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The Blusher

Edible Edible
Autumn Autumn
Spring Spring
Summer Summer

Common and available before many other species are out, this is a good eating mushroom but difficult to identify for the novice forager and must be well cooked before consumption. Great care should be taken identifying this fungi.

Mushroom Type
Common Names The Blusher (EN), Amanita Wridog (CY), Muchomor Czerwieniejący (PL), Piruló Galóca (HU)
Scientific Name Amanita rubescens
Season Start May
Season End Nov
Average Mushroom height (CM) 9-12
Average Cap width (CM) 8-12
Please note that each and every mushroom you come across may vary in appearance to these photos.


8-12 cm. Flesh coloured to light brown to a darker red/brown sometimes with a yellow flush and covered in off-white to grey scales. Spherical to convex to flat.


Crowded and free of the stem. Can develop pink to red spots where damaged.


9-12 cm long, 1-2.5 cm diameter. Scaly and off white to grey/red/brown below the skirt, generally smoother and whiter above.


Superior. The skirt is an important identification tool as the top has fine grooves or striations running from the stem outwards.


Young Blushers have an obvious volva but as the mushroom matures the bottom of the stem is bulbous rather than being marginate.


White but ‘blushing’ pink to red when bruised or exposed to air.


Mixed woodland.

Possible Confusion

Can be confused with the toxic Panthercap (Amanita pantherina), pictured. The main difference is that the Blusher has lines or striations on its skirt running from the stem out, the Panthercap skirt is smooth. Other differences are the Blusher has a lighter cap, the scales on the cap are off-white to grey rather than white, the Blusher stem is bulbous at the bottom the Panthercap growing from a volval sack and has a rim or ‘gutter’ at the top of the volva (marginate) and finally, the Blusher ‘blushes’ red when damaged or exposed to air.
The Grey Spotted Amanita (Amanita excelsa), generally has a darker cap but is very similar looking but this should not be a problem as it is edible.
Care should be taken when identifying Amanitas.

Spore Print

White. Ovoid.

Taste / Smell

Faint then becoming slightly acrid when fresh, tasty when cooked. Must be well cooked before eating as it contains a toxin that is destroyed when heated.


Very common.


8 comments for The Blusher

  1. Michael says:

    Mushrooms 🍄 have always been a dangerous mystery to me in a practical and spiritual way.

  2. Olia Stachnyk says:

    Thanks. When I was in Ukraine, 2017, they had an excellent crop of mushrooms. In 2019 they had none. Apparently they need a good rainy season. MY cousins always knew which ones to pick.

  3. Olia Stachnyk says:

    Thanks. When I was in Ukraine, 2017, they had an excellent crop of mushrooms. In 2019 they had none. Apparently they need a good rainy season. MY cousins always knew which ones to pick. I love mushrooms in every form, and just avoid the dangerous forms, by their appearance and name.

  4. Amelia says:

    Does this mushroom emerge with a baby pink / blush colour? We came across lots of them at the Wotton estate in Surrey, 2-3 weeks ago. They were just emerging it seemed, a lot of them almost spherical still. They had a vulva and a veil covering their gills which were white. The ones that were partially open had white scales on the cap as well as the ridged skirt. But what was striking was the beautiful pink colour on the cap and a paler wash on the stem as well as the fact that each was really heavy, as heavy as a small to a medium apple I would say depending on the size. The colour was the colour you see on baby girl clothing a little paler perhaps, not the reddish tan in the photos here. They were beautiful to see in large numbers against the fallen leaves of beech and birch. I so wish I had taken some photos now.

    Do you have any ideas?

    1. Eric Biggane says:

      They sound like Blushers but without photos to ID, mushrooms from the Amanita family are not ones to forage for without being 100% certain you have Blushers.

      1. Amelia says:

        Thanks for getting back to me. Definitely didn’t consider eating them as I could tell they were amanitas but took a couple to id to at home. The pink colour didn’t seem to fit with any blusher photos I found so discarded them and then I thought of contacting you, unfortunately too late for photos. We came across 30-40 of these mushrooms on that day and all seemed very fresh and were the same colour.

        I enjoy your videos and really value the detail and attention you put in your descriptions.

  5. John Sherry says:

    I have found quite a lot of these in recent weeks…great kitchen mushrooms, some pretty big offerings. I always inspect them closely and make sure that they blush on cutting. I have found a couple of very smart similar specimens. Not sure if they are Grey Spotted Amanitas or possibly Panthercaps. They look really neat but show no hint of blushing, greyer tinge to the cap. You may be relieved to know that they have not gone into the pan. John

  6. Luke83 says:

    Found a huge Blusher today in Thetford Forest, cap was definitely between 15 and 20cm, left it there, hopefully more of them next season!

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