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Amanita rubescens.JPG
Scientific classification
A. rubescens
A. novinupta
Binomial name
Amanita rubescens
Amanita rubescens
View the Mycomorphbox template that generates the following list
Mycological characteristics
gills on hymenium
cap is flat
hymenium is free
stipe has a ring
spore print is white
ecology is mycorrhizal
edibility: choice

The blusher is the common name for several closely related species of the genus Amanita. A. rubescens, found in Europe and eastern North America, and A. novinupta in western North America. Both their scientific and common names are derived from the propensity of their flesh to turn pink on bruising, or cutting.

The mushroom is edible and tasty, sought for in several European countries. Readily recognizable by its pinkish color on the bottom of the stem.

It is avoided by novice mushroomers as without knowledge it can be confused with deadly poisonous species.


The European blusher has a reddish-brown convex pileus (cap), that is up to 15 cm across, and strewn with small cream-coloured warts. It is sometimes covered with an ochre-yellow flush which can be washed by the rain. The flesh of the mushroom is white, becoming pink when bruised or exposed to air. This is a key feature in differentiating it from the poisonous false blusher or panther cap (Amanita pantherina), whose flesh does not. The stipe (stem) is white with flushes of the cap colour, and grows to a height of up to 15 cm. The gills are white and free of the stem, and display red spots when damaged. The ring is striate (i.e. has ridges) on its upper side, another feature distinguishing it from Amanita pantherina. The spores are white, ovate, amyloid, and approximately 8 by 5 µm in size.

The flavour of the uncooked flesh is mild, but has a faint acrid aftertaste. The smell is not strong.

The mushroom is often attacked by insects.

Distribution and habitat

It is common throughout much of Europe and eastern North America, growing on poor soils as well as in deciduous and coniferous woodlands, appearing from June through to November in the UK. It has also been recorded from South Africa, where it is thought to have been accidentally introduced with trees imported from Europe.[1]

In eastern North America, Amanita rubescens is frequently parasitized by Hypomyces hyalinus. Parasitized fruiting bodies are extremely difficult to recognize unless they occur in conjunction with healthy ones, although some retain the "blushing" characteristic of the species.[2]

Amanita novinupta

A species found in the western U.S., only recently formally described and until then frequently misidentified as A. rubescens; see MykoWeb - Fungi of California - Amanita novinupta for details.

Other species

Closely related species include Amanita brunneolocularis, A. orsonii, A. rubescens var. alba, and A. rubescens var. congolensis.[3]


Both of these species are edible when cooked. European Amanita rubescens is known to contain a hemolytic protein in its raw state; it is unknown whether North American A. rubescens and A. novinupta are similarly toxic when eaten raw. This protein is destroyed by cooking, so it is important to cook this mushroom before eating.

Amanita novinupta is highly regarded as a choice edible in the region in which it is found. However, the edibility of blusher species other than A. rubescens and A. novinupta has not been established and experimentation is not advised.

See also


  1. Reid DA, Eicker A (1991). "South African fungi: the genus Amanita" (PDF). Mycological Research. 95: 80–95. doi:10.1016/S0953-7562(09)81364-6. Retrieved 2007-11-13.
  2. Michael Kuo, Hypomyces hyalinus,, Oct. 2003.
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-12-07. Retrieved 2007-01-06.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links

Amanita rubescens

Amanita novinupta

Other species

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