Deadly death cap mushrooms sprouting in Greater Victoria

One year after a young child died in Victoria after eating a deadly death cap mushroom parks officials are on the lookout.  Despite a hot dry summer, the fatal fungi have been turning up in areas where sprinkler systems are in operation.

Brenda Callan is a mycologist with the Canadian Forest Service.  She says parks officials in Oak Bay have found quite a few since August:

"Well according to Oak Bay workers who've had crews out there collecting them, they tell me so far they've collected over a thousand mushrooms."

But Callan says they may also be on private properties that crews can't access. They could also be in other municipalities where non-native ornamental trees have been planted.

" And it grows in association with roots of trees. Until recently we've associated it with exotic tree species, or ornamental tree species such as linden, or beech or hornbeam -- all of which are planted in stately boulevards, especially in areas like Uplands,  and Victoria and Oak Bay, downtown as well. "

Various agencies have teamed up to post warning signs about the mushrooms in areas where the death caps may grow.  The signs are in other languages because Asian immigrants may pick them thinking they are an edible variety that grows in their home nation.

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