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Group of Fungi: Agarics
Latin Name: Amanita bisporigera G. F. Atk.
Common Name: Destroying Angel
Description: Total height 3–8 in (7.5–20 cm); cap 2–5 in (5–12.5 cm) wide, dull to shiny white, smooth upper surface; gills closely spaced, white; stalk 2 1/2–7 1/2 in (6.5–19 cm) long, 1/4–3/4 in (0.5–2 cm) in diameter, noticeably expanded at base; annulus present near top of stalk, white; volva present at base of stalk, sac-like, white; spores white in mass.
Biological Role: Forms mycorrhizal associations with forest trees.
Habitat: On the ground under oaks and other broadleaf trees; usually solitary but sometimes occurring in scattered groups.
Geographical Distribution: Found throughout eastern North America.
Comments: This strikingly beautiful fungus is deadly poisonous if consumed. It is one of several pure white Amanitas, all of which should be avoided. Two very similar species are Amanita virosa and Amanita verna. Although included in many American mushroom guidebooks, there is some question as to whether or not they actually occur in North America.