A beautiful and photogenic mushroom that it is considered toxic but not deadly.
|Common Names||Fly Agaric (EN), Amanita'r Gwybed (CY), Muchomor Czerwony (PL), Légyölő Galóca (HU)|
|Scientific Name||Amanita muscaria|
|Average Mushroom height (CM)||20|
|Average Cap width (CM)||25|
Hemispherical at first when it can sometimes be more orangey than red, then opening flat with a bright red cap covered in white to yellow scales which are the remains of the volvic sack. The scales can be washed off during rain to leave a smooth red cap.
Appearing from a volva (a bulbous sack like structure) the stem is white with shaggy remains of the volva sticking to it, it also has a skirt higher up the stem.
Has a bulbous volva with shaggy rings of scales around it rather than any guttering or sac like structure.
The Blusher (Amanita rubescens), pictured, – where damaged shows pink red blushing, has a striated ring and no striations on the margin of cap. While toxic raw it’s edible when cooked.
The Grey Spotted Amanita (Amanita excelsa) – close relative of the Blusher, and fairly similar to it, without blushing and usually greyer colours. Although often not considered toxic it is not recommended.
The Panthercap (Amanita pantherina) – very closely related to the Fly Agaric with a darker brown cap. It contains exactly the same toxins as the Fly Agaric, but in more variable and usually higher concentrations.
The Jewelled Amanita (Amanita gemmata) – also closely related to the Fly Agaric and Panthercap, it could pass as a yellowish Fly Agaric (yellow forms of Fly Agaric exist). It might contain the same toxins as the other two but we couldn’t find enough reliable information. Like the Panthercap some books report it as very poisonous, it is wiser to avoid it.
White. Ellipsoid. You should scrape your spores into a small pile to get an accurate spore colour.
Taste / Smell
The common name of this mushroom comes from the medieval practice of breaking up the caps and leaving them in milk to stupefy flies. This mushroom also has hallucinogenic properties which the Lapps have used traditionally in ceremonies and even to round up reindeer who seem to love them.
Considered very toxic in most modern field guides, and inclusively in our Wild Food UK guide and video, however in a distant past it was frequently consumed in parts of Europe, Asia and North America after preparation. Scientific studies show that there are methods to efficiently remove the toxins and render it safe for consumption, which explains its use in the past. This is something we weren’t aware of until recently and doesn’t seem to be common knowledge among modern foragers.
I have seen some of these at Owlbeech Woods in Horsham West Sussex. We have been cutting down Silver Birch trees and we came across these!
I came across some in mixed woodland this August bank holiday in Wasdale (Lake District).
Interestingly in regard to the previous post I grew up in Horsham where Owlbeech woods were my childhood playground….small world indeed!!!
Came back from holiday to find a dozen of these in my urban back garden in Mansfield, Notts.
Seem to be plenty in Abbots Wood East Sussex
I have these in my garden in Worth, West Sussex. Some are huge. Should I be concerned about picking them up with my fingers?
Hi JubilleeJane, no mushrooms in the UK can harm you by just touching them although it is always a good idea to thoroughly clean your hands after doing so.
Strange indeed – I was wanting to identify some mushrooms I had seen in Owlbeech woods in Horsham this weekend and came across this site – with these comments!
The ones I saw on the top heath were huge!
Biborough Ridge hosts ‘a lot’ of these. I have a few growing besides my driveway (Unless they are heavily injured ‘Blushers’). They really provide a fairytale vibe.
On an episode of BBCs QI they said that there is no evidence of a single death due to the consumption of this fungi (fly agaric). But they don’t get everything right.
Picked one of these yesterday and broke it up into a dish of milk. I have a strange and infuriating problem with flies being attracted to my TV, so I’m interested to see if this works!
Spotted a couple of these the past few days at the Arboretum at Burrator Reservoir in Devon. Brilliant to see!
Found a group of very large specimens last night in the woods. Very pretty.
My mum has many down the bottom of her 300ft garden. Thank you for the information.
Lots of these at snipe dales Lincs today 1st time ever seen these mushrooms on walks must have been totally blind before discovering some ink caps last week , but found lots of other kinds too magical day out enjoying the walks and finding musrooms
We have just three growing on the green area below Beech but not woodland. Beautiful to see them. We are in the East Midlands.
We saw many today – Whitmoor Common, Guildford.
I had one few years ago in Aylesbury ,met up with a couple of mates one Sunday lunchtime had a nice pasta meal and one each of these aka the 4th photo at the top.
Anyway 45 mins later my stomach got rid of the its entire contents and the story begins…….
I found 3 and they were more maroon than red.
What time of year are you more likely to find these as I was looking in the woods around silver birches but couldn’t find any
They grow anytime from September to early November in the UK.
I saw a few in a birch forest today! They were all very small and eaten though… Should i be finding so many eaten ones?
Slugs love Fly Agarics.
Aqui no Brasil,na província de Santa Catarina,tem muitos deles nas florestas de pinheiros.
We were on Brownsdown beach near Lee on Solent today and saw lots of these growing up through shingle. Completely unexpected and unusual by the sound of things!