Fly Amanita (poisonous). (Amanita muscaria, L.).
Fly Amanita (Poisonous)
Cap or Pileus - Orange red to pale yellow or almost white. The young plants are brighter, and fade from the margin inward as the plant matures. Floccose scales, the wrapper remains, are scattered on the cap. The margin is often striate. 3-6 inches broad.
Stem or Stipe - White or slightly tinged with yellow. Pithy or hollow. Base not broad and abrupt, but ovate, covered with the scaly margins of the wrapper. 4-6 inches long.
Veil and Ring or Annulus - The veil covers the gills of the young plant, and later is seen as a collar-like ring on the stem.
Gills or Lamella - White or slightly tinged with yellow. Various in length; short ones terminating in length with almost vertical abruptness.
Spores - White, broadly elliptical.
Flesh - White, tinged with yellow under the epidermis.
Habitat - Along roadsides, on borders of fields, in groves of coniferous trees. It prefers poor soil, gravelly or scanty. It grows singly, not in groups.
Time - June until freezing weather.
Young Plant - This is at first egg-like, then dumb-bell shaped. As the parts within expand, the wrapper breaks up into scales, so that the convex, unexpanded cap is densely covered with more or less concentric fragments of the wrapper, and the bulbous stem is covered with rings of fringy scales. As the stem expands, these scales are left on the bulbous base, while the fragments on the cap are more widely separated by the growth of the cap.
The fly amanita is a very conspicuous and handsome species. There are conflicting statements concerning the properties of this fungus; some claim that it is edible, and yet it is known to have caused much sickness and many deaths. It caused the death of the Czar Alexis of Russia, and of the Count de Vecchi in Washington. It is said that it is cooked and eaten by the Russians, and still it is on record that several French soldiers ate of it in Russia and became very ill.
The Siberians steep dried specimens of the fly amanita in whortleberry juice, and thus make a drink which produces an intoxication similar to that produced by the " haschisch " and "majoon" of the East.
Fungi with Gills
There is something about it particularly attractive to flies, and yet for them to sip its juices means death, as may be seen by the circle of dead flies lying on the ground under the shadow of its cap.
The chief poison of this fungus is an alkaloid called muscarine, which paralyzes the nerves controlling the action of the heart. Injections of atropine in doses of from one one-hundredth to one-fiftieth of a grain are employed as an antidote for this poison. In addition, the most powerful emetics are used.
Orange Amanita (Edible)
Cap or Pileus - Smooth, glabrous, and free from warts or scales. Red or orange, fading to yellow on the margin or all over the cap. Margin distinctly striate. When fully expanded, nearly flat. When moist, slightly sticky and viscid. Stem - Yellow. When young, fibrous or cottony within, later- hollow. Wrapper or Volva - White and membranous, loosely sheathing the base of the stem. Veil - Covers the gills of the young plant. Remains are seen on the stem only, where it hangs down like a white ruffle. Gills or Lamelke - Rounded at the stem end and not attached to the stem. Yellow, an exception to the rule that the colour of the gills in mature plants resembles the colour of the spores. Young Plant - When young, the cap and stem are contained in a wrapper not unlike a hen's egg in shape, size, and colour. As the cap and stem within develop, the wrapper ruptures in its upper part, the stem elongates, and the cap is carried up,
Cap striate, and free from warts.
Section of A. Caesarea.
(a) Smooth cap (c) Hollow stem (b) Free gills (r) Ruffle-like ring
Orange Amanita (Edible).
(Amanita Caesarea, Scop.)
Capdiam. 3-8 inches ; stem length, 3-8 inches
White-spored Series while the remains of the wrapper are left at the base of the stem, an open sac.
Flesh-White stained with yellow under the separable epidermis and next the line of attachment of the gills.
Taste-Mild and pleasant.
Habitat-Thin woods, preferably pine woods and sandy soil. Abundant in southern Europe, common in the Southern States, and occasionally found in New York and Massachusetts.
Time-July, August, September.
The Amanita Ccesarea is one of the handsomest species. The Greeks and Romans esteemed it as an article of food. The names, "Food of the gods," "Cibus Deornm," "Imperial mush-room," "Caesar's mushroom," and "Kaiserling," suggest the esteem in which it was held.
Amanita Caesarea (Edible)
Amanita muscaria (Poisonous)
Amanita Frostiana (Poisonous)
Cap or Pilcus - Bright orange or, rarely, paler yellow. Smooth.
Cap or Pilcus - Orange or yellow, adorned with flocculent warts consisting of patches of the ruptured volva.
Cap or Pileus - Similar to A. muscaria, but much smaller.
Volvo, - Persistent at the base of the stem, in the form of a cup; loose and white.
Volva - No cup. Base of the stem bulbous and scaly.
Volva - No cup. Base of stem not scaly; only slightly margined by the remains of the wrapper.
Stem - Pale yellow.
Stem - White.
Stem - White or yellow.
Gills - Pale yellow, free from stem.
Gills - White, rarely slightly yellow tinted.
Gills - Free from stem.
If the cup of a Yellow Amanita is present, the plant is safe! If the cup is absent, it is poisonous!!
Strangled Amanitopsis (Edible).
(Amanitopsis strangulata, Fr., Roze) Cap greyish brown; wrapper fragments dark brown. See Genus, p. 53