The name "fly agaric" unites a large group of mushrooms with similar characteristics. Most of them are inedible and poisonous. If you eat a fly agaric, then poisoning or a hallucinogenic effect will occur. Some varieties of these mushrooms are considered edible, but you need to be able to distinguish them from dangerous representatives.
What a fly agaric looks like
All representatives of this group are large in size. The peduncle is central, in young specimens it is in a common veil. The cap is fleshy, often convex. Easily detachable from the leg. The color is varied: red, orange, white, green. Flakes or patches remain on the cap. The edges are smooth, ribbed.
The plates are located freely or grow to the stem. Their color is white or yellowish. The leg is straight, cylindrical, expanding towards the base. The pulp is white, changes color after cutting.
Amanita mushroom in the photo:
Fly agaric autotroph or heterotroph
By the type of nutrition, the fly agaric is a representative of heterotrophs. This includes living organisms that need ready-made organic matter. At the same time, mushrooms feed on dead and decaying tissues - wood and leaves. Unlike autotrophs, they are not able to independently process inorganic substances into organic matter. The former include algae and all terrestrial plants.
What animals eat fly agaric
Mushrooms serve as food for many forest dwellers. Of the animals, fly agarics are eaten by moose, deer, and squirrels. The pulp contains substances that destroy parasites. However, they do not have a harmful effect on animals. Dangerous toxins are removed from their body and do not enter the bloodstream.
It is also believed that fly agarics serve as an antiseptic for animals and help get rid of diseases. How many mushrooms should be eaten, they choose intuitively.
Why is the mushroom mushroom called "fly agaric"?
The name of the mushroom is due to the fact that it was often used in everyday life. On its basis, they received a means to combat flies. Initially, the name was applied only to the red species, but gradually spread to the entire genus.
Types of fly agarics with photos and descriptions
All types of fly agarics can be divided into edible and poisonous. The first group includes representatives who are allowed to be eaten. Inedible species are deadly to humans.
Edible fly agarics with photos and descriptions
Main edible species:
- Caesar mushroom. The hat is 6 to 20 cm in size, has an ovoid, hemispherical shape. Over time, it becomes prostrate and convex. The color is orange or red, gradually turning yellow. The leg is fleshy, strong, clavate. The pulp is dense, whitish, with a pleasant taste and smell. The fruiting period is from early summer to October. Found in light deciduous forests next to birch, beech, hazel. It is distinguished from poisonous species by its yellow ring and plates.
Attention! In the Far East, there is another edible variety - caesarean. It is distinguished from poisonous representatives by the same characteristics as the Caesar mushroom.
- Ovoid. A conditionally edible species that is eaten. Differs in a solid white or gray hat. It has an ovoid shape, gradually becoming flatter. Flakes are located along the edges. The leg is thickened at the base, with a large ring at the top. Prefers calcareous soils and beech forests. When collecting, it is important not to confuse the ovoid fly agaric with the pale toadstool. If in doubt, you should refuse to collect these mushrooms.
- Gray pink. The hat is up to 15 cm in size, hemispherical or convex. In older specimens, it becomes flat. The color is gray-pink, with a reddish or brown undertone. The leg is up to 10 cm long, no more than 3 cm in diameter, cylindrical. There are thickenings at the base. The pulp is white, fleshy, with a slight aftertaste. It turns pink when damaged. The collection period is from early summer to late autumn. Boil the pulp before use.
- The float is yellow-brown. A mushroom with a smooth, slimy cap ranging in size from 4 to 10 cm. The color is brown, with a golden or orange undertone. The shape of the cap is convex or flat. The leg is hollow, fragile, up to 15 cm high. It is found in damp places, in swamps, in mixed and coniferous forests. They are eaten only after boiling, because due to heat treatment, harmful toxins are released from the pulp. Good taste.
Important! You can distinguish a float from poisonous fly agarics by the absence of a ring on the leg.
The most poisonous fly agarics
The following types of fly agaric are most dangerous to humans:
- Red. According to the photo and description, the red fly agaric has a spherical cap. Over time, it becomes plano-convex. The color is red or orange, there are numerous flakes on the surface, which are often washed off by rain. Found under spruce and birch, prefers a temperate climate. The growth period is from August to October. The mushroom is poisonous, when it enters the body, it has a psychotropic effect.
- Death cap. One of the most dangerous mushrooms, deadly poisonous to humans. Signs of poisoning appear after 8 hours, sometimes after 2 days. The pale grebe is distinguished by a bell-shaped or convex cap up to 10 cm in size. The color is white, greenish, yellow or beige. The leg is long, up to 12 cm, up to 2 cm in diameter. The pale grebe grows in deciduous and coniferous forests.
- Panther. It grows in mixed and coniferous areas in sandy soil. Fruiting bodies appear from July to mid-autumn. The hat is up to 12 cm in size, spherical or outstretched. There is a tubercle in the center, the edges are ribbed. The color is gray-brown, white flakes are located on the surface. The variety is deadly poisonous, it is one of the most dangerous types of mushrooms. Symptoms of poisoning are observed 20 minutes after ingestion.
- Amanita muscaria or spring toadstool. Grows in coniferous and mixed forests. Prefers warm regions of the temperate climatic zone. Fruiting bodies appear from June to August. The hat is from 4 to 10 cm in size, round in shape. The color of the whole mushroom is white. The leg is hollow, cylindrical, elongated. Spring grebe is poisonous, its use in food is not permissible.
- Smelly. A deadly poisonous variety, white or gray. The hat is 6 to 10 cm in size, at first it has a conical shape with a pointed apex. Gradually becomes convex. The skin is shiny, slimy. The leg is cylindrical, up to 15 cm high. The color of the cap is white, sometimes it has a pink tint. Grows from June to October in the temperate zone.
When fly agarics grow in the forest
Amanita muscaria begin to grow in August. The fruiting period lasts until October. On the territory of Russia, these mushrooms are ubiquitous. They prefer acidic soil and temperate climates. Mycosis is often formed with spruce and birch.
How and when to collect fly agarics
Amanita mushrooms in the forest are collected in ecologically clean places. Selects areas remote from industrial facilities, power lines, motorways. In the pulp of mushrooms, harmful substances accumulate, which are released into the air and soil as a result of human activity.
The fruiting body is cut off with a knife. Wide baskets are used for collection. It is not recommended to put mushrooms in plastic bags. The collected mass is not stored for a long time; it should be used as soon as possible.
For what purposes are fly agarics collected
Amanita is used in folk medicine. With their help, funds are obtained to combat skin diseases, joint diseases and varicose veins. The pulp contains ingredients that can relieve pain, stop bleeding, disinfect and heal wounds.
Advice! Young mushrooms are suitable for external use. They have a bell-shaped cap.
What happens if you eat a raw fly agaric
It is not recommended to eat fly agarics raw. After taking, drunkenness, hallucinations, disorientation in space are observed. This condition lasts for 6-7 hours.
Why is fly agaric so dangerous
The danger of fly agaric to health is due to the content of toxic compounds. Many of them have a psychotropic effect and cause vasodilation. As a result, the work of the gastrointestinal tract, heart, respiratory organs, and liver is disrupted. In rare cases, death occurs. A lethal dose of fly agaric is 15 caps.
Fly agaric poisoning symptoms
Amanita muscaria, poisonous when ingested, causes poisoning. The first signs appear half an hour after taking the mushrooms.
Fly agaric poisoning symptoms:
- pain in the stomach and intestines;
- profuse salivation;
- heart palpitations;
- feverish condition.
Muscarine, which is found in the pulp, disrupts the functioning of the brain. As a result, cholinergic syndrome appears, which is determined by shortness of breath and constriction of the pupils. The victim is overexcited, looks annoyed. In case of an overdose, apathy and drowsiness quickly occur. The body temperature drops, the skin turns pale, the whites of the eye turn yellow.
With complications, pulmonary edema occurs, which leads to suffocation. The most serious consequences of using amanita are cardiac arrest, loss of consciousness, and death.
First aid for poisoning
In case of poisoning with poisonous mushrooms, the victim is given first aid:
- give warm water and induce vomiting;
- put to bed and provide peace;
- give activated carbon or other sorbent.
Be sure to call a doctor who examines and prescribes treatment. Recovery is carried out in the toxicology department of the hospital. The victim is injected with an antidote - atropine. This substance supports the work of the heart and prevents the absorption of toxins into the blood.
The recovery period depends on the amount of mushrooms eaten, the age and health of the victim. If necessary, drugs are additionally prescribed to restore the microflora of the stomach, maintain respiratory function, normalize the heart rate, etc.
Is it forbidden to collect amanita in Russia
On the territory of Russia, there is no ban on the collection of fly agarics. This mushroom is also not included in the list of drugs that are classified as narcotic. Therefore, its storage and use are not limited by law.
Interesting facts about the use of fly agaric
Amanita muscaria has been used by people since ancient times. The toxic properties of this mushroom have been well known since the 13th century. The infusion was used to control flies and other insects. When exposed to water, alkaloids are released from the pulp. When insects drink such an infusion, they fall asleep and drown in water.
Attention! According to scientists, fly agaric is a part of catfish - a drink from Ancient India. According to the descriptions that have come down, it contains a red ingredient with a head that looks like an eye.
Amanita was used for religious ceremonies. The inhabitants of northern and eastern Siberia used it instead of an alcoholic remedy. The effect of the reception is similar to strong intoxication: a person's mood changes, hallucinations appear, the outlines of objects are distorted. Then there is a loss of consciousness.
The shamans of the ancient Ugrians used the pulp of poisonous mushrooms to enter into a trance. Among the Mari and Mordovians, fly agarics were considered food of spirits and gods. The Chukchi procured dried fruit bodies and ate them in small pieces. It was believed that these mushrooms give courage and extra energy.
If you eat a fly agaric, it will cause severe poisoning. In such cases, the victim is given first aid and a doctor is called. Among these mushrooms, there are poisonous and safe representatives. The latter can be eaten after pretreatment. Each species of the Mukhomorovye family has its own characteristic features that distinguish it from others.