Fly agaric mushrooms may look cute, but can be dangerous. (Pixabay)

‘Cartoony’ mushrooms popping up across Vancouver Island are poisonous

Fly Agaric mushrooms can cause hallucinations and gastrointestinal pain

An influx of cute and familiar mushrooms on Vancouver Island comes with a warning.

Fly Agaric mushrooms, also known as Amanita muscaria are the classic red toadstool with white warts seen in cartoons. The species grows in borreal forests during the fall across Canada and the United States, and are very common, but very poisonous.

“The Amanita family contains some of the most deadly mushrooms we know of,” said Brian Starzomski, director of the School of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria. Starzomski added some of the Fly Agaric’s relatives include Amanita phalloides, better known as the Death Cap mushroom, and Aminita ocreata, the Destroying Angel.

READ MORE: Island Health issues warning after death cap mushrooms found in Greater Victoria

While Fly Agarics aren’t always deadly, they can have devastating affects on people and pets, including hallucinations, sleepiness and severe gastrointestinal problems.

Surprisingly, unlike on TV the white warts on the mushrooms are not attached and can move around if prompted, which can be especially dangerous after a heavy rain could wash them off.

ALSO READ: Second puppy killed by poisonous mushrooms in Victoria

“Another edible species looks quite similar, especially when the warts are gone,” he said.

If seen, Starzomski said to avoid removing them unless they’re a direct danger to your pet or child, as they have a short life cycle and are an important part of the ecosystem.

Most importantly of all, he said, if you don’t know what a mushroom is, don’t touch it.

“There are so many species of mushrooms, and many of them are poisonous,” he said. “Always ask an expert when you’re not 100 per cent sure.”

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Like us on Facebook Send a Tweet to @NicoleCrescenzi
and follow us on Instagram

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Snow expected to hit West Kootenay passes overnight on Thursday

Up to 15 cm of snow could fall on Highway 3 between Paulson summit to Kootenay Pass by Friday morning

Former Grand Forks fire chief suing city for wrongful dismissal

Dale Heriot was fired in July 2019 after his department was investigated for safety, bullying issues

Regional District of Kootenay Boundary seeks online feedback on transit, housing

Surveys on the RDKB’s website are asking for input to help plan for the future

School District 51 staff iron out plan for return to classrooms

Teachers are looking for a comprehensive health and safety plan to be in place before June 1

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

Oak Bay man stumbles upon eagle hunting seal, grabs camera just in time

The eagle did ‘a perfect butterfly stroke to shore’ with its prey, photographer says

Most Read