The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)

Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

According to provincial forest pathologist Harry Kope (British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development), one of the world’s most dangerous mushrooms has been found growing in Comox.

“I have been informed that what appears to be Amanita phalloides (Death cap mushroom) has been found fruiting in Comox, close to Filberg Park,” reads the email, sent by Kope to a local community health network. “This is a first finding of the mushroom outside of greater Vancouver and Victoria.

“Death cap mushrooms are a high health risk in urbananized environments. Death cap mushrooms are extremely poisonous and closely resemble some edible mushroom from Asia. Eating them may lead to liver and kidney damage, or death. People should educate themselves to keep their children and pets away from this species.”

When contacted by The Record, Kope confirmed the discovery as authentic.

“Someone on Facebook posted a picture of the mushroom and said it was in the Comox Valley,” said Kope. “There was some follow-up, and on Oct. 26 someone went out and collected it, and confirmed that it is [a death cap].”

Kope said that while only a single mushroom was discovered, chances are good that there are more in the area.

“Spores are wind-spread… it can be carried on roots of trees, and plants. How fast it can get around is really hard to say. But assuming that one that fruited was allowed to sporulate, those spores can carry into the wind, and they can [spread]. Just because there was that one mushroom found, there may be more of them coming to this area. To say there’s just that one… [that’s] unlikley.”

Vancouver Island has recorded at least one human death due to the ingestion of the death cap mushroom. In October of 2016, a child died after eating one that was picked in downtown Victoria.

A puppy also died from ingesting a death cap mushroom in Victoria, last year.

“I went to the neighbourhood where this puppy had eaten that mushroom and there were lots and lots of different ones,” said Kope. “So why did he go for that one? So that’s part of the concern… maybe there’s something about these that attracts dogs. So don’t let your dogs investigate them, or eat them.”

For up to date information about the death cap mushroom, characteristics, and what to do if ingested, visit the BC Centre for Disease Control website: https://bit.ly/2G5YF9U

ALSO: B.C. expert asks residents to be wary as death cap mushrooms sprout



terry.farrell@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Wayne Allen's graduation photo from Chemainus Secondary School. (Photo submitted)
Brother charged with murder in Chemainus teenager’s Ontario death

Jesse James Allen stands accused in the death of Wayne Allen, a 2020 Chemainus Secondary grad

The site of Sunfest, Laketown Ranch, will be open for camping this summer. (Citizen file)
Laketown Ranch to welcome campers this summer

Sunfest site will provide camping amenities between May and September

‘I chose my children’s breakfasts purely based on what dishes would fit best into the dishwasher.’ (Bobbi Venier photo)
Sarah Simpson Column: Delayed gratification and the benefits of efficiency

I was driving with just my daughter the other day and we… Continue reading

The frequent disruptions to water service in Chemainus are expected to be a lot less after North Cowichan replaces the Smiley Road water main. (File photo)
Smiley Road water main in Chemainus to be replaced

$890,000 project expected to be completed this spring

Cowichan Tribes open up vaccinations for members who are 40 and older. (File photo)
Cowichan Tribes opens up vaccinations for members 18 and older

Vaccination sessions to be held over weekend

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

BC Ferries experienced heavy traffic on Feb. 27 following cancellations the day before due to strong winds and adverse weather. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries sailings fill up quickly after Friday cancellations due to high winds

Waits expected on Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route, Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay route

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

A crossover utility vehicle smashed through the front of a business on Bowen Road on Friday evening. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Vehicle smashes all the way inside business in Nanaimo

No serious injuries reported after incident at Venue Financial Centres on Friday

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Kara Sorensen, diagnosed with lung cancer in July, says it’s important for people to view her as healthy and vibrant, rather than sick. (Photo courtesy of Karen Sorensen)
B.C. woman must seek treatment overseas for inoperable lung cancer

Fundraising page launched on Karen Sorensen’s behalf, with a goal of $250,000

Most Read