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At any time from summer through to the autumn, the Panthercap (Amanita pantherina) fungus may be seen in the oak or especially beech, woodlands of the New Forest, growing singularly or in small groups.

It is deadly poisonous, and should not be handled, but if observed carefully it is not too difficult to recognise.

It is of the same genus as the attractive red Fly Agaric (of fairies and goblins fame!) and has certain similarities to it. A large pendulous white ring is on a white stem of up to 10 cm long, and also a distinctive white girdle or two, just above the pronounced rim above the bulbous base. It is considered to have the background colour of a Panther – and be dangerous!

Amanita pantherina

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Panthercap has brilliant white scales on the shiny brown or grey background of the cap, which is 6-10 cm across.

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