A fungus never before detected in Idaho is popping up around Boise.
But beware: you don’t want to chop this one up and throw it in your stir-fry.
Amanita phalloides, also known as “Death Cap,” was found on Harrison Boulevard in Boise’s North End, according to Mickey Myhre, a retired physician and current mycologist.
It is highly toxic and responsible for more than 90% of mushroom poisoning deaths worldwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
You won’t get sick from touching the mushrooms. But if ingested, the Death Cap causes flu-like symptoms, before a brief reprieve gives false hope and precedes organ failure. Death can occur 7 to 10 days after ingestion.
On average, one person a year has died in North America after ingesting Death Caps, although that number is rising as the fungus spreads, The Atlantic reported in 2019.
The Death Cap originated in Europe, but has spread to several continents and likely reached North America “several decades ago”, according to the BC Center for Disease Control.
A spokesperson for the Idaho Department of Health and Wellness confirmed to the Idaho press that Amanita phalloides had been identified in Boise. “It may be present and undetected in other locations (in Idaho) and it may not be,” the spokesperson said.
The department encourages anyone who thinks they have found a death cap on their property to dispose of it in the trash, not the trash or compost heap, and to clean and disinfect any gardening tools, gloves or clothing that have touched the fungus.
The mushroom is also deadly if eaten by dogs, the spokesperson said.
This story will be updated.