Death cap mushrooms. They’re as scary as they sounds, and the fungi is spreading across California.
Since 2010, five people have died in California from these mushrooms.
In 2015, the California Poison Control System had nine reported poisonings. Fortunately, all survived. One cap has enough toxin to kill a person.
Even experienced mushroom collectors can mistake the death cap for edible paddy straw mushrooms or a similar-looking species. Those who have had the misfortune, or good fortunate, to eat a death cap and survive say it tastes good. The toxin in a death cap mushroom kills by destroying liver cells.
Death caps, a species introduced to the United States when people brought different tree and shrub species from other parts of the world, are spreading across California because the of the state’s oak population. Researchers are in the process of finding a way to control the spread of this mushroom.