Saturday, 14 June 2014

Poisonous & Beautiful: Amanita muscaria

One of the most prettiest and poisonous mushroom is Amanita muscaria. It's best known by its other name "Fly Agaric".

The mushroom belongs to the Agaric family with their identity of colourful speckled caps. They look like the mushrooms of fairy tales and are often thought of as the natural seats for nature spirits and animals.

These mushrooms grow in woodlands and around circular fairy rings. They're also referred to as "magic mushrooms" by some and isn't grown because of it's fungal contamination that decays some tree roots, such as pines in particular. However due to the toxic nature of the mushroom, Fly Agaric has been a special ingrediant for shamanic rituals.

Eating them will cause stomach upset, vomiting, sweating and hallucinations. In some extreme cases, Fly Agaric has caused people to suffer seizures and induce a coma. The effects happen atleast thirty minutes later and follows by painful side effects, illness, sweating and vomiting that can last for days. Death from eating Fly Agaraic is rare but has happened but it's considered a flawed idea based upon old references, while the yellow mushrooms called "Death Caps" are responsible for fatalities.

Rain washes away Fly Agaric's bright spots. If done carefully, some of these mushrooms are also used in medicine and cooking.

More on this mushroom:
Fly Agaric - Woodland Trust

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