I saw a couple as we were driving along Hwy 44 but they were orange rather than red; not good specimens. And then, as we drove along the pinewoods section of Anthony Shoals Road in the Broad River Wildlife Management Area, I spotted a cluster that was a brilliant red color. Too good to pass up. So we backed up and got out.
The light wasn’t good. The skies were dark with an impending thunderstorm and the mushrooms were growing on an embankment under the edge of a thick pine woods. So I used LED lights to take some macro shots.
The closest identification I can arrive at, based on comparing photographs on mushroom web sites, is American Caesar’s Mushroom (Amanita jacksonii). The caps are the right color – a rich red with minute vertical striations that are clearly visible in the lower image. I’m questioning the identification because they don’t appear to have volvas and I would have thought that the volvas should still be quite visible at this stage of development. Unfortunately we weren’t able to follow the development of the cap to see if the mature cap also resembled Amanita jacksonii.
Any thoughts on this identification?
Click on the image to view a larger image
- Rodham E. Tulloss, Eticomm.net: Amanita jacksonii
- Michael Kuo, MushroomExpert.com: Amanita jacksonii