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Agaricus: from Greek agarikon, a kind of fungus, from Agaria, a town in Sarmatia
Fly agaric, Fliegenpilz
Schreter and E. Stapf 1828
Description of the substance
Amanita muscaria -- The Fly Agaric -- is one of the oldest classifications of fungi known. It has consistently appeared in all the naturalistic fields throughout history. Linnaeus identified it as Agaricus muscarius and originally introduced it into the genus.
The generic name, coined by Persoon, derives from the Greek amanitai, means "fungi without any details" (or from Amanos, a mountain place between Cicilia and Syria). The popular names of the fungus: Fliegenpilz or Fliegenschwamm in German; Mukhomor in Russian; Amanite tue-Mouche in French, and The FIy Agaric in English.
The typus of the species has a cap of between 5-25 cm. It is at first globe-shaped (in the embryonic stage it is bred from the cloth of the universal veil in typical egg-shape that is characteristic of the genus Amanita) It retains this shape more completely until reaching an applanate or lightly depressed area around the center form, with the margin more or less streaked. The skin of the cap is peelable, bright red or leaning to orange (sometimes with yellow colors, especially near the margin). It is shiny and viscous when moist, strewn with white (or whitish) warts (sometimes absent in mature specimens because of washing away). The flesh is white into the cap and stripe, but yellow or yellowish in the stripe just under the cuticle, having no special taste or smell to humans. After drying it puts on a darker color (from dark cream to pale brown) and an acrid, nauseating taste. The stalk is white, cylindrical and discontinuous (easily discemable from the cap), with a bulbous base and a volva typically fragmented in warts arranged in a concentric circle; white (to whitish), broad and membranaceous, in a more or less streaked ring. The spore print is white, with the spore 9-11 X 6-9 microns, elliptical-ovate, smooth and not amyloid.
Amanita muscaria is a typical species of the septentrional latitudes. At lesser latitudes it is present particularly in the mountain areas. It is broadly spread throughout Europe, North (in a different form) and Central America, North Africa, Asia and Australia. The Amanita has a preference for acidic soil, and a condition for sprouting includes the presence of arboreal species such as Pine, Fir or, infrequently, Larch and other trees. This inter-plant bond comes from the mycorrhizic relation (a commensalistic symbiosis shared with many other species of fungi. This is very important, among other things, for the ecology) between trees and fungi.