If You Suspect a Poisoning

If you suspect that you have consumed a poisonous mushroom, contact a physician, or Washington Poison Center: 1-800-222-1222.

The North American Mycological Association (NAMA) has a comprehensive list of poisoning syndromes as well as steps to follow in seeking treatment that is available here. For Identification of any mushrooms in a local suspected poisoning, please contact our Scientific Advisor, Dr Steven Trudell at (206) 721-0552 (email: mycecol (at) u.washington.edu ) or Danny Miller at 425-223-1976 (email: id@psms.org ). For suspected poisonings in non-local areas or in other states, NAMA has a list of Identifiers by state and location available here.

For general identification of mushrooms (not a poisoning case) please bring them to our ID clinic, a membership meeting, our annual show, or contact id@psms.org .

Most Common Toxic Species in the Pacific Northwest

Species Toxins Characteristics
Amanita phalloides, Amanita ocreata, small Lepiotas Cyclopeptides - Amatoxins (also Phallotoxins, Virotoxins) Latent period usually 8-12 hrs, then severe vomiting and diarrhea, later liver damage.
Cortinarius rubellus, other Cortinarii Orellanine (bipyridlyl, similar to Diquat, Paraquat) Latent period very long, up to several days, then kidney damage, sometimes GI disturbances.
Amanita smithiana 2-amino-4, 5-hexadienoic acid as an amino sugar Latent period 4-11 hrs, GI disturbances, renal damage, sometimes liver damage.
Gyromitra esculenta, other Gyromitras, Helvellas, raw morels Gyromitrin (high instability) (Monomethylhydrazine) [carcinogenic, mutagenic] Difficult to distinguish from Phalloides poisoning, often additional central nervous and haemolytic symptoms.
Most Inocybes, some Clitocybes, misc. other species Muscarine (alkaloid) [similar to acetylcholine - transmits impulses from synapses of nerve cells to the receptors of muscle, nerve and gland cells] Short latent period, GI disturbances, sweating, salivation, lachrymation.
Amanita muscaria, Amanita pantherina Ibotenic Acid, Muscomol (isoxazoles) [stimulates GABA receptors in CN system] Short latent period, similar To alcohol intoxication, then deep sleep.
Many Psilocybes, blue-bruising gilled fungi Psilocybin, Psilocin, Baeocystin (indoles) [similar to LSD, structural analogs of serotonin] Short latent period, psychotomimetic symptoms predominate, similar to those of LSD intoxication
Coprinopsis atramentaria (Coprinus atramentarius) Coprine (prevents further oxidation of acetaldehyde during the metabolism of alcohol - to acetate) Requires consumption of alcohol, flushing, reddening of the face, headache, metallic taste in mouth. (Antabuse-like)
Paxillus involutus Immuno-haemolytic anaemia, toxins?? Short latent period, GI and haemolytic symptoms, previous history of eating with milder symptoms
Gastrointestinal many species Various, often unknown Short latent period, primarily GI symptoms

If You Suspect
a Poisoning

Contact a physician
or Washington Poison
Center: 1-800-222-1222

More Poison Info


Come learn with us in our meetings, classes, field trips and more!

Benefits of Joining Join Online

Annual Wild
Mushroom Show

Our Wild Mushroom Exhibit is one of the largest and most complete in the United States. Over 200 varieties of wild mushrooms will be displayed, identified, and classified.

Learn more