Amanita Muscaria

$165.00

Buy dried Amanita Muscaria mushroom caps in our shop. We guarantee discretion, good value and the best experience. We provide free worldwide shipping.

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Description

Amanita Muscaria For Sale

Amanita Muscaria For Sale.

Usually recurring in the same place for several years, Amanita muscaria is found frequently throughout the northern hemisphere, including Britain and Ireland, mainland Europe, Asia, the USA and Canada.

When they first emerge from the leaf litter of the forest floor, the young fruitbodies are covered entirely in pointed white warts, as seen here. As the caps expand the red pellicle shows through until eventually the cap comprises mainly red skin with white warts distributed more or less evenly across its surface. Heavy rain or even contact with animals is sometimes sufficient to remove some or all of the white flakes from the cap of a Fly Agaric, so you may see some ‘bald’ specimens.

Amanita muscaria is an introduced species in New Zealand, Tasmania and Australia, where there are concerns that the Fly Agaric may be spreading at the expense of native fungal species.

Amanita muscaria

In the USA Amanita muscaria is found with the red coloration that occurs in Europe as well as an orange-yellow form, Amanita muscaria var. formosa (Pers.) Bertill., with a yellow-tinged stem and ring. (This form is seen very rarely in Britain).

The common name Fly Agaric is a reference to the tradition of using this mushroom as an insecticide. In some European countries caps of Amanita muscaria are crumbled up and placed in saucers of milk to attract house flies. The flies drink the milk, which contains ibotenic acid that not only attracts flies but also poisons them. (Ibotenic acid is soluble in water and hence in milk also, and so the ibotenic acid is dissolved from within the mushroom.) As the flies drink the milk they become drowsy, collapse and die (or perhap they simply drown in their spiked milk drink!). The specific epithet muscaria comes from the Latin word musca, meaning ‘a fly’.

When the first edition of Fascinated by Fungi, my book about the kingdom of fungi and its many facets, was nearing completion I had no difficulty at all in choosing the front cover picture: it just had to be a beautiful group of Fly Agarics. The same species has appeared on other book covers in the past, I know, but that didn’t deter me: my book is different and the group of Fly Agarics is very special too. (A photogenic group of the equally beautiful Porcelain Fungus adorns the cover of the latest edition.)

The common name Fly Agaric is a reference to the tradition of using this mushroom as an insecticide. In some European countries caps of Amanita muscaria are crumbled up and placed in saucers of milk to attract house flies. The flies drink the milk, which contains ibotenic acid that not only attracts flies but also poisons them. (Ibotenic acid is soluble in water and hence in milk also, and so the ibotenic acid is dissolved from within the mushroom.) As the flies drink the milk they become drowsy, collapse and die (or perhap they simply drown in their spiked milk drink!). The specific epithet muscaria comes from the Latin word musca, meaning ‘a fly’.

When the first edition of Fascinated by Fungi, my book about the kingdom of fungi and its many facets, was nearing completion I had no difficulty at all in choosing the front cover picture: it just had to be a beautiful group of Fly Agarics. The same species has appeared on other book covers in the past, I know, but that didn’t deter me: my book is different and the group of Fly Agarics is very special too. (A photogenic group of the equally beautiful Porcelain Fungus adorns the cover of the latest edition.)

Several varieties of Amanita muscaria have been described. Amanita muscaria var. alba is a rare white form of the Fly Agaric, while Amanita muscaria var. regalis is a brown (rather than red) form of that many authorities now treat as a separate species Amanita regalisAmanita muscaria var, formosa is familiar to people on North America; it has a yellow or orange-yellow cap with yellowish warts, and a yellowish stem.

No mushroom has gathered unto it more folklore and mythology than this white-spotted fairytale fungus. Many people who have never seen a Fly Agaric are under the illusion that it is a fictitious produce of a fertile or confused mind, and that it is simply pictured to intrigue children. If you believe in fairies, it’s not too big a leap to give credence to the existence of a red-and-white mushroom so exquisitely patterned; otherwise you may be excused from harbouring doubts about the existence of the Fly Agaric, at least until you have seen one while stone cold sober!

Psychoactive alkaloid content of Amanita muscaria

The Fly Agaric can contain the psychoactive chemical compounds muscimol and the c losely related ibotenic acid as well as muscazone and muscarine (but they may not always be in significant concentrations). These are not the same as the psychoactive chemicals associated with the Liberty Cap, Psilocybe semilanceata, which is the most common (in Britain) of the so-called Magic Mushrooms; that little grassland mushroom gets (gives!) its kicks from quite different psychoactive compounds: psilocybin and baeocystin. Nevertheless, some people do still insist on referring to the Fly Agaric as a magic mushroom.

The psychoactive compounds contained in Fly Agarics are also toxins, and that means that this is a poisonous mushroom, at least to some degree. Eating dried Fly Agarics can cause a range of symptoms ranging from drowsiness, nausea and sweating to distorted sight and sounds, euphoria and dizziness. These effects are very variable not only from person to person but also with the quantity consumed and the (equally variable) strength of the toxins in individual specimens of the Fly Agaric.

It is quite possible, although documentary evidence is not conclusive, that deaths may have been caused by using Amanita muscaria as a ‘recreational drug’. What is beyond dispute is the fact that the Fly Agaric has been known to cause severe and violent stomach upsets if it is eaten raw.

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