10 Poisonous Mushrooms in Texas: A Guide to Protect Yourself

Texas has a large area with a wide variety of climates. The northeastern and eastern parts of the state are the most suitable areas for common Texas mushrooms to thrive. It’s no wonder that wild mushroom picking in this area has become a popular gig. However, the danger of poisonous mushrooms in Texas lurks behind this recreational activity.

Mushroom poisoning cases are still  found due to a lack of knowledge about wild mushroom identification and treatment for mushroom poisoning. It is not uncommon for us to find cases of death due to mistakenly ingesting wild mushrooms, thinking they are edible.

Acknowledging the importance of this matter, we will cover several ways related to identifying toxic mushrooms and foraging precautions in Texas to avoid dangerous mushrooms while picking them in the forest.

While avoiding toxic fungi in Texas is vital, we also think you need to learn more about the symptoms of mushroom ingestion. It will help you to be able to provide first aid just in case it happens when eating wild mushrooms in Texas. Let’s explore! 

Most Common Poisonous Mushrooms in Texas

To open our eyes more about poisonous mushrooms in Texas, we will help you navigate the Texas mushroom list below. Not only does it provide information about the characteristics of each dangerous fungus, but we also discuss its toxicity, poisoning symptoms, and how to handle such a serious event as first aid in an emergency.

So, without further rambling, let’s get going!

1. Amanita Phalloides (Death Cap)

poisonous mushrooms in texas
Amanita Phalloides (Death Cap)

You can tell by its intimidating name that this mushroom is notorious. Yes, you guessed it right! It is a Death Cap mushroom scientifically known as Amanita phalloides that looks petite, but don’t get fooled! Let’s take a look at its features!

Key characteristics and habitat

This toxic mushroom is a master of camouflage. It has a close resemblance to Paddy Straw and Puffball mushrooms, featuring a pale yellow to greenish cap, a unique sac-like volva at its base, and white gills. The key character that distinguishes Death Cap from edible fungi is the ring below the cap. 

Moreover, you can find Death Cap mushrooms in Texas easily on chestnut tree roots and oak. But guess what? They also flourish in the grassy area in your backyard.

Toxicity and symptoms

What makes Death Cap belong to the deadly mushrooms in Texas is its amatoxins, which can lead to severe liver and kidney damage if ingested. 

The symptoms of ingestion include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, which will occur within 6 to 12 hours after ingestion. In 48 to 72 hours, without proper treatment, it can cause seizures and even death.

Mushroom poisoning first aid kit

Death Cap doesn’t have an antidote, but you can do an emergency treatment, like rinsing your mouth with water after consuming the fungus. After that, immediately contact health professionals to seek help. 

While doing so, you can also examine the mushroom characteristics to guide medical professionals in determining the proper treatment to help you. 

2. Amanita Gemmata (Jeweled Death Cap)

poisonous mushrooms in texas
Amanita Gemmata (Jeweled Death Cap)

Another Amanita species here! Meet Amanita gemmata or Jeweled Death Cap. Just like its intimidating name, this toxic mushroom is a striking member of the Amanita family, boasting an eye-catching appeal that sets it apart from the rest. 

Key characteristics and habitat

Unlike Amanita phalliodes, Amanita gemmata boasts a striking red-brownish cap with warty bumps that look like jewels, hence the name. The stalk is short yet plump, featuring a lighter brown tone. 

Furthermore, you can spot these poisonous mushrooms on forest floors or flourish near oak trees around summer to early fall.

Toxicity and symptoms

Despite its charming appeal, Amanita gemmata is highly toxic. Similar to the previous Amanita, it contains amatoxins that can injure the liver and kidneys several hours after consumption. 

The early poisoning signs of Amanita gemmata include vomiting, nausea, and gastrointestinal distress. Without proper care, it will lead to life-threatening events. 

Mushroom poisoning first aid kit

Unfortunately, Aminta gemmata has no antidote. However, you can prepare activated charcoal as first aid to absorb toxins while trying to contact medical help at 1-800-222-1222. We also recommend taking antihistamines if any allergic reactions occur.

3. Amanita Bisporigera (Destroying Angel)

poisonous mushrooms in texas
Amanita Virosa, Commonly known as The Destroying Angel

So, you’ve stumbled upon two fellow Amanita. But it doesn’t stop there! Here’s Amanita bisporigera or Destroying Angel. It is deadly, so you better educate yourself about its characteristics and the risks associated with this toxic mushroom. 

Key characteristics and habitat

Like an angel that’s often portrayed as having white features, this Destroying Angel follows the same path. It has all-white characters, bearing a bell-shaped cap with gills beneath and a skirt-like ring attached to the delicate stem. 

Similar to its previous family member, it loves to hang around the hardwood trees, like chestnuts and oak. The Destroying Angel also favors spring to early summer to be fully ripe. 

Toxicity and symptoms

Moreover, amatoxins are the man behind symptoms of mushroom poisoning after ingesting Amanita bisporigera. These toxins cause fatal kidney and liver failure, even death if left untreated. 

The symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal pain, will likely appear 6-12 hours after consumption. They will improve as if it’s cured, and you simply ignore them. But, here’s the toll. It becomes worse and too late to be treated. 

Mushroom poisoning first aid kit

Though it has no antidote, immediate aid after ingestion is crucial to save your life. The first thing to do is to rinse your mouth with water. It will flush down any residue of mushroom parts out of your mouth. 

But don’t you dare to induce vomiting, as it will make the symptoms worse! Instead, seek immediate medical attention by contacting the Texas Poison Center Network at 1-800-222-1222. 

4. Gyromitra Esculenta (False Morel)

poisonous mushrooms in texas
Gyromitra Esculenta, Poisonous Fungus Grows in Spring

Who loves Morels here? We do! But here’s the thing. Gyromitra Esculenta or False Morel depicts alikeness to True Morels. Hence, many accidentally forage this toxic mushroom, thinking it is edible, and eat it. To avoid such an event, you better get to know about False Morel below!

Key characteristics and habitat

False Morel indeed shows a similar appearance to True Morel. However, it features a brain-like feature that sets it apart from the edible one. It also boasts a reddish brown cap with a yellow tone, wrinkled cap that generally spreads on forest floors. 

Besides, this toxic fungus also grows around decaying trees and mixed woodlands, especially after land catches fire. 

Toxicity and symptoms

Now, here’s a hideous side of False Morel. It contains hydrazine, a toxic compound that can lead to a range of poisoning symptoms, including nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, gastrointestinal issues, and organ failure. 

And the worst part is these signs do not immediately pop up after ingestion. Therefore, it is essential to equip yourself with knowledge to identify mushrooms properly.

Mushroom poisoning first aid kit

While foraging wild mushrooms in the forest, we strongly advise you to bring some helpful kits, including activated charcoal and rehydration solutions. It is vital just in case you accidentally consume poisonous mushrooms in Texas. 

These charcoal can absorb toxins, while the solutions keep you hydrated. But when the symptoms get worse, you must seek medical attention to get proper treatment. 

5. Gyromitra Caroliniana (Southern False Morel)

poisonous mushrooms in texas
Gyromitra Caroliniana, Mushroom growing up from the forest floor

In addition to Gyromitra esculenta, Gyromitra caroliniana or Souther False Morel is another one you must be aware of. Since its appeal attracts many foragers, you must learn about Southern False Morel features so you don’t fall into its trap.

Key characteristics and habitat

Like their True Morel counterparts, Southern False Morel has stunning features with a brain-like, wrinkled cap. It also shows a golden brown color that looks enchanting from afar. 

Luckily, it has specific characteristics, like a hollow stem and cap attachment, that distinguish Southern False Morel from edible fungi. Moreover, this mushroom thrives mostly in spring and chooses hardwood forests, near elm and oak, as its habitat. 

Toxicity and symptoms

As its name suggests, Gyromitra caroliniana contains a chemical compound called gyromitrin that can break down into hydrazine. Hydrazine is a toxin that causes nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In some severe cases, it leads to seizures, kidney damage, and even death.

Mushroom poisoning first aid kit

In the case of Southern False Morel poisoning, you can get yourself hydrated with rehydration solutions or water. Don’t induce vomiting to prevent worsening symptoms. Then, contact a poison control center or immediately rush to the nearby health facility to seek medical help.

6. Galerina Marginata (Autumn Galerina)

poisonous mushrooms in texas
Galerina Marginata (Autumn Galerina)

They may be small and look less dangerous, but it doesn’t mean they are safe to eat! Galerina marginata, or Autumn Galerina, is another toxic mushroom in Texas you need to be cautious of. Why so? Let’s explore!

Key characteristics and habitat

So, what do these Autumn Galerina look like? Well, these mushrooms are petite with orange-brown caps and gills attached to the stem. They also prefer growing in clusters on dead trees or tree stumps. You can also find them in damp, wooded areas. 

In addition, these characteristics closely resemble Honey Mushroom or Armillaria mellea. However, the Honey Mushroom has more free gills with a white ring around the stem.

Toxicity and symptoms

Even though Autumn Galerina doesn’t belong to the Amanita family, it contains the same toxin, amatoxins. These toxins cause severe liver and kidney problems if consumed. 

You may expect poisoning symptoms several hours after ingestion, making them particularly dangerous. Some early signs you must observe are nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. If you don’t get yourself immediate medical attention, these symptoms will be life-threatening.

Mushroom poisoning first aid kit

To address the early symptoms, you can get rehydration solutions and water to treat the diarrhea and vomiting, preventing you from dehydration. After that, you must contact your local poison control center and seek help from healthcare providers to get proper treatment.

You might also like:

7. Conocybe Filaris (Cone Cap)

poisonous mushrooms in texas
Conocybe Filaris (Cone Cap)

Compared to other poisonous mushrooms in Texas, Conocybe filaris or Cone Cap is a lesser-known toxic mushroom. It has a small size and subtle appeal that makes it a bit tricky to identify. But here, we’ll help you observe this fungus closely!

Key characteristics and habitat

The cone cap is small in size, with long stalks that are pale white and slightly reddish. Its slender appeal bears a conical to bell-shaped cap with pale to medium brown colors. 

Moreover, you can find this fungus around lawns, meadows, and grassy areas, particularly during the fall season. Remember! Petite sizes do not mean they are no more toxic than mushrooms with larger sizes.

Toxicity and symptoms

Despite its size, this mushroom hides a deadly toxin, which is also contained in the infamous Death Cap mushroom. What, you ask? The mycotoxins

Initially, those who ingest the mushroom will experience gastrointestinal upset, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, as well as abdominal pain. These symptoms will worsen into liver and kidney damage and can result in coma or death.

Mushroom poisoning first aid kit

While waiting for medical help, you can try to treat poisoning symptoms by taking antiemetic medication. It will treat your vomiting and nausea. 

Meanwhile, we highly recommend staying hydrated by drinking water or rehydration solutions. In addition, activated charcoal in the form of powder or capsule is also recommended to absorb the toxins.

8. Inocybe Spp. (Fibrecaps)

poisonous mushrooms in texas
A Group of Small White Fibrecap Mushrooms

Fibercaps or Inocybe Spp. At first glance, it looks like edible Agaricus. Unfortunately, this mushroom is included in the toxic fungus category in Texas. Let’s dive into its characteristics and toxicity so you don’t fall into danger!

Key characteristics and habitat

These Inocybe mushrooms typically feature brown, yellow to gray, medium-sized caps that make them similar to Agaricus. Following their popular names, they have scaly or fibrous cap surfaces that become their distinctive characteristics. 

Furthermore, Fibercaps are mycorrhizal. They have a unique symbiotic relationship with trees and plants. Thus, you can easily spot them near trees like pine, birch, and oak.

Toxicity and symptoms

Talking about its toxicity, Inocybe species may not possess death threats like the rest. However, you can’t dismiss its severe consequences. Some of the mushrooms contain muscarine. 

The characteristics of this toxic poisoning, similar to cholinergic poisoning, include excessive salivation, blurred vision, sweating, abdominal cramps, nausea, and vomiting. 

Mushroom poisoning first aid kit

A medical professional is necessary to handle the poisoning event. However, you can perform first aid to reduce further toxin absorption by rinsing your mouth with water. 

Keep yourself hydrated if you keep vomiting or having diarrhea. In addition, we strongly recommend keeping the Texas Poison Center Network number, 1-800-222-1222, to assist with immediate guidance.

9. Clitocybe Dealbata (Ivory Funnel)

Clitocybe Dealbata (Ivory Funnel)
Clitocybe Dealbata, Also Known as The Ivory Funnel

Look familiar?

Ivory Funnel or Clitocybe dealbata does look like a giant oyster mushroom but with a slightly different cap color. To avoid you misidentifying this mushroom is edible, let’s break down its characteristics!

Key characteristics and habitat

Ivory Funnel is a type of toxic mushroom with small to medium size. As the name suggests, it features a white to ivory cap, which is quite broad, with a diameter of up to 10 cm. 

Under the cap, Ivory Funnel displays gills that run down the stem, similar to oyster mushrooms, right? In addition, it has white spore rings, which differentiate it from edible fungi. Moreover, you can find this dangerous mushroom between summer and autumn in woodland environments.

Toxicity and symptoms

Judging from its appearance, Ivory Funnel looks harmless. But, it contains muscarine toxin, which can cause abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea. 

Not only that, ingesting this toxin leads to muscle weakness, low blood pressure, and serious neurological effects in severe cases. So, don’t underestimate this mushroom!

Mushroom poisoning first aid kit

Seeing the seriousness of the symptoms that develop from consuming Ivory Funnel, you can treat them with atropine as first aid. 

We also recommend taking activated charcoal capsules to reduce the toxin absorption. While doing so, don’t forget to seek medical help as soon as possible before it’s too late!

10. Lepiota Josserandii (Josserand Lepiota)

Lepiota Josserandii (Josserand Lepiota)
Source: pharmanatur.com

Commonly known as Josserand Lepiota, Lepiota josserandii is an intriguing mushroom with a toxicity level similar to Death Cap and Destroying Angel. Let’s get to know this fungus a little better to avoid it when foraging wild mushrooms in the forest!

Key characteristics and habitat

At first glance, the brownish-white cap of Josserand Lepiota looks like a coffee latte, so tempting! Its conical convex cap with this color will turn paler with age. 

Not only is the stamp attractive, but its delicate stems also show its unique charm, possessing the same stunning color! With its stunning appearance, you can easily find it in open woodlands, grassy areas, and pastures.

Toxicity and symptoms

Well, its appeal is indeed captivating. But, this mushroom hides a dark side. As we mentioned previously, Josserand Lepiota has the same toxin as Death Cap, the amanitin toxin, which can cause liver and kidney damage. 

Symptoms of toxicity, such as abdominal pain, vomiting, and nausea, usually appear around 6-12 hours after consumption, which makes it even more dangerous. When not treated quickly and properly, amanitin toxin can cause death.

Mushroom poisoning first aid kit

As we have discussed with Amanita species, there is no antidote for amanitin toxin. However, you can take first aid measures by washing your mouth to remove the remaining mushrooms. 

In addition, keeping the body hydrated, especially when symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting appear, is vital. Meanwhile, you must immediately contact medical assistance or go to the emergency room when you realize you have consumed toxic mushrooms or when the early symptoms appear.

The Danger of Misidentification

After you broaden your insight about Texas forest mushroom varieties in the previous section with each toxicity, let’s move on to the consequences of missing identifying these fungi.

We understand that it can sometimes be challenging to differentiate edible vs poisonous mushrooms in Texas due to their resemblance. Take False Morels as an example.

Many people think False Morels are delicious edibles, yet that’s not the case. Instead, True Morels are one of the edible mushrooms in Texas that you can find on forest floors. People often mistakenly think the two are the same because their shape, size, and physical appearance are similar.

The Danger of Misidentification
The Danger of Misidentification

One case of False Morel poisoning was reported in an Asian couple who experienced vomiting and stomach upset after consuming the fungus. They also developed mild hepatotoxicity, but luckily, they recovered.

Another case of mushroom poisoning occurred in Australia. This case ended with unfortunate events where 3 people died, and one needed a liver transplant.

This happened after they had lunch together at the house of one of the family members who apparently cooked wild mushrooms he picked. The shocking news is that mushrooms turned out to be Death Caps, one of the amanita species found commonly in Texas.

As with False Morels, there is a possibility that the woman who cooked Death Caps thought these mushrooms were puffballs or paddy-straw fungi, which are edible ones. However, this case is still under investigation.

Seeing this news, toxic mushroom prevention and safety have become increasingly crucial. If you are not sure about the mushrooms in Texas forests you have found, you are better off leaving them and looking for a field guide to Texas fungi from the mycology community. 

Poisonous Mushroom Cases in Texas

As we briefly mentioned before, Eastern Texas is home to local Texas mushrooms, with over 200 wild Texas mushroom species spread across the region.

Despite the abundance of wild fungi in Texas, only a few cases of poisoning have been reported. According to a 2006 study, the most common toxic fungus exposure in Texas comes from Psilocybin, and only a small number of poisonings occur due to Amanita mushrooms in Texas.

poisonous mushrooms in texas
Poisonous Mushroom Cases in Texas

Luckily, we managed to find an example of a case mentioned in a 2012 journal. A 64-year-old woman of Chinese descent showed symptoms of mushroom poisoning by complaining of nausea and vomiting 10-12 times.

The woman also experienced abdominal pain and 6-8 episodes of non-bloody, watery diarrhea. Apparently, it was discovered later that the woman and her husband picked wild mushrooms from a sidewalk near Houston, Texas. Because the symptoms were getting worse, they were admitted to the hospital.

With the help of the poison control and mushrooms organization in Texas, medical staff can find out that the mushrooms consumed by the patient were Amanita species. After further examination and treatment, it turned out that his liver had suffered acute damage due to Amanita’s toxins. Fortunately, the woman and her husband survived because of fast treatment.

Considering the extent of toxic mushroom effects, it is crucial to step your feet into

Seasons That Poisonous Mushrooms Commonly Found

Like fruits and vegetables, both edible and poisonous mushrooms in Texas also have specific conditions for them to flourish. They like moist, wet, but cool conditions to thrive and spread their spores.

Hence, spring and fall are the two main seasons that are preferable because they meet their growing conditions. In spring, mushroom hunting in Texas starts the game. Generally, the foragers will start exploring city forests, national parks, or nearby parks to harvest edible wild mushrooms.

Seasons That Poisonous Mushrooms Commonly Found
Seasons That Poisonous Mushrooms Commonly Found

While the edibles are ready to pick, deadly mushrooms in Texas, such as Amanita phalloides (Death Cap), are also ripe. This is where the dangers of Texas foraging lurk, especially if you have no knowledge about mycotoxins in Texas.

Since Death Cap has a similar appearance to Paddy Stray and Puffball mushrooms, the awareness of how to identify the seasonal toxic mushrooms is critical. Mushroom enthusiasts must stay alert in foraging and practicing mushroom safety in Texas.

Besides spring, fall is another long-awaited season for mushroom foray in Texas. True Morel and Chaterells are two examples of edible mushrooms in Texas forests that are favorites for foragers to pick. Unfortunately, they have a look-alike to one of the most dangerous mushrooms in Texas, the False Morel. Considering these facts, seeking a Texas mycology guide is vital to avoid the risk of poisoning with these poisonous mushrooms in Texas during the seasons.

Check on the following section to find out where to find resources about edible fungi, Texas mushroom habitats, safety precautions, and more!

Mushroom Poisoning Treatment

Although we don’t want this to happen, first aid guidelines are necessary to prevent worse health consequences due to mushroom poisoning. If you or someone close to you accidentally consumes poisonous mushrooms in Texas, try to stay calm and try these steps.

First, you must immediately rinse your mouth with water. It is crucial to remove any mushroom remains to prevent further absorption. At this point, you might think about throwing up the mushroom, but don’t do that! Inducing vomiting can potentially worsen the poisoning symptoms. In case you start experiencing nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal distress, you should immediately seek immediate help from professionals. They will tell you what to do while waiting for them. In the meantime, we strongly advise you to stay hydrated and find out what mushrooms you just ingested. 

Try to examine their appearance, such as cap shape, colors, where Texas mushroom locations you pick them, and distinctive characters you remember. Such information will help medical help identify the mushrooms and find the proper treatment.

Texas Poison Control and Resources

Having knowledge of mushroom poisoning treatment and first aid is essential, but preventive measures are preferred.  For those who find foraging a stress-relieving activity, searching for resources about poisonous mushrooms in Texas is the first thing you must do.

You can find information about wild mushrooms within the state from local mycological societies, such as the Central Texas Mycological Society, which will guide safe foraging.

Texas Poison Control and Resources
Texas Poison Control and Resources

Furthermore, they often hold workshops, field guides, and talks about mushrooms that equip you with knowledge about the mushroom world. It generally includes mushroom spore identification, which becomes a key in identifying toxic fungi. Thus ensuring your safety while harvesting your favorite forest fungi.  

In addition, we recommend visiting the website at centraltexasmycology.org for further information you can gather. Besides, you can also join the North Texas Mycological Association. Slightly different from the previous one, this group focuses on the role of fungi in our ecosystem. But here, you can also learn how to identify mushrooms through seminars, cultivation, workshops, research, and forays. 

And most importantly, you can meet fellow mushroom enthusiasts and share knowledge and interest about these natural gems. To learn more about this organization, visit their website at northtexasmycology.org.

Beyond that, we’d like to share a vital contact you can reach in case of an emergency, such as mushroom poisoning. Please call the Texas Poison Center Network at 1-800-222-1222. It’s a free number available 24/7 that can help you manage the situation and guide you to provide first aid in cases like this.

Final Thoughts

When dealing with wild mushrooms in the Lone Star State, you cannot ignore the fact that some of them pose hidden threats to our health. Not only does it cause health issues, some even lead to death. While we appreciate the natural riches and biodiversity Texas has to offer us, prioritizing safety remains paramount. 

Before foraging, ensure you know how to identify poisonous mushrooms in Texas so you don’t mistakenly consume the toxic ones. We also highly recommend joining a local mycological community to educate, enrich your experience, and broaden your knowledge regarding wild forest mushrooms in Texas.

Latest Posts:

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Do all poisonous mushrooms in Texas have a distinct look or taste?

Unfortunately, not all poisonous mushrooms in Texas boast similar appearance or flavor to distinguish themselves from edible ones. Some of them, like False Morel and Amanita species, closely resemble True Morel and Puffball mushrooms, respectively. Besides, they also feature pleasant taste. No wonder they are among the common ones that cause mushroom poisoning. 

How long does it take to know if you ate a poisonous mushroom?

It’s hard to tell at a specific time to tell whether you ate a poisonous mushroom since each one shows different symptoms in a diverse range. But generally speaking, you will notice poisoning signs around a few hours to 12 hours after ingesting the toxic mushroom. When you notice symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or gastrointestinal distress, seek immediate help from medical professionals. 

Are there specific regions in Texas known for a higher prevalence of toxic mushrooms?

Considering the diverse Texas climate, certain regions in Texas, such as Eastern and Northeastern, have wet and cool conditions that are preferable for mushrooms to grow, including the Texas toxic fungi. These areas have a high prevalence of rainfall, thus aiding in higher humidity. 

If you live within the region, you may expect common backyard poisonous mushrooms in Texas, for example, False Morel or Death Cap, around your outdoor space. And suppose you have pets. In that case, protecting pets from toxic mushrooms is vital. You can remove those fungi and ditch them before your beloved dogs or cats curiously devour those culprits. 

Has there been a recent increase in mushroom poisoning cases in Texas?

We can say that, fortunately, there’s a lack of sudden increase in mushroom poisoning cases within Texas. It’s because only Eastern and Northeastern regions are suitable for toxic fungi to grow. We also assume that the cases may not be reported to the authorities. Contrarily, the states that commonly report issues regarding poisonous mushroom exposure are California and Oregon.

Are animals, like dogs or cattle, also at risk of poisoning from Texas mushrooms?

Not only humans but animals like dogs or cattle are also at risk of mushroom poisoning in Texas. For dogs, they may be curiously devouring toxic mushrooms that grow in your backyard. Meanwhile, cattle will likely get the exposure from grazing or exploring the grass. Therefore, it’s extremely important to take care of your pets and animals to prevent access to wild mushrooms that can potentially put their lives at risk.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *