Death Cap

Hazard Information

Route: Ingestion     Plant Part: All

Scale: High

Small quantities required (Half a cap).

Most deadly fungus known.

Symptom delay of 6-24 hours.

Liver and kidneys affected. Vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pains. Liver and kidney failure can occur despite the victim seemingly being well enough to leave hospital.


Common Name(s)

Death Cap

Latin Name

Amanita phalloides


Fungi. The moist smooth cap is greenish yellow with a darker centre with faint streaks. It is about 6 -12.5 cm (2 1/2 - 5 ins) across. The stalk is white and smooth and approx. 6 -12.5 cm (2 1/2 - 5 ins) high, There is a bulbous cup at the base and an irregular ring near the top of the stalk. The whole fungus has a sweet smell.


This is the most deadly fungus known, eating as little as half a cap can be fatal


Poisoning is characterized by a delay of between 6 and 24 hours in the onset of symptoms from the time of ingestion, during which time the cells of the liver and kidneys are attacked. The next stage is violent vomiting and diarrhoea and abdominal pains lasting a day or more. Typically this is followed by an apparent recovery, when the victim may be released from hospital or think their ordeal is over. Within a few days death results from kidney and liver failure. Their chance of survival depends on early recognition.

Growing Season

Late Summer/ Autumn.


Fairly common in woods, especially Oak and Beech.