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Amanita muscaria


Common name: Fly agaric, Sacred mushroom
Spore Print: White
Habitat: The sacred mushroom is a mycorrhyzial species (which requires the roots of certain trees to grow on including pine, aspen, birch , spruce, fir, etc.)
Edibility: Toxic - Hallucinogenic!
Comments: Very few people know that Amanita muscaria is the Colorado state mushroom. This beautiful mushroom is also called the 'Fly Agaric' because of its early use as a fly poison. It is one of the most famous mushrooms in the world and the subject of myths and fairy tales. It's toxins cause bizarre psychological experiences that has made it a source of interest since prehistoric times. The primary toxins are Ibotenic acid and Muscimol. It occurs solitary or scattered to densely gregarious and there is nothing in Colorado that looks similar, although the small young mushroom can look very much like a puffball - so beware puffball hunters! It is esteemed by both maggots and mystics. Fatalities are rare, but it is undoubtedly dangerous in large or even moderate amounts. The effects vary from person to person, mushroom to mushroom, region to region and season to season so that there is no way to determine in advance what one's reaction will be. Too many people have had unpleasant experiences to recommend it. This mushroom smells very good to eat. In fact, it is one of the most common mushrooms involved in poisonings in Colorado. It tastes just like a store bought mushroom! (This means that you can't tell a good mushroom from a bad one by just tasting it.) Still want to try this mushroom? If you do, here's what your in for. (This is out of a book: Mushrooms Demystified by David Arora. I haven't experienced this!) Symptoms appear 30 minutes to 2 hours after ingestion. Nausea and vomiting are common, but the principal effects are on the central nervous system: confusion, mild euphoria, loss of muscular coordination, profuse sweating, chills, visual distortions, a feeling of greater strength, drowsiness, and sometimes hallucinations, delusions, and convulsions. (Some people mistake themselves as Christ!) Many people will fall asleep to awaken hours later with little or no memory of their experiences. Most people who try it do not wish to repeat the experience. This experience differs greatly from that of the common 'recreational' mushrooms (which contain a different active ingredient and, by the way, are illegal in the US!). After ingestion of the Fly Agaric, most people believe that they are going to die! The best medicine, in case of accidental or purposeful ingestion, is to assure them that they are going to be OK!

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Mushroom Identification