Scientific Name: Amanita caesarea (Amanitaceae).
English Name: Caesar's Mushroom (Amanita and allies family).
French Name: Oronge; Amanite des césars (='Caesars' Amanite'); Oronge vraie (='true oronge').
5 Key Characters:
- one of the largest amanitas (cap up to 18 cm across).
- deep bright orange cap, at first conical then flattening.
- cap faintly striped at the edges and when mature almost always split.
- gills orangey yellow.
- stem pale orange, with large pale orange stem ring and a white bag like volva (a type of sheath at the base).
Lookalikes: Tawny Grisette Amanita fulva, which is tawny orange. Orange Grisette A. crocea, which has a snakeskin patterned stem. Neither have stem rings, nor are they toxic. Fly Agaric A. muscaria, which is vermilion red, with white flecks on the cap. It is toxic.
Habitat: Under Oaks Quercus spp in mixed woodland.
Fruiting Period: August-September-October-November-December.
Edible or Toxic? Highly prized as an edible species, especially when very young (egg shaped). They probably need to be cooked to be safe, although they are habitually eaten raw in Italy.
Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:
|Caesar's Mushroom on the left, Fly Agaric on the right. You can clearly see the difference in colour of the two species, and the faint stripes on the edge of the cap of the Caesar's Mushroom.|