Toxic mushrooms thrive in Oak Bay

Parks staff pluck 1,000 death caps from public spaces

Toxic mushrooms thrive on Oak Bay boulevards.

Parks removed about 1,000 of the potentially deadly “death cap” mushrooms since they first popped up in July this year. They’ve grown in Oak Bay since 1998.

“This is the first year we’ve really found them in numbers, like we have this year,” said Chris Hyde-Lay, Manager of Parks Services for Oak Bay. “The numbers are up considerably from what we remember, but that could partly be because we started to go and look for them.”

The mushrooms, first documented in Oak Bay in 1998, which usually grow in urban areas in Victoria and were first introduced on the root systems of non-native trees, tend to spring up around fall following the first set of rains. The fungus showed up early this summer, attributed to regular irrigation.

“If you just leave them alone they’re harmless, but some people may mistake them (for other mushrooms),” Hyde-Lay said. “It’s a cardinal rule with most mushroom pickers that you know what you’re picking.”

The death cap mushroom — or Amanita phalloide — attacks the liver, kidney and other organs and causes nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, dizziness, and liver and kidney failure. In October last year, a three-year-old Victoria boy died after eating the same kind of mushroom. It was the first recorded death from a death cap mushroom in the province.

Experts say residents should avoid the fungus, which looks similar to a puffball mushroom when first pushing through the ground.

“Use caution, know what you’re doing, the municipality knows where they are in the neighbourhood and we’re trying to keep populations down,” Hyde-Lay said.


 

@OakBayNews
cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Questions remain following Friday crash

Questions remain following Friday’s dramatic crash on Sooke Road. The three-vehicle incident… Continue reading

Final push to fund new ultrasounds at Victoria hospitals

Victoria Hospitals Foundation’s Beneath the Surface campaign nears goal of $500,000

VIDEO: Surveillance camera catches Sooke Rd crash

New details emerge into crash that sent three people to hospital

Shovels in the ground for Sooke library by 2019?

New timelines announced for new library construction

Big Brothers Big Sisters seek mentors for kids who need a guiding light

September marks National Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada Month

B.C. RCMP turn to Const. Scarecrow to shock speeders into slowing down

New addition will watch over drivers from a Coquitlam median for first-of-its-kind pilot in Canada

B.C. home to 1/3 of Canada’s overdose deaths in first 3 months of the year

There were 1,036 overdose deaths in the first three months of the year, with 94 per cent accidental

B.C. candidate moves from hospice care to council race

He beat terminal cancer twice and entered hospice when he decided to run for council.

Canadian tobacco exec pushes back against vaping health concerns

A warning from Interior Health about the unknown health risks of vaping is getting a partial rebuke

Ministry of Agriculture commits $300,000 to help B.C. farmers obtain land

B.C. Land Matching Program supports access to affordable farmland for young farmers

Canadian air force short 275 pilots

Attrition outpaces recruitment and training claims Air Force

Teacher suspended after physically shushing, saying ‘shut up’ to student

Grade 5 student reported feeling ‘confused and a little scared’

A B.C. society helps to reforest Crown land after wildfires

Forest Enhancement Society of BC focuses on wildfire mitigation and the reforestation

B.C. marijuana workers may face U.S. border scrutiny

Cannabis still illegal federally south of the border

Most Read