Fly Agaric - Amanita muscaria
Fruits Summer to Autumn
Grows in woodland with deciduous and coniferous trees
Can be found as individual fruits or groups
Cap orange to red
Bright white volval remnants on the cap
Cap starts off dome-shaped and flattens with width of 10 - 20cm
Sturdy white stem up to 25cm and and 1.5 - 2cm in diameter
Has a floppy ring with striations on its upper surface
Stem has a swollen base
Volval sack remnants at base of stem only visible in very young specimens
Volval sack remnants at stem look like scales in older specimens
Flesh is white
The crowded and free gills are white, yellowing with age
Spore print is white
Fly Agaric - Amanita muscaria
Poisonous mushroom - novice identification
Other common names: Fly Amanita
Scientific name meaning: Amanita originates from the Greek Amanitai, which is though to mean "of the Amanus", which is a range of mountains in Turkey. Muscaria is from the Latin Musca, meaning fly (insect)
Season - when will I find it? From Summer to Autumn
Habitat - where will I find it? Fly Agaric grows in association with deciduous and coniferous trees, especially Pine, Spruce, Oak and Birch
Description - what does it look like?
Growth: Fly Agaric is a mycorrhizal fungi growing in association with different trees. Fruits are often found individually, but can also be found in sometimes large groups
It begins growing in an egg-like sac called a volva, or universal veil
Cap: The caps of Fly Agaric range fare usually orange or red, there are also brown and white variants. They can reach between 10cm and 20cm, are domed at first and eventually flatten out. Sometimes they become concave
Bright white fragments of the veil/volva remain on the cap, though these can be washed away in heavy rain
Gills: The white gills are crowded and free. As the mushroom ages, the gills begin to yellow
Stem: Sturdy and white in colour, the stem can reach 10 to 25cm tall, and is 1.5-2cm wide. It has a large floppy stem ring, or skirt, which has striations on the upper surface. The ring is often ragged.
The base of the stem is swollen. In younger specimens the remains of the volval sack can be seen. As it ages, the sack remnants look more like scales
Spore colour: White
Possible lookalikes Could be confused with redder specimens of Blusher (Amanita rubescens). However, The Blusher's flesh bruises pink when damages, and its veil remnants are dirty grey rather than bright white.
Specimens whose veil remnants have washed away may be confused with some red Russula, but these do not have swollen bases or rings/skirts
Poisonous parts All parts of this mushroom are poisonous
Use in herbal medicine Has been used to treat skin diseases, joint diseases, fungal infections, fatigue, rheumatism, and lung diseases. Also believed to be an antihistamine. Currently being researched into its use in the treatment of cancer and dementia.
This mushroom is poisonous, do not consume
If you are suffering from any ailment or need medical advice, please see your General Practitioner
Hazards This mushroom is poisonous and can cause hallucinations and coma if consumed
Other uses Can be used as an insecticide. Broken up pieces in milk release ibotenic acid, which attracts and kills flies
Importance to other species Provides food for slugs
Always stay safe when foraging. You need to be 100% sure of your identification, 100% sure that your foraged item is edible, and 100% sure that you are not allergic to it (it is good practice to always try a small amount of any new food you are consuming). If in doubt, leave it out!