn mushroom pickers to be careful after deadly variety found in Oak Bay

This mushroom is not native to Canada and typically grows in cities under various species of imported trees such as beech, hornbeam, chestnut, English oak and others. But death cap mushrooms have also recently been discovered growing with native Garry Oak trees.

Death cap mushrooms are ordinary in appearance. They are mainly white, with a white or yellowish stem, a cap that ranges from yellowish-green to light brown that is round when young and flattens with age.

RELATED: Toxic mushrooms thrive in Oak Bay

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control and the Poison Control Centre chair a working group on this species to help inform municipalities, health authorities and the public about its risks. For more information, visit bit.ly/2mqC9eG.

Sightings of death cap mushrooms can also be reported through the invasive species working group. Go to bit.ly/2mq9jel for more information or download the B.C. invasive species app.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

Island Healthoak bay

 

Just Posted

Alert Bay tested for COVID-19 antibodies, results prove efforts were effective

Just 3.7 per cent of people tested have the antibody

Dirt revealed in the case of Saanich’s mysterious Brazilian honey barrel

Barrel spotted on West Saanich Road a sticky mystery solved

Frustration mounts as Metchosin sheep slaughter continues

Metchosin mayor upset with B.C. Conservation’s response as bear feeds on farm animals

Lost dog reunited with family three months after going missing along Juan de Fuca trail

‘The poor thing was skin and bones,’ says one of the Sooke rescuers

Vancouver Island man to serve total of 10 years for consecutive sucker punch assaults

Latto Simian Sesay gets additional 3 1/2 years tacked to existing unconnected assault sentence

STANDING TALL: For some, B.C.’s forest industry is the best office in the world

A look at the forest sector in B.C. – and those hoping for the best – amid mill curtailments

Lawsuit launched after Florida child handcuffed, booked and briefly jailed

Suit alleges “deliberate indifference” to what should have been handled as a behavioural issue

Russia approves vaccine, Putin hopes to begin mass production

Critic calls decision to proceed without thorough testing ‘dangerous and grossly immoral’

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

Doctor slain in Alberta medical clinic was devoted father, husband

Red Deer doctors on edge after attack on colleague who had two young daughters

Feds offer ‘life preserver’ funds to BC Ferries as pandemic sinks revenue

For every dollar the province spends the federal government will match

Royal B.C. Museum wants B.C.’s COVID-19 nature observations

COVID-19 Collecting For Our Time: ongoing project cataloguing province’s pandemic experience

Bad behaviour at B.C. restaurants ignites campaign calling for respect

“If you can’t follow the rules, then stay home,” says BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association

Addition pending to Cape Scott Provincial Park?

BC Parks will wait before announcing plans for nearly $1 million old growth land purchase

Most Read