Death cap mushrooms beginning to return to Victoria
Amanita phalloides kills more people than any other mushroom worldwide
Lethal death cap mushrooms are beginning to return to Victoria for the summer.
The fungi pop up in the capital city and around Vancouver every year, usually around August.
Experts on Vancouver Island said a couple stumbled on a cluster of deaths caps in the Uplands near Victoria on Sunday, the first reported sighting of the season.
"The reason I think we're seeing ... them in the Uplands area this year, it's a very lush green area where they like to water their lawns. The mushroom is stimulated by moisture underground," said Dr. Brenda Callan, a mycologist with Natural Resources Canada.
She said death caps contain a number of toxins, including amatoxin, which even survives cooking. One mushroom can kill an adult.
Callan said death caps have some telltale characteristics that set them apart from other fungi, including a greeny-bronze colour to the cap, a veil around the stem, white gills and a large bulb under the ground.
They look similar to puffball or paddy straw mushrooms, which are popular in Asia.
Anyone with children and pets needn't panic, but just be alert, Callan said.