Mushrooms grow at the Highline Mushrooms farm, Canada's largest mushroom grower, in Leamington, Ontario, Canada, April 14, 2016. Reuters/Mark Blinch

A mushroom that can prove to be fatal if consumed has been found growing in Western Australia for the first time. People have been warned of its poisonous nature and have been advised not to consume it. The Health Department has issued a warning urging residents to not eat wild mushrooms from Great Southern and South West regions. The warning was issued after the toxic Marbled Death Cap mushroom in Denmark was discovered.

Andrew Robertson, deputy chief health officer, said that the mushrooms can cause death within 48 hours of consumption. Mortality rates are about 50 percent. The large Marbled Death Cap mushroom has a marbled brown, greenish or white cap. It has white gills and the stem’s base is surrounded by a cup-shaped sac.

Robertson added that after initial consumption of the mushrooms, gastro-intestinal problems develop within six to 24 hours. The symptoms may quickly progress to bleeding, liver injury, kidney damage and multiple organ failure.

“Anyone who becomes ill after eating mushrooms and has symptoms such as nausea, abdominal pain or diarrhoea should seek urgent medical advice, and if possible, bring samples of the whole mushroom for identification,” Robertson told

The extremely toxic mushroom is also known as Amanita marmorata and grows in forests in Denmark. It looks similar to those used in Chinese cooking. Without proper identification, wild mushrooms should not be consumed, even if they seem edible. It is very difficult to distinguish which ones are safe for consumption and which ones are toxic.

Commercially-sold mushrooms are absolutely safe for consumption. The problem lies with the wild varieties. Poisoning occurs when people gather wild mushrooms and unknowingly include toxic species. Anyone falling ill after consuming mushrooms should immediately seek medical help and bring the samples of the mushroom to the healthcare centre for identification.

If anyone accidentally consumes wild mushrooms and then feels sick, he/she must contact Poisons Information Centre 13 11 26 for advice.