9 responses to “Amanita muscaria”

  1. Patricia

    I live on an island in the St Lawrence Seaway and my neighbour has puff balls on his lawn, the only one I know of on the island. Where can I learn about puff balls.

  2. Matt

    I’m glad to see you put a mushroom photo on the site. I spend dozens of hours in the woods each fall photographing mushrooms, but I think people wonder what I’m doing grubbing around in the duff with camera. When I show them the photos on the camera’s monitor, they are surprised at the variety and beauty my subjects.

  3. Matt

    Hi Patricia
    I would see if you can get your hands on a copy of David Arora’s “Mushrooms Demystified.” It’s a large book- so it’s not a good field guide, but it has a very good sampling of puffball species. His text is geared more towards the west coast, but he will mention similar eastern species. The writing style is lively and witty, and it makes for a thoroughly enjoyable read.
    A field guide (such as Audubon’s) might help you narrow down your puffballs before you consult Arora’s book, too. Just remember that no field guide or book will contain an exhaustive list of species. Mushrooms are a vexingly confusing lot- with enough species complexes, subspecies, varieties, etc., to keep the splitters employed for decades to come.
    You might also see if you have a Mycological Society where you are- they would be a good resource on local mushrooms.

  4. Daniel Mosquin

    Thanks Matt – now that it is turning to autumn, expect more fungi, moss and lichen photographs.
    Just to add to your comments re: mushroom resources, there is also the excellent Tom Volk’s Fungi, by Dr. Tom Volk of the University of Wisconsin – Lacrosse.

  5. lance t. biechele

    Please be careful Patricia – contrary to popular
    thinking – NOT all puffballs are edible. A common species, Lycoperdon marginatum has caused
    many illnesses in the NE. Several large Calvatia
    puffballs are excellent so long as they are completely white on the inside – slice, dip in egg and Italian breadcrumbs and fry. Mushroom parmasian!
    By the way, Amanita muscaria has a wonderful history in Russian folklore. Try reading Wasson’s “Soma, Divine Mushroom of Immortality.”
    It is now out of print, but well worth the effort of finding it in your library.

  6. Penelope

    hi, today i picked a mushroom someone has suggested is an amanita…… i’ve just looked at your muscaria photo, and some one elses phalloides…….. do all amanitas have the ring around the stem? I took a picture of it, but i don’t know who to send it too.
    I am also curious about chantrelles. a friend told me that there is a similar gold mushroom — poisonous– and the way to tell the difference is to look and see if the gills branch near the rim , even if the mushroom is a perfect circle, it might be a chantrelle. can you refer me anywhere that i can get help identifying mushrooms? i have just moved to a small island which seems to have new and different mushrooms around every turn in every trail–

  7. Daniel Mosquin

    Penelope, it just so happens that we’ve recently started a fungus Q&A area on the garden’s discussion forums.

  8. lance biechele

    Hi Again,
    Penelope, the mushroom that often gets confused with the chantrelle is the “Jack-o’-lantern,”
    now called Omphalotus illudens [means deceiving!]
    This mushroom, when fresh, will glow in the dark, the gills are distinctively sharp – not
    blunted as in the chantrelle.
    Hope this helps,

  9. Angus

    This mushroom is not, when properly prepared, toxic. If it is sauteed in oil and eaten in moderation, it is actually quite good and puts a zip in your step. You may even start dancing. You can also dry it and swallow bits whole. This is the mushroom of the shamans/santa/jesus/etc… The proof is in the pudding. If you don’t believe me, just try a little and see how you feel…

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