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Death Cap Vs Field Mushroom: Key Differences For Safety

You must observe Mushroom gills to differentiate between Death Cap vs Field Mushroom to be safe from harmful effects. 

Generally, the Death Cap and Field Mushrooms bear similar families, annulus, and stems at first look. However, on closer observation, both Mushrooms differ in cap structure, gills appearance, stems, toxicity, and habitat.

Due to the similar appearance, most people confuse Death Cap with Field Mushroom, which leads to serious illness.

So, read this entire article to know the differences between Death Cap and Field Mushrooms to avoid any risks from Mushroom toxicity.

Death Cap And Field Mushroom: Similarities

Although Death Cap Mushrooms and Field Mushrooms are different, they appear similar at first look.

Field Mushroom on the left and Death cap on the right.
Field Mushroom and Death Cap Mushroom look similar due to their round caps.

Moreover, both Mushrooms share the same family, Basidiomycetes, and are found in forests and meadows.

  • Both varieties share similar rounded and flat cap shapes.
  • Moreover, the color of caps in both varieties ranges from yellow to brown and white.
  • Gills in both Mushrooms are free and don’t connect stem.
  • Also, the color of the gills is white in both varieties when young. Gradually, the color changes when the Mushrooms mature.
  • Both Mushroom varieties bear white stems with a ring or annulus on them.

Death Cap Vs. Field Mushroom: Differences

During the identification, when you get the spore print, Death Cap Mushroom releases white spores.

Meanwhile, the spore print of the common Field Mushroom is dark brown and needs white paper.

1. Cap Structure

Cap in Death Cap Mushroom has an outgrowth in the center, whereas the Field Mushroom has a more flattened cap.

Moreover, the Death Cap Mushroom has a smooth and convex cap until maturity, but the cap is convex in Field Mushrooms only when young.

Furthermore, the cap color varies from shiny yellowish-brown to greenish hue in Death Cap Mushroom.

Meanwhile, Filed Mushroom bears a brown cap with a brownish hue. Field Mushrooms do not shine like Death Cap Mushrooms.

2. Gill Appearance

Death Cap Mushroom bears white gills with a greenish hue when the Mushroom matures.

But, the gills in Field Mushrooms are pink when young. Upon maturity, the gill’s color darken and turns dark brown.

Moreover, the greenish tint in the gills of the Death Cap Mushroom is the key identification feature.

3. Stem Facet

Although the stem of the Death Cap Mushroom looks white at first glance, the actual color is white or pale.

Meanwhile, Field Mushroom bears white or cream-colored stems, slightly lighter than Death Cap Mushrooms.

The upper side of the stem in Death Cap Mushroom bears a ring or annulus.

Field Mushroom also bears an annulus or ring on the upper portion of the stem, but the annulus is more flaring than the Death Cap Mushroom.

Furthermore, the Field Mushroom contains no puffy sac on the base of the stem, but the Death Cap Mushroom bears a volva on the lower portion of the stem.

4. Mushroom Toxicity 

In terms of toxicity, Death Cap Mushrooms are highly toxic and contain the poisonous compound Amatoxin.

But, Field Mushroom contains no toxic compounds as they are edible and delicious when cooked.

Field mushroom on the right and death cap mushroom on the left
Field Mushroom bears no volva, but toxic Death Cap Mushroom bears a volva sac on the base.

Amatoxins in Death Cap Mushrooms cause severe stomach upsets, liver damage, and even death.

Meanwhile, Field Mushrooms are rich in proteins, fiber, vitamins, and minerals beneficial for the body.

The toxicity in Death Cap Mushrooms starts after 1-3 hours of ingestion. So, it’s better to take the patient to the hospital when you find out he/she has consumed this Mushroom.

5. Habitat And Distribution

Comparing the distribution, Field Mushrooms are widely available worldwide due to their edible properties.

Meanwhile, Death Cap Mushrooms are mainly distributed in European countries. But you can also find them in other parts of the world too.

Moreover, you can find Death Cap Mushrooms mostly under beech and oak trees.

Comparatively, Field Mushrooms are easily available in grasses, meadows, lawns, and fields.

From Editorial Team

Don’t Miss This!

The major difference, despite the similarities in appearance between Death Cap Mushroom and Field Mushroom, is their availability.

You cannot find Death Cap Mushrooms in grocery stores. Due to their nutritional value, Field Mushrooms are popular in every mart and vegetable store.

However, buy field Mushrooms only in reputed grocery stores for your safety.