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Fly Agaric Amanita muscaria

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
am-ah-NEE-tah mus-KAR-ee-ah
This plant has high severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

This is a variable species with several color varieties recognized. The cherry-red form is not frequently found in North Carolina. Where it does grow, it is often found in groups in all types of woodlands. Its fruiting bodies may reach nearly 12 inches in diameter and 6-8 inches high.  

When they emerge they are covered with pointed white warts.  As the plant expands, warts become distributed and the red cap will show through.

The common name comes from these plants traditionally being used as an insecticide.  The caps were crushed and placed in a saucer of milk to attract flys.

The cap color is variable (red, salmon-red, orange, or yellow), covered with white or yellow "scales" or patches of tissue.  Its margin is striate. The close white gills are not attached to stalk.  The stalk is white to off-white with a somewhat bulbous base.  The thin annulus is white or with some yellow patches.  The stalk below the annulus has scales, often in concentric rings.  The spore print is white.

They are typically found in forests or other natural areas either singly, scattered, in dense groups or even in "fairy rings" in mixed hardwood-pine forests.  They can also appear in landscaped situations.

Cultivars / Varieties:
  • var. alba
    White cap
  • var. guessowii
    Bright yellow cap
  • var. lavivolvata
    Bright red cap
Tags:
#poisonous#mushroom#fairy rings#poisonous mushroom
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • var. alba
    White cap
  • var. guessowii
    Bright yellow cap
  • var. lavivolvata
    Bright red cap
Tags:
#poisonous#mushroom#fairy rings#poisonous mushroom
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Amanita
    Species:
    muscaria
    Family:
    Amanitaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    USA, NC
    Distribution:
    Throughout NC
    Edibility:
    NOT EDIBLE! (Poisonous)
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Mushroom
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Poisonous
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Spreading
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Soil Drainage:
    Frequent Standing Water
    Moist
    Occasional Flooding
    Occasionally Wet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11a, 11b, 12a, 12b, 13a, 13b
  • Leaves:
    Hairs Present:
    No
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Slope/Bank
    Woodland
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Children
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    High
    Poison Symptoms:
    HIGHLY TOXIC, MAY BE FATAL IF EATEN! Poisonous parts: Mushroom. Poisonous if ingested. Symptoms may include: Patient appears to be intoxicated, hallucinations, drowsiness, vomiting, nausea, stomach pains, diarrhea, muscle spasms, hypotension, agitation; some symptoms may appear in a few minutes to several hours following ingestion; most symptoms are gone after 24 hours. The few deaths reported are in very young, old, or chronically ill individuals who were severely poisoned.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Unknown
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Bark
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Roots
    Seeds
    Stems