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Amanita muscaria   (Fly Amanita)
Family
Amanitaceae
Location
North America, Europe, Asia
Dimensions
Cap 8-10 cm diameter; stem 8-18 cm tall * 1-2 cm diameter
Edibility
Poisonous

Description
Amanita muscaria, commonly known as the fly agaric or fly amanita, is a medium to large, fleshy agaric, with a red cap, white patches, white gills, a ring, and a bulbous base. It grows scattered or in groups on poor and sandy soils and the fruiting bodies emerge from the soil looking like white eggs. The mushroom is poisonous and a fatal dose has been calculated as 15 caps.

Cap first round to hemispherical, and finally to plate-like and flat in mature specimens, often with a low, shallow depression on disk when fully expanded. Surface shiny; deep scarlet, fading to orange-red or orange-yellow in older specimens. Gills white, free or barely touching the stem, crowded. Stem white, robust, and has a slightly brittle, fibrous texture. At the base is a bulb that bears universal veil remnants in the form of two to four distinct rings or ruffs. Between the basal universal veil, remnants and gills are remnants of the partial veil (which covers the gills during development) in the form of a white ring. It can be quite wide and flaccid with age.

Similar species include Amanita caesarea and Amanita jacksonii. The white spots sometimes wash away during heavy rain and the mushrooms then may appear to be these species.

Amanita muscaria on the First Nature Web site.
Amanita muscaria var. flavivolvata on the MushroomExpert.Com Web site.




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