Sunday, March 11, 2012

AMANITA MUSCARIA MUSHROOM

Amanita muscaria is a beautiful mushroom growing in thin forests usually under birches, firs, and young pines. It may attain a height of 8—9 in. (20—23cm). The somewhat viscid, ovate, hemispheric, and finally almost flat cap measures 3—8 in. (8—20 cm) when mature. There are three varieties: one with a blood red cap with white warts found in the Old World and northwestern North America; a yellow or orange type with yellowish warts common in eastern and central North America; and a white variety that is found in Idaho. The cylindrical stem, which has a bulbous base, is white, ½—i in. (1—3 cm) thick, with a conspicuous cream-white ring covered basically with encircling scales. The white valve adheres to the base of the stem. The gills vary from white to cream color or even lemon yellow.

 This mushroom, perhaps man's oldest hallucinogen, has been identified with Soma of ancient India.

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