The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)

Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

According to provincial forest pathologist Harry Kope (British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development), one of the world’s most dangerous mushrooms has been found growing in Comox.

“I have been informed that what appears to be Amanita phalloides (Death cap mushroom) has been found fruiting in Comox, close to Filberg Park,” reads the email, sent by Kope to a local community health network. “This is a first finding of the mushroom outside of greater Vancouver and Victoria.

“Death cap mushrooms are a high health risk in urbananized environments. Death cap mushrooms are extremely poisonous and closely resemble some edible mushroom from Asia. Eating them may lead to liver and kidney damage, or death. People should educate themselves to keep their children and pets away from this species.”

When contacted by The Record, Kope confirmed the discovery as authentic.

“Someone on Facebook posted a picture of the mushroom and said it was in the Comox Valley,” said Kope. “There was some follow-up, and on Oct. 26 someone went out and collected it, and confirmed that it is [a death cap].”

Kope said that while only a single mushroom was discovered, chances are good that there are more in the area.

“Spores are wind-spread… it can be carried on roots of trees, and plants. How fast it can get around is really hard to say. But assuming that one that fruited was allowed to sporulate, those spores can carry into the wind, and they can [spread]. Just because there was that one mushroom found, there may be more of them coming to this area. To say there’s just that one… [that’s] unlikley.”

Vancouver Island has recorded at least one human death due to the ingestion of the death cap mushroom. In October of 2016, a child died after eating one that was picked in downtown Victoria.

A puppy also died from ingesting a death cap mushroom in Victoria, last year.

“I went to the neighbourhood where this puppy had eaten that mushroom and there were lots and lots of different ones,” said Kope. “So why did he go for that one? So that’s part of the concern… maybe there’s something about these that attracts dogs. So don’t let your dogs investigate them, or eat them.”

For up to date information about the death cap mushroom, characteristics, and what to do if ingested, visit the BC Centre for Disease Control website: https://bit.ly/2G5YF9U

ALSO: B.C. expert asks residents to be wary as death cap mushrooms sprout



terry.farrell@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Soaker hoses laid down over corn seedlings, soon to be covered with mulch, will see to the watering needs of the bed through any summer drought. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Investing in soaker hoses is money well-spent

No-till gardening has a distinct advantage during drought

Karl McPherson, left, and Mary Morrice are the new head coach and general manager, respectively, at the Duncan Dynamics Gymnastics Club. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Manager charts a new course for Duncan Dynamics

More recreational programs to join competitive teams

Cute but fierce! Timber moonlights as an attack kitty. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Sarah Simpson Column: Beware of Mr. Bite, the midnight attacker

Last week, in the middle of the night, I was awoken by… Continue reading

The province has come through with funding for Duncan Manor’s renewal project. (File photo)
Funding comes through for Duncan Manor’s renewal project

Money will come from the province’s Community Housing Fund

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

Most Read