Sometimes I find a beautiful specimen in nature that I simply just can’t identify. Tonight I finally identified a beautiful red mushroom I photographed five years ago in Fakahatchee Strand of Southwest Florida’s Western Everglades. I knew immediately it was an Amanita, but which one? I had no idea. I have a bookshelf of field guides to just about every living species on the continent, and this was just one of the many hundreds of images I have in holding because I can’t find a name for it. I finally found it about 20 minutes ago, and here it is! An emerging American Caesar’s mushroom. What a beauty!

An emerging American Caesar's mushroom. What a beauty!The American Caesar’s mushroom is a rare exception to a family of lethally poisonous mushrooms that are responsible for 90% of mushroom-related deaths around the world. This one is known to be be both edible and tasty. Unless you vehemently refuse to eat or taste any mushroom – like me!


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Rich Leighton
November 12, 2011
©2014 Leighton Photography & Imaging