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Amanita(ăm'ənī`tə): see mushroommushroom,
type of basidium fungus characterized by spore-bearing gills on the underside of the umbrella- or cone-shaped cap. The name toadstool is popularly reserved for inedible or poisonous mushrooms, but this classification has no scientific basis.
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a genus of hymenomycetous gill fungi of the order Agaricales. The fruiting body in young Amanita is enclosed in the universal veil, which ruptures and remains in the form of a membrane or scales at the base of the stipe or in the form of white flakes on the surface of the cap. Most species of Amanita also have a partial veil in the form of an annulus on the stipe.
Many Amanita are poisonous, particularly the death cup (Amanita phalloides). Fly agaric (A. muscaria), which has a typically bright cap, is slightly poisonous. The toxicity of death cup is caused by the presence of thermostable toxins—phalloi-dine, α-amanitine, and β-amanitine—which poison animals and humans, often resulting in death. Fly agaric contains the toxic alkaloids muscarine and fungal atropine. There are some edible species of Amanita, such as A. vaginata and blusher (A. rubescens), which has a dirtypink cap. In the USSR, species of Amanita usually grow in forests from June through October.