POISONOUS AND HALLUCINOGENIC MUSHROOMS
by Michael W. Beug Email: email@example.com
The Evergreen State College, Olympia WA
Chlorophyllum molybdites, the Green-spored Lepiota,
is a very frequent cause of severe mushroom poisoning, especially in and
near Colorado, on the eastern seaboard, in the Southeast and in Southern
California and Hawaii where it is a common inhabitant of suburban lawns.
It is intentionally collected by some people who report that it is a fine
edible when very well cooked. Before the spores develop and the gills turn
greenish, Chlorophyllum molybdites is readily mistaken for choice
edible Lepiota species including Lepiota rachodes and Lepiota
procera. Young children out grazing in the yard also commonly eat Chlorophyllum
molybdites. Just one or two bites can cause violent vomiting and severe
diarrhea beginning one to three or four hours after consumption. Other
common symptoms include nausea, sweating, cold and clammy feeling, cramps,
and low blood pressure. Atypical muscarinic symptoms have been observed
but could be due to contamination by pesticides. The rare patient experiences
gastrointestinal hemorrhage and bloody diarrhea. Children are at risk of
dehydration and hypovolemic shock. There is one report of a child who died
following the development of seizures 17 hours after consuming the mushroom.
Interestingly, most people who cook it thoroughly find Chlorophyllum
molybdites to be a good edible species, though they may be eating an
edible Lepiota that they had misidentified as Chlorophyllum molybdites.
If you are one of the people who eat Chlorophyllum molybdites, you
still should not feed the mushroom to a young child whose defense mechanisms
are not as fully developed or use it in a meal served to others who may
prove to be susceptible.