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The naming of Amanita phalloides



Pierre Bulliard (1752-1793)
Flora Parisiensis : Ou, Descriptions Et Figures Des Plantes Qui Croissent Aux Environs De Paris.
Paris : P.F. Didot, 1776-1783.

Farlow Library of Cryptogamic Botany

Plate 625 - Fungus phalloides Vaill.

Jean Baptiste Francois Bulliard, (1752-1793) [Pierre Bulliard] was born Aubepierre, France on 24 November 1752. He studied medicine in Langres, and in hospices in Clairvaux and Paris, where he set up his own practice. Bulliard began his botanical studies at the Abbey of Clairvaux and was a pupil of Jean Jacques Rousseau. He became one of the foremost French botanists of the eighteenth century.



Joseph Sturm (1771-1848)
Deutschlands Flora In Abbildungen Nach Der Natur Mit Beschreibungen
Nurnberg : Gedruckt auf kosten des verfassers, 1798-[1862]

Farlow Library of Cryptogamic Botany

Plate 35 - Amanita phalloides virescens Pers.

Jakob Sturm (1771-1848) was born in Nuremberg, Germany, the only son of engraver Johann Georg Sturm. He received only a modest formal education before entering his apprenticeship under his father, who trained him in the art of drawing and copperplate engraving.

Sturm is considered by some to be the most famous engraver of entomological and botanical publications in Germany at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century. Sturm's plates are very delicately drawn and depict the smallest details. They enjoyed a great popularity among naturalists. He deliberately chose a minute format in order to make knowledge of the German flora available by pictures to as many as possible and as cheaply as possible.



Flora Danica.
Icones Plantarum Sponte Nascentium In Regnis Daniæ Et Norvegiæ, In Ducatibus Slesvici Et Holsatiæ.
Hafniæ, typis [fratrum] C. [& A.] Philiberti, 1766 [i.e. 1761]-1883.

Farlow Library of Cryptogamic Botany

Hæfte 36, Plate 2143 - Agaricus phalloides Horn.
Hæfte 36, Plate 2145 - Agaricus phalloides Vaill. var.

In 1753 German botanist Georg Christian Oeder, then professor of botany at the Royal Botanical Institution, proposed the publication of a Flora Danica with folio-sized pictures of all wild plants in Denmark. The aim was to popularize botany and in that way enhance the knowledge of the useful and harmful characters of the various plants. The first part of the book was published in 1761 (ahead of time) and the last 113 years later in 1874. Oeder was fired as editor in 1772 and replaced by the zoologist O.F. Müller. Following him 11 different botanists were in charge of publishing Flora Danica.

The plates appeared in a hand-painted edition and a "cheap" plain one. The bulk of the work consists of 51 parts + 3 supplements, containing 3240 copper engraved plates.



Harald Othmar Lenz (1799-1870)
Die Nützlichen Und Schädlichen Schwämme, Nebst Einem Anhange Über Die Islandische Flechte.
2. Aufl.: Gotha, Becker, 1840

Farlow Library of Cryptogamic Botany

Taf 1, 1 - Agaricus phalloides



Harald Othmar Lenz (1799-1870)
Die Nützlichen Und Schädlichen Schwämme, Nebst Einem Anhange Über Die Islandische Flechte.
5. Aufl.: Gotha, Thienemann, 1874.

Farlow Library of Cryptogamic Botany

Taf 3, 15 - Knollenblatterpilz
Knollenblatterpilz = Amanita phalloides



J. B. (Jean Baptiste) Barla (1817-1896)
Les Champignons De La Province De Nice
Nice : Impr. Canis Frères, 1859.

Farlow Library of Cryptogamic Botany

Plate 4 - Agaricus phalloides Fries.

Barla was a well known French mycologist and the director of the Natural History Museum at Nice. Beginning in 1840 Barla casts thousands of wax models of mushrooms.



Rev. M. J. (Miles Joseph) Berkeley (1803-1889)
Outlines Of British Fungology
London, L. Reeve, 1860.

Farlow Library of Cryptogamic Botany

Plate 3, figure 1 - Agaricus phalloides

Miles Joseph was born at Biggin Hall on the 1st April, 1803. He became attached to natural history from an early period, and his scientific tendencies, both zoological and botanical, were kept alive and vigorous when at Christ's College, Cambridge. During a summer residence at Loch Lomond in 1823, and at Oban in 1824, he made considerable collections of specimens of the lower forms of animals and plants. At this time he made the acquaintance of Captain Carmichael, a cryptogamic botanist, whose association with the young student must have been of considerable advantage.

Mr. Berkeley was admitted deacon and curate of Stibbington, near Wansford, on December 1st, 1826, and here he was ordained priest on December 23rd, 1827. During this time he made a considerable number of drawings of fungi and began to publish his numerous cryptogamic publications.

In 1879 he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society, and shortly after presented his extensive collection of fungi, amounting to upwards of 10,000 species, to Kew. It has been estimated that it contains 4,866 type specimens named by himself, and that Mr. Berkeley must have named in all nearly 6,000 species.



M. C. (Mordecai Cubitt) Cooke (1825-1914)
Handbook Of British Fungi, With Full Descriptions Of All The Species
London, New York, Macmillan and co., 1871.

Farlow Library of Cryptogamic Botany

Plate 2 - Amanita phalloides note at bottom of plate written by Farlow.

Mordecai Cubitt Cooke (1825-1914) was a British mycologist and phycologist at the India Museum 1861-1880 and Kew 1880-1892. Important studies in Australia and Great Britain. wrote and illustrated natural history books and journals. Cooke sold his popular magazine 'Science Gossip' in order to produce the more scientific publication 'Grevillea'. He also wrote the popular, early account of psychopharmacology the 'Seven Sisters of Sleep' in 1860.

Quelques Rectifications et Observations Critiques sur les "Illustrations of British Fungi" de Cooke by Emile Boudier published in the Transactions of the British Mycological Society, 1906



circa. 1890s
Joseph Bridgham (1845-1915)
unpuplished watercolor and pen & ink drawing

Farlow Archives of Cryptogamic Botany

Watercolor - incorrectly identified as Amanita phalloides pale form but probably Amanita mappa
Pen & Ink - identified as Amanita phalloides

Joseph Bridgham achieved recognition in the scientific world as an entomologist and a nature artist. Much of Bridgham's work was commissioned by the United States government. In addition Bridgham worked for colleges and institutions throughout the United States as well as other countries. He worked with Professor William Farlow from 1889-1899 on the fungi of North America. During this period he also produced a set of illustrations of North America flowers for Columbia College in New York.



Thomas Taylor (1820-1910)
Student's Hand-Book Of Mushrooms Of America Edible And Poisonous
Washington, A. R. Taylor, 1897-98

Farlow Library of Cryptogamic Botany

Plate XV, figure 8 - (Amanita) phalloides Fries.

Thomas Taylor is credited with the introduction of plant pathology into federal agricultural research.

Born in Pertshire, Scotland, Taylor was interested and educated in a wide variety of subjects. He studied physics and chemistry at Glasgow University, art and drawing at the British School of design, and medicine at Georgetown University. His background in botany was largely self-taught.

Taylor was appointed to be the first Microscopist to the United States Department of Agriculture in 1871. There he was responsible for the first USDA publications on microscopic plant pathogens. One of Taylor's particular interests included pathogenic fungi. He published several descriptions of edible and poisonous mushrooms, with recipes. His Handbook of Edible and Poisonous Mushrooms was published in 1897.

Taylor was not particularly popular with his colleagues, and much of his work was disregarded due to his informal training in botany. Though his work in phytopathology was criticized for being small in scale, Taylor pursued his interests earnestly.



Lizzie C. Allen
unpuplished watercolor

Farlow Archives of Cryptogamic Botany

Plate identified as A. phalloides but probably not (original watercolor from Farlow Archives)



William A. Murrill (1869-1957)
Edible and Poisonous Mushrooms
New York, The author, 1916.

Farlow Library of Cryptogamic Botany

Figure 32 - Venenarius phalloides (Amanita phalloides).

William Alphonso Murrill was a mycologist, taxonomist, writer, and authority on the fleshy fungi (Basidiomycetes). He collected over 70,000 specimens of fungi in North and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Using the American Code of nomenclature Murrill identified and described many new genera and species and made nomenclatural revisions of existing taxa that were variously criticized and praised by American mycologists.

Murrill published over five hundred scientific articles on a wide range of botanical subjects. Murrill founded and served as editor of Mycologia (1909-1924) and the Journal of the NYBG (1906-1908), and was a contributor to North American Flora. In 1924 he retired both from the Garden and from professional life altogether. During the 1930's he became associated with the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he resumed mycological study and publication until his death in 1957.



Eliza B. Blackford (1857-1935)
unpuplished watercolor

Farlow Archives of Cryptogamic Botany

Plate identified as A. phalloides but probably not accurate.

Eliza B. Blackford* was born Eliza P. Larsh in Eaton, Ohio in 1847*. She was educated in the public schools there and married a classmate. Her husband became a minister and they moved to Boston where she began to study drawing and painting under the best teachers at the "Museum School". When she graduated, she had pupils of her own and was a substitute teacher at the school. Eventually she joined the staff of the Museum of Fine Arts where she stayed until her retirement in 1925. She travelled abroad and read French, German and Italian. She took a great interest in Botany, particularly, fungi. Besides her work at the Museum School, she was President of the Boston Mycological Club for several years and had four mushrooms named for her by Prof. Peck of NY. She also belonged to the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, the Boston Malacological (sp.) Society, the Copley Society, and the Ramblers Group of the Field and Forest Club. She died in January 1935 after a short illness, and left paintings and specimens to the Farlow Herbarium.


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The naming of Amanita phalloides


Amanita phalloides poisoning


The Death Cap in popular culture



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