POISONOUS AND HALLUCINOGENIC MUSHROOMS
by Michael W. Beug Email: beugm@evergreen.edu
The Evergreen State College, Olympia WA
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Slide 50.
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.
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