Amanita muscaria   Fly Agaric

Amanita muscaria Ireland Amanita muscaria in my garden

This fungus appears every autumn in one part of my garden in north Cheshire under some trees. The LHS one found in Ireland was the best I've ever seen with a richer red colour than the local ones here in Cheshire which tend to have a pinker hue. A fly agaric with a fly on it too - what more could you want?

Amanita muscaria preferred habitats include Birch woodland which I didn't know when many years ago I spread the spores from a ripe fungus in my garden under two Birch trees. It may be coincidence of course but ever since that year we've had up to twenty fruiting bodies appear in October and November. What is interesting when you can observe these fungi regularly is that almost as soon as they emerge the birds start pecking the caps. It is rare that one gets to the RHS stage above without lumps missing.

This is an intoxicating mushroom which could do harm to someone with a heart condition if ingested. It is said that the men of some Siberian tribes drank a potion of this mushroom mixed with Vaccinium uliginosum (Bog Bilberry) boiled together in water or milk. Hallucinations happen after about 30 minutes but the really good bit is that the active ingredients aren't metabolised so you can drink your own urine for a further fix.

Well you can if you want to.....

Amanita muscaria

Amanita muscaria Fly Agaric

My Garden, Cheshire 9th October 2005

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Amanita muscaria Fly Agaric

LHS Silent Valley, Ireland 21st September 2001 RHS My Garden, Cheshire 9th October 2005

Added on 29th September 2004, updated 24th June 2008, updated 19th Nov 2014, updated 20th Nov 2014

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