Three family members found out the hard way why the common name for the amanita phalloides is the "death cap mushroom."
The trio from Lodi nearly died after eating mushrooms they picked in the wild. All three are in intensive care at California Pacific Medical Center and are under close watch for liver damage that could lead to death.
"Eating wild mushrooms such as the death cap can result in severe and rapid liver failure, requiring liver transplantation or a lengthy hospitalization," Dr. Carrie Frenette, a liver specialist who is treating the patients, told the Chronicle.
Officials have not said yet where the family picked the fungi.
The mushrooms are among the world's most lethal, with officials warning that even experienced 'shroom gatherers can mistake the potentially deadly fungi for the edible varieties.
Death cap mushrooms are blamed for the death of one person last year, according to the state Poison Control System, and in January, a family of three survived after they ate the fungi cooked in spaghetti. That family had picked the wild mushrooms on Mount Tam.