Death cap mushrooms have been found in parts of Greater Victoria but are not native to the area. (Black Press file photo)

Deadly mushroom spotted in Greater Victoria

Early return of death cap mushrooms prompts Island Health warning

Island Health is warning residents to be on the lookout after extremely toxic death cap mushrooms have made an early appearance in Greater Victoria.

While the Amanita phalloides mushroom usually fruits in the fall, some were spotted last week growing in the Uplands and Cedar Hill areas by the South Vancouver Island Mycological Society. It is likely the cause is from intense lawn watering, which may cause the mushrooms to grow earlier.

RELATED: Victoria toddler dies after ingesting poisonous mushroom

If ingested these mushrooms can be fatal or cause liver and kidney damage. Back in 2016, a three-year-old Victoria toddler died after ingesting the mushroom. He was treated at Victoria General Hospital before being airlifted to a hospital in Edmonton for treatment. He later died in hospital.

“We are concerned about people with limited knowledge of poisonous and non-poisonous mushrooms. The differences can be subtle and even microscopic in some cases. Picking wild mushrooms should be left to people with significant expertise,” said Dr. Richard Stanwick, Island Health’s chief medical health officer, in a statement.

He warned “poisonous mushrooms, such as the death cap, can be found in both urban and rural areas.”

RELATED: Experts warn mushroom pickers to be careful after deadly variety found in Oak Bay

This mushroom is not native to Canada and typically grows in cities under various species of imported trees such as beech, hornbeam, chestnut, English oak and others. But death cap mushrooms have also recently been discovered growing with native Garry Oak trees.

Death cap mushrooms are ordinary in appearance. They are mainly white, with a white or yellowish stem, a cap that ranges from yellowish-green to light brown that is round when young and flattens with age.

RELATED: Toxic mushrooms thrive in Oak Bay

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control and the Poison Control Centre chair a working group on this species to help inform municipalities, health authorities and the public about its risks. For more information, visit bit.ly/2mqC9eG.

Sightings of death cap mushrooms can also be reported through the invasive species working group. Go to bit.ly/2mq9jel for more information or download the B.C. invasive species app.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

Island Healthoak bay

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Death cap mushrooms have been found in parts of Greater Victoria but are not native to the area. (Black Press file photo)

Just Posted

Greater Victoria tourism industry ‘can’t wait any longer’ for financial aid

Saanich mayor, business owners call on provincial, federal governments for tourism-specific aid

Pauquachin First Nation calls on North Saanich to help restore shellfish in Coles Bay

The nation identifies ‘residential onsite septic systems’ as one of sources of contamination

COVID-19 demolishes new construction in Greater Victoria

Value of new building permits in Greater Victoria drop more than 37 per cent

Group desperate to find solution to wrecks lining shores of Cadboro Bay

Caddy Bay ‘a wild west’ without authority, say locals

Victoria police arrest two people during ‘tweet-a-long’ Strike Force operation

VicPD offering ‘behind the scenes’ look at the operation

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

Federal aid for care home systems needed ahead of second wave, advocates say

Ontario Long Term Care Association calling for more action

B.C. woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Horgan calls for national anti-racism program; will pitch idea to PM, premiers

Premier John Horgan said he’s horrified by the death of George Floyd in the United States

Chilliwack dad rescues two young daughters after truck plunges into lake

“I used every single one of my angels that day,” said Dennis Saulnier

VIDEO: Internal investigation into aggressive arrest by Kelowna Mountie

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

Most Read