The fruit body is a mushroom with a yellow, orange or reddish cap atop a white to yellowish stem. The cap, up to 5 cm in diameter, is initially hemispherical but flattens on expansion and, at maturity, is shallowly convex (or even flat) and often with marginal striations. The gills are white. The stem, up to 1 cm in diameter and 5 cm in length, is smooth and lacks the ring that is commonly found in species of Amanita.
A universal veil is present at the button stage. Veil remnants may stick to the cap but fairly often you see caps free of these and quite smooth. However, a remnant of the veil is always present around the bulbous base of the stem, as a closely-fitting cup (or volva). The margin of the volva is orange ring (as shown here: http://www.cpbr.gov.au/fungi/images-captions/amanita-xanthocephala-0015.html). The volval margin is commonly at or a little below ground level so, to see it, you may need to gently brush leaf litter aside.
Spore print: white.
On soil, singly or in groups in eucalypt grasslands, woodlands or forests.
This is an Australian endemic. The original description (as Agaricus xanthocephala) was published in 1845 and was based on a collection made in Western Australia.
Amanita xanthocephala is listed in the following regions:
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