One of the sample of Amanita phalloides, more commonly known as "death cap" mushroom found in downtown Victoria. Image: Island Health

A potentially fatal “death cap mushroom” that killed a three-year-old Victoria boy last year is beginning to return to Victoria, earlier than usual.

The death cap mushroom has been spotted growing

According to CBC, a couple stumbled on a cluster of deaths caps in the Uplands neighbourhood of Victoria on Sunday.

The fungi usually doesn’t start popping up until late August or early fall.

Last year, a three-year-old boy died after accidentally eating a death cap mushroom foraged in downtown Victoria. The youngster was foraging for wild mushrooms with his family.

It was the first recorded death in this province from a B.C. Death Cap mushroom.

The differences between poisonous and non-poisonous mushrooms can be very subtle, sometimes only seen microscopically.

They thrive in both urban and remote settings and are becoming more common in urban areas such as Victoria, Vancouver and other regions across the province.

While it doesn’t look like any popular edible species native to B.C., the Death Cap does resemble the paddy straw mushroom, an edible and popular mushroom that grows in Asia.

Symptoms of ingesting the toxic mushroom include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, low blood pressure, liver and kidney failure and possibly death. The symptoms generally appear between six and 24 hours after consumption.

If you suspect you’ve consumed a poisonous mushroom, call the BC Drug and Poison Information Centre at 1-800-567-8911 or call 911.