This mycorrhizal genus contains some of the most poisonous species of fungi found in the world. Great care is needed not to confuse these with any other edible species.
The distinguishing characters are white spore print, (usually) with pale gills free from the stem, and the presence of a universal veil that often creates a ring on the stem. The cap is normally dry and, in many cases, has warts or patches on it.
Some of New Zealand's Amanita's lack a ring and or a well-formed cup, which can make it difficult to identify. In recent years, a number of introduced species have been found in New Zealand.