Amanita muscaria in the woods

Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria) is the quintessential English toadstool with its bright red colour and little white spots. The fleshy toadstool is actually the spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus and as it matures the white spots drop off and it flattens out. Fly agaric derives its name from the practice of using it to attract and poison flies, often broken up into milk or sprinkled with sugar. It is also toxic to humans.

Photo 1: Fly Agaric in the woods

Fly Agaric Mushroom 1 low res

Photo 2: Fly Agaric emerging

Fly Agaric Mushroom 5 mini low res

Photo 3: Fly Agaric mini

Fly Agaric Mushroom 3 mini low res1

Photo 4: Fly Agaric with bite

Fly Agaric Mushroom 2 bite low res

Photo 5: Fly Agaric needing a fairy

Fly Agaric Mushroom 6 mini low res


  • Are you familiar with the legends connecting Amanita muscaria with Father Christmas? Notice the beautiful red and white of the mushroom? Legend says, the shamans gathered these in late autumn, dried them under evergreen trees, and then distributed them to the people of the village in December for their winter rituals. This was quite a long time ago, but the symbolism and memory became interwoven with the celebration of winter solstice. By the way- the native reindeer of northern Europe seek them out and eat them, much like birds flock to ripe Pyracantha berries…

    Thank you for the wonderful photos, WG

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