Department of Health and Human Services

Death Cap mushroom warning

A mature Death Cap mushroom under an oak tree

Death cap mushroom - mature.

Young Death Cap mushrooms

Death cap mushroom- younger.

Department of Health & Human Services reminds people to steer clear of the world's most deadly mushroom - the Death Cap (Amanita Phalloides). All parts of this mushroom are poisonous, and eating just one mushroom can be fatal. Cooking or peeling does not inactivate the toxin.

The Death Cap mushrooms that caused two deaths in January 2012 grow in Victoria. They are mainly restricted to within Melbourne's central business district where they grow on the roots of oak trees.

The department warns people not to confuse these poisonous plants with edible south-east Asian or European mushrooms, which are not native to Australia and are unlikely to be found here. People have also mistaken death cup mushrooms for common field mushrooms.

If you suspect you or your child may have eaten a poisonous mushroom, do not wait for symptoms to occur, contact the Victorian Poisons Information Centre (Tel 131126).

A fact sheet on fungi poisoning is available on the Better Health Channel. It will advise you about the effects of funghi poisoning, treatments, how to protect your children and where to get help.

More information about the Death Cap mushroom - including how to distinguish it from edible funghi, where it is found, and symptoms to watch for.

Image sources: Australian National Botanic Gardens