Kitsap Peninsula Mycological Society KPMS: Boletus Kitsap Peninsula Mycological Society

KPMS Mushroom of the Month for February 2012

Botanical: Amanita smithiana
Amanita smithiana
Photo © Michael Wood,
courtesy of MykoWeb
Common: none
Description: Cap: 5-18 cm, convex to flat, white with soft white warts or veil remnants, may be smoothed by rains, occasionally browning; Gills: close, white, unchanging when cut or bruised; Flesh: white, unchanging when cut or bruised; Stem: 6-16 cm by 2-4 cm, equal to tapered up, volva absent, swollen base with tapered 'root', soft shaggy veil remnants when young; Odor: mild; Taste: Don't!; Spore print: white.
Habitat: Fall in duff of coniferous forests, especially Douglas Fir.
4 Key ID:
  1. All white unchanging cap, stem, and flesh
  2. Soft shaggy warts or veil remnants on cap and stem when younger
  3. Concentric veil remnants near base instead of volva
  4. Tapered 'root' below ground
Edibility: Deadly poisonous!
Notes: This large all-white very shaggy Amanita is quite common some years and rare others. Two look-alike cousins are Amanita silvicola, which is not as shaggy and lacks the tapered 'root', and the even more deadly Amanita ocreata (Death Angel) with a stouter less shaggy stem and a full volva. When A. smithiana is very rain-smoothed, it might be confused with a Tricholoma magnivelare (Matsutake), which is far stouter, firmer and very fragrant.

Recipe of the Month:
Spaghetti 'Carbonara' with Lobster Mushroom

1 lb. spaghetti
1/2 lb. or more lobster mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 C. freshly and finely-grated Pecorino Romano
2 T. unsalted butter
1 C. frozen green peas, thawed and drained
4 eggs, beaten
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. finely-chopped Italian parsley
freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
sea salt, to taste
  1. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti until almost al dente. Drain, reserving 1/4 C. of the cooking liquid.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the butter. Once bubbling, add the lobster mushrooms, black pepper and sea salt to taste. Saute until the mushrooms release their liquid, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and more black pepper to taste. Saute just until aromatic, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the pasta, green peas, and the reserved cooking liquid to the pan. Cook one minute, tossing to mix the ingredients. Add the pecorino romano and more black pepper to taste, toss together.
  4. Remove the pan from heat. Add the beaten eggs and stir into the pasta until thickened but not scrambled.
  5. Serve immediately, garnished with the chopped parsley.