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Amanita muscaria.   Click a photo to enlarge it.   back to list

synonyms: Amanite tue-mouches, Fausse Oronge, Fly Agaric, Légyölő galóca, Roter Fliegenpilz
Amanita muscaria 4 Mushroom
Ref No: 6988
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Amanita muscaria 5 Mushroom
Ref No: 6989
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Amanita muscaria 6 Mushroom
Ref No: 6990
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Amanita muscaria Orange form Mushroom
Ref No: 6992
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Amanita muscaria Mushroom
Ref No: 7018
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Amanita muscaria3 field Mushroom
Ref No: 7019
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Amanita muscaria7.jpg Mushroom
Ref No: 9764
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Amanita muscaria 12 Mushroom
Ref No: 19758
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Amanita muscaria 23 Mushroom
Ref No: 20346
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Amanita muscaria 25 Mushroom
Ref No: 20348
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Amanita muscaria 26 Mushroom
Ref No: 20349
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location: North America, Europe
edibility: Deadly
fungus colour: Red or redish or pink
normal size: 5-15cm
cap type: Convex to shield shaped
stem type: Ring on stem, Volva on stem
spore colour: White, cream or yellowish
habitat: Grows in woods, Grows on the ground

Amanita muscaria (L. ex Fr.) Hooker, Fly Agaric, Amanite tue-mouches, Fausse Oronge, Roter Fliegenpilz, Agarico Moscario, Tignosa Dorata, Ovolaccio, Vliegenzwam, Légyölő galóca. Cap 8–20cm across, globose or hemispherical at first then flattening, bright scarlet covered with distinctive white pyramidal warts which may be washed off by rain leaving the cap almost smooth and the colour fades. Stem 80–180×10–20mm, white, often covered in shaggy volval remnants as is the bulbous base, the white membranous ring attached to the stem apex sometimes becoming flushed yellow from the pigment washed off the cap. Flesh white, tinged red or yellow below the cap cuticle, Taste pleasant, smell faint. Gills free, white. Spore print white. Spores broadly ovate, nonamyloid, 9.5–10.5×7–8µ. Habitat usually with birch trees, Season late summer to late autumn. Common. Deadly poisonous. It contains many different toxins see below. Distribution, America and Europe.

This is one of the easiest species to recognize and describe, and consequently its properties have been well documented for centuries. The common name Fly Agaric comes from the practice of breaking the cap into platefuls of milk, used since medieval times to stupefy flies. It is a strong hallucinogen and intoxicant and was used as such by the Lapps. In such cases the cap is dried and swallowed without chewing. The symptoms begin twenty minutes to two hours after ingestion. The central nervous system is affected and the muscles of the intoxicated person start to pull and twitch convulsively, followed by dizzines and a death-like sleep. During this stage the mushrooms are often vomited but nevertheless the drunkenness and stupor continue. While in this state of stupor, the person experiences vivid visions and on waking is usually filled with elation and is physically very active. This is due to the nerves being highly stimulated, the slightest effort of will producing exaggerated physical effects, e.g. the intoxicated person will make a gigantic leap to clear the smallest obstacle. The Lapps may have picked up the habit of eating the Fly Agaric through observing the effects of the fungus on reindeer, which are similarly affected. Indeed, they like it so much that all one has to do to round up a wandering herd is to scatter pieces of Fly Agaric on the ground. Another observation the Lapps made from the reindeer was that the intoxicating compounds in the fungus can be recycled by consuming the urine of an intoxicated person. The effects of consuming this species are exceedingly unpredictable; some people remain unaffected while others have similar, or different, symptoms to those above, and at least one death is attributed to A. muscaria. This unpredictability is due to the fungus containing different amounts of the toxins ibotenic acid and muscimol according to season, method of cooking and ingestion, as well as the subject’s state of mind. Ibotenic acid is mostly concentrated in the coloured skin of the cap. This very unstable compound rapidly degrades on drying to form muscimol which is five to ten times more potent. Traditionally, where A. muscaria is used as an inebriant, it is the dried cap which is taken. Ihave added a new image sent to me from Hungary by Dr. Barthó Loránd, many thanks. The pictures taken at night are from Orange in Australia and are growing without there being any trees! These amazing pictures were sent to me by Will Read.

Members' images and comments

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Bryce Meyer (United States) - 29 October 2013

Found in Bremerton, Washington. Late October.
Amanita muscaria 26
Ben Adams (United Kingdom) - 06 October 2013

Lovely specimin soht while out searching for Ceps in Crowthorne..
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David Newton (United Kingdom) - 16 September 2013

Photographed in the cemetary of Hedley Village in Northumberland.
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debbie viess (United States) - 13 September 2013

The muscaria from OZ may not be growing right up against a tree, but the thick layer of pine duff from which they are growing surely indicates a pine tree presence. Muscaria were introduced to the southern hemisphere on the roots of plantation pines. This is a typical habitat for them. They also are MR with eucalyptus in some areas. But somewhere, there's a tree and its roots, from which these mushrooms grow.
keith newell (United States) - 28 August 2013

25 August, 2013 -- Hillsborough, NC, USA -- full sun
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emily mertz (United States) - 17 August 2013

Found this in early August in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
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Libby Young (United States) - 31 July 2013

Found in the woods in the Adirondacks of NY, early fall of 2011
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Ryan Handeland (United States) - 29 July 2013

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Ryan Handeland (United States) - 29 July 2013

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Ryan Handeland (United States) - 29 July 2013

Grand Marais MN
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Zoran Tasovac (Canada) - 01 July 2013

Found near Ancaster, Ontario on 1st of July, 2013. It is usually big mushroom and apparently the Great Lakes region mainly has orange-yellow specimens.
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John MacGibbon (New Zealand) - 13 May 2013

Fly Agaric mushrooms at the golf course in Martinborough, New Zealand. From my blog: http://jmacg.com/2013/05/13/off-course-photography-substitute/
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Marjan Kustera (Yugoslavia) - 07 March 2013

Beautiful group find 11th November 2012. in Vranje district,Serbia. Mycological Society of Niš,Serbia
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Tudor Ioana (Romania) - 12 December 2012

Paul Covic si Ioana Tudor, Romania, 2012, Amanita muscaria
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Tudor Ioana (Romania) - 12 December 2012

Paul Covic si Ioana Tudor, Romania, Amanita muscaria, 2012
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Janis Hagel (United States) - 23 November 2012

Waldport, OR 11/22/12
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Steve Sheldon (United Kingdom) - 22 October 2012

Thought this was a good specimen!
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xavier oliver (United States) - 04 July 2012

the fly agric mushroom is my favorite.
Amanita muscaria 26
Sérgio Borralho (Portugal) - 30 November 2011

Azoia, Cabo Espichel, Portugal 27/11/2011
Amanita muscaria 26
Sérgio Borralho (Portugal) - 30 November 2011

Azoia, Cabo Espichel, Portugal 27/11/2011
Amanita muscaria 26
Jane Brown (United Kingdom) - 15 November 2011

Found in a sunny field boundary at the edge of mainly broadleaved woods with some scots pines. On the Quantock hills in Somerset.
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brian Hobbs (United States) - 12 November 2011

I saw this fun guy right off the path as i was walking through a small cluster of pine trees towards the beach. Ocean Park, WA
Amanita muscaria 26
Rahim Yalcintas (Turkey) - 01 November 2011

We found that in Yenice Village / Pýnarhisar / Kirklareli (Thrace region of Turkey) About 20 cm. of stem. Was very pretty and well seen.
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Mike Pintz (United States) - 30 September 2011

Growing under pine tree, Cleveland , Ohio 28Sept11
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Emily Sneddon (United Kingdom) - 14 September 2011

Spetember 2011 Petersfield, UK. Amazing colours.
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Emily Sneddon (United Kingdom) - 14 September 2011

Taken in woodland in Petersfield, UK. Stunning shape.
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Rachel Dyson (United Kingdom) - 14 September 2011

Found in Thetford forest 13 September 2011
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Dejan Stojanovic (Yugoslavia) - 25 July 2011

Mushroom vegetate in the wider Zaplanje, municipalities Gadžin Han city of Nis, Southern Serbia, SERBIA.
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Jo Priestnall (United Kingdom) - 27 June 2011

Oct 2007 New Forest
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Cory Pahl (Canada) - 07 November 2010

Growing on the roadside on Vancouver Island. I've read that the deadly dose is 20+ fresh caps taken at once and that they're edible if boiled properly. Dear Cory Do Not eat it it contains loads of toxins. Roger Phillips
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Darryl Christensen (United States) - 28 October 2010

This specimen and others were widely scattered under pines in Richmond County, VA in mid October. The formosa and alba varieties also occurred in the same pine woods at the same time.
Amanita muscaria 26
Ian Burnie (United Kingdom) - 25 October 2010

Found on a bankside by a stream on the Cragside Estate, Rothbury, UK October 2010. Very striking Mushroom.
Amanita muscaria 26
david milnes (United Kingdom) - 13 October 2010

Was taken back when I saw this earlier in parents garden - perfect shape!
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Kris Ann Lewis (United States) - 13 October 2010

This is a close up picture of the same mushroom. The next day it had opened up more and was about 5 inches in diameter. Bellingham, Washington
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Kris Ann Lewis (United States) - 13 October 2010

Thanks to a friend that found your website, I now know more about this mushroom that grew in a grassy area between my driveway and a naturally occuring pond. Bellingham, Washington
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Jane Gardner (United Kingdom) - 12 October 2010

I saw this mushroom at Bolam Lake, nr Belsay in Northumberland, UK.
Amanita muscaria 26
Mark Plevin (United Kingdom) - 06 October 2010

Seen at the edge of (primarily) pine forest, near Churchill. Somerset 06/10/10.
Amanita muscaria 26
Abby Bell (Canada) - 03 October 2010

These are growing under a Fir tree in our yard. Would they be Amanita Muscaria
Amanita muscaria 26
Richard Oakley (United Kingdom) - 25 September 2010

Richard Oakley (UK) - Epping Forest 24 September 2010
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andrew c (United Kingdom) - 20 September 2010

Amanita muscaria 26
Ashley Watson (United Kingdom) - 05 September 2010

September 4th 2010; Leicestershire, England
Amanita muscaria 26
francine conway (United Kingdom) - 01 September 2010

Newcastle, UK, August 2010
Amanita muscaria 26
Mirosław Wantoch-Rekowski (Poland) - 21 June 2010

11/09/2008 Lasy sosnowe.Kaszuby Poland
Amanita muscaria 26
Suzette Cavanaugh (United States) - 28 January 2010

Photo taken 1/15/10 at McNee Ranch State Park, Montara, California.
Amanita muscaria 26
gary king (United States) - 23 January 2010

I found these in Point Reyes CA
Amanita muscaria 26
John Lloyd (United Kingdom) - 18 January 2010

Photo taken 15/10/2006 Forest of Bowland - Lancashire - UK
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Adam Green (United Kingdom) - 16 November 2009

Sandringham uk - Nov 09
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Jon Bemrose (United Kingdom) - 30 September 2009

Fully Mature specimen, approx 200mm across, fully cupped and holding water, with minimal damage. North Yorkshire Richmond area UK. 26 September 2009.
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Mr Jackson (United States) - 22 September 2009

Fly Agaric in West Yorkshire. By David J Jackson
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david hamilton (United Kingdom) - 26 August 2009

a Fly Agaric button growing in a field in Peeblesshire within the Borders region of Scotland.
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Ben De'Giovanni (Finland) - 24 August 2009

Found 24.10 in the woods of Vanhakaupungilahti nature reserve, Helsinki, Finland. Also in vicinity cep and chanterelle.
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lee collins (United Kingdom) - 27 April 2009

Amanita muscaria
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Branislav Uzelac (Yugoslavia) - 17 March 2009

photo by Rastko Kolachek from Serbia
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nesko simic (United Kingdom) - 05 February 2009

berks
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Trevor Clayton (United States) - 22 December 2008

Olympic Peninsula, Washington
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Lorand Bartho (Hungary) - 01 November 2008

Similar in colour to the American variety var. formosa, but found in Hungary (amongst moss, under beech)
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Lorand Bartho (Hungary) - 31 October 2008

Flies seem to really like it. This one chose the cap cuticle to feeed on.
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Lorand Bartho (Hungary) - 31 October 2008

Amanita muscaria 26
Lorand Bartho (Hungary) - 31 October 2008

Although the substance muscarine has been isolated from A. muscaria, this mushroom usually contains only minute amounts of muscarine. However unusual, it may happen that symptoms of muscarine poisoning (running of saliva, abdominal cramps, etc.) also appear after the ingestion of A. muscaria.
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Lorand Bartho (Hungary) - 24 October 2008

"Stream"
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Lorand Bartho (Hungary) - 24 October 2008

Fairy ring
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