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Registered: 06/17/01
Posts: 1
Loc: southeast US
Last seen: 17 years, 7 months
desert shroom needs ID
    #342734 - 06/17/01 11:48 AM (17 years, 7 months ago)


For the past week, I have been on a cross country vision quest, and spent last night meditating with the ancient indian petroglyphs (rock art) in canyonlands, utah. i was completely alone, in the night, with my drum and backpack, no one around for miles in any direction except the indian spirits.

while wandering through the canyon floor (aka "the wash"), which is like a desert but sparsely populated with trees and bushes (and floods every so often), I found what must have been the ONLY shroom in that entire desert environment. It was dry, but still firmly rooted in the ground with its "bulb". I eagerly picked it, but could not bring myself to gobble it, for fear of poisoning.

I was wondering if anyone out there could ID it from photos (see URLs below), or could recommend me to a professor or scientist in the utah/colorado area where I could take this specimen, in the next couple days, and get it identified as either: harmless, entheogenic, poison, or unknown.

here are some pics:

freshly picked: (but bad lighting)

after taking some damage: (much better lighting, though)

On a related issue, can anyone tell me, is ANY dried
poisonous mushroom nasty enough to kill you upon
consumption of just one (i.e. what is nastiest poison
out there)? I need to know that to set a risk
threshhold for "found objects" in the future... I don't
mind getting really sick in the name of adventure, I
just don't want to +die+ from it.

Any and all help would be +super+ appreciated.


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Registered: 10/01/00
Posts: 167
Loc: Oregon
Last seen: 16 years, 8 months
Re: desert shroom needs ID [Re: prox]
    #342939 - 06/17/01 07:05 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Sorry I couldn 't get your pics to open, but in regard to your second question YES the deadly Amanitas (& a few other species with the same toxins) can kill you even after drying. One mature A. phalloides or virosa would do the job, it might take a handful of Galerinas. The toxins are complex cyclopeptide proteins which destroy liver function, causing slow agonizing death over a period of several days.

Doubtful any of these would occur in the desert, though.

Most desert mushrooms are "gasteroid agarics"--mutant species of Agaricus, Coprinus, Russula and other genera whose abortive gills remain completely enclosed in the cap (to prevent dehydration of the immature spores) until the fruiting body shrivels & breaks apart. See Arora "Mushrooms Demystified" pp. 724-739. Little is known about their edibility.

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OfflineLizard King
King Lizard

Registered: 10/04/99
Posts: 1,998
Loc: GA
Last seen: 12 years, 4 months
Re: desert shroom needs ID [Re: Woodsman]
    #342975 - 06/17/01 08:03 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Thats some interesting info, woodsman :)


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