Death Cap mushroom in Canberra

The recent wet weather means that Death Cap mushrooms, which can be lethal if ingested, have been sighted in Canberra. They often grow near established oak trees and can be found when there is wet weather.

It is very hard to tell a death cap mushroom apart from other types of mushrooms. It can be extremely difficult for even experienced collectors to distinguish Death Cap mushrooms from an edible mushroom. 

Do not touch, pick or eat any wild mushrooms.

Eating even a small amount of a death cap mushroom can cause death. Symptoms of poisoning generally occur 6–24 hours or more after ingestion of mushrooms and include stomach pains, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Symptoms may subside for 1–2 days giving a false impression of recovery. However, by this stage the toxin will have already caused serious liver damage. Liver failure and death may occur.

Anyone who thinks they may have eaten a death cap mushroom should go straight to the nearest Emergency Department. Do not wait for symptoms to appear – the sooner you get treatment, the better your chance of survival.

If you think a death cap mushroom may be growing in a public area, do not touch it. Report it to Access Canberra immediately on 13 22 81.

Death Cap Mushrooms Fact Sheet

Page last updated on: 7 Jan 2021