Nature Notes

November 8, 2008

Fly Agaric, Amanita muscaria var. guessowii

Filed under: Algonquin — Tags: — Harold Stiver @ 7:00 am
Fly Agaric, Amanita muscaria var. guessowii

Fly Agaric, Amanita muscaria var. guessowii

Fly Agaric, Amanita muscaria, is the typical colorful toadstool seen in children’s books. It has some interesting chemical properties as it is both a poison and a hallucinogen. The latter properties were said to give it religious significance to the Koryaks people of eastern Siberia. It should be emphasized that the North American variety doesn’t have the hallucinogen properties but certainly has the poisonous ones. Leave it alone.

This image was taken in Algonquin N.P., a great place to find interesting fungus.

Fly Agaric, Amanita muscaria var. guessowii


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  1. That’s not the good kind, by the way, thats one of the deadly kinds, so you might want to mention that, it could be usefull info.

    Comment by Zebrainsides — March 24, 2010 @ 10:44 am

  2. Perhaps that needs more emphasis. I have edited the post to be stronger on that aspect, and appreciate the suggestion.

    Cheers, Harold

    Comment by Harold — March 25, 2010 @ 11:50 pm

  3. 1. That IS very likely guessowii; but even var. guessowii can be confused with frostiana or flavoconia. Guessowii can grow to be just little guys (1-2 in.) or big healthy toadstools (7-10 in.). I wouldn’t suggest disagreeing unless you live near the variety, or have seen or eaten them (which I have both).
    2. The effects of North American Muscaria don’t seem to be as potent as the red variety, as popularized by countries like Siberia, but it is most certainly NOT poisonous, or rather nothing more to worry about than all your varieties of Muscaria.
    3. You can find just about every shape & colour of amanita in Algonquin, don’t go publishing an article about a potentially deadly mushroom unless you are SURE what kind it is.
    4. You seem to have a nice camera but a backwater understanding of fungi. Stick to your beautiful stills, and leave the theory to people who ACTUALLY know what they’re talking about. Mushrooms are not something to take guesses with.
    5. Cheers

    Comment by Joshua — June 19, 2010 @ 11:57 am

  4. I have had some experience with this fungi, and I’m fine with advising people to leave it be. You seem a bit confused on it. “NOT poisonous” and also “potentially deadly”????

    It is amusing that some anonymous internet denizen should suggest what type of “stills” I should stick to, thanks for a laugh.

    Comment by Harold — June 28, 2010 @ 11:08 pm

  5. I just wanted to add, that I have just finished preparing a nice batch of tea from amanita var. guessowii it is in fact not only refreshing and quite tasty. With some fresh ground mint leaves, I also threw in 2 grams dried and ground Salvia Leaves. This Mushroom is absolutely safe to eat if you learn your shit, learn to distinguish the bad mushrooms from the good ones. The death cap mushroom has a distinct brown ring on the top, as well as not being as brightly colored. I have been harvesting this variation of amanita for quite some time now.


    Comment by JOhn — September 19, 2010 @ 2:36 am

  6. salvia is da shit

    Comment by anne — September 22, 2010 @ 4:57 pm

  7. I have eaten all types of Amanita muscaria including the var. guessowii which seems to grow rampant in the adirondack region. I find them everywhere and I’m just visiting. when i did a mushroom camp with David Aurora he prized the Amanita muscaria not only for its hallucinogenic properties but also for their flavor. We tried over 20 edibles and the muscaria was in my top five for taste and flavor. What you can do to diffuse the muscimol is boil them for 7 min flush the liquid and boil for another 7 min. then prepare them as you would any other mushroom. I like to fry them up with a little garlic. But make sure to try them without, to get the very rich nutty flavor. It is a great mushroom, don’t tell anyone!
    all the best,

    Comment by Aleks Degtyarev — July 3, 2011 @ 2:24 pm

  8. Every employees individual is a greeter.

    Comment by — June 6, 2015 @ 11:39 pm

  9. What is meant by “american variety”?

    Comment by Anonymous — October 4, 2016 @ 2:19 pm

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