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Amanita muscaria in some publications is called conditionally edible, that is, suitable for consumption, subject to certain rules of processing and preparation. This opinion is refuted by the results of practical experiments conducted by a number of scientists and testifying to the content of numerous toxic substances.
Many mushroom pickers fail to determine at first glance that they have a toadstool-like fly agaric in front of them. This is due to the fact that its surface is not red, which is characteristic of poisonous mushrooms, but yellow-lemon. Because of this color feature, the grebe is called the lemon fly agaric.
Description of toadstool fly agaric
Mushroom of the genus Amanita family Amanitovye. The Latin name is Amanitacitrina. Other names - Amanita yellow-green, Amanita lemon, Yellow pale toadstool. It is inedible, belongs to the category of weakly poisonous.
From a distance, due to its white color and semicircular shape, the toadstool mushroom is similar to many edible counterparts. But upon close examination, wart tubercles, inherent in many types of fly agaric, become noticeable.
In appearance and description, the toadstool is very similar to its closest relative, the pale toadstool, shown in the photo below.
In the Russian open spaces, it is found in 2 color variations:
- white is the most common form;
- gray - much less common.
Amanita muscaria has white flesh, with a yellow tint under the skin. Has an unpleasant taste and smell, reminiscent of raw potatoes. The inside is slightly hollow.
At first, a small, still unformed, grebe-like fruiting body resembles a dumbbell with 2 balls at the edges.
Gradually, the upper part of the toadstool-like fly agaric acquires the shape of a hat more and more.
The white plates, located on the underside, are first connected with a foil to the leg. As it grows, it breaks, leaving a ring on the leg.
Description of the hat
In the process of growth of the toadstool fly agaric, the shape and size of the cap undergo significant changes. At first, it has a spherical, hemispherical appearance.
Then the edges are straightened, and the surface of the toadstool-like fly agaric becomes convexly extended, gradually becoming almost flat. The diameter can reach 3-8 cm.
The cap has smooth edges and firm flesh. The surface is covered with light yellow-brown warts and large grayish flakes left over from the film that previously connected the cap and leg of the toadstool. The presence of such residues and their signs are important in determining the belonging of a fungus to a species.
On the underside of the toadstool fly agaric there are white plates with a yellow tint along the edges.
The hat can be gray, lemon or green. Sometimes it is very light, and these colors are almost invisible.
The lower part of the leg of the toadstool fly agaric is strongly swollen. It is thicker and has a tuberous shape that resembles a ball.
Over time, it stretches, becomes smoother and more even.
The color of the leg of the toadstool is white, the presence of a yellow tint is possible. The length reaches from 5 to 12 cm, the diameter is from 1 to 2 cm. A finely grooved ring runs along the entire circumference - a characteristic groove-groove.
Where and how it grows
The grebe-like fly agaric grows in all forests of the world. On the territory of Russia, it is distributed everywhere, including the regions of the North, forest-steppe and tundra. It can also be caught by avid mushroom pickers in the mountains, at an altitude of no more than 1000 m.
Unpretentious toadstool-like fly agarics grow singly or in small groups, both in deciduous and coniferous forests. Most often found in acidic and sandy soils of pine groves, as they enter into symbiosis with these trees.
The fruiting period lasts only 3 months, from August to October, and reaches its activity in September.
Doubles and their differences
Amanita muscaria in appearance is similar to a number of edible and inedible mushrooms. In order not to confuse it with doubles, you need to pay attention to some of the distinctive features of this species:
- The greatest percentage of similarity is observed in the toadstool fly agaric with the poisonous pale toadstool. It is very dangerous and differs in that it has no smell. If you compare the caps, you can see that the pale toadstool has a rougher appearance. In the toadstool fly agaric, the shell that protects the fruiting body at a young age grows to the stalk. The double does not have this feature.
Important! The toadstool is easy to confuse with the deadly pale toadstool, because of the resemblance to which it got its name.
- The unpainted form of the toadstool, found in some regions, is similar to the spring variety of the pale toadstool. It can be distinguished by its wide, smooth, curved saucer-shaped hat, which ranges in color from white to light cream. The rough surface is covered with a sticky poisonous coating that quickly penetrates into the pulp of other mushrooms.
- The smelly fly agaric is also a venomous relative of the pale toadstool. It has a conical cap with a shiny, sticky surface covered with mucus. The abundantly secreted secretion flows down from the edges and attracts various insects. It differs from the toadstool-like fly agaric in an unpleasant repulsive smell.
- The porphyry fly agaric differs from the toadstool in the darker color of the cap. The surface is smooth, without scales. Raw poisonous, may have a hallucinogenic effect.
- During the period of growth and development, the toadstool-like fly agaric can be confused with a float. The cap of this edible mushroom is smaller, has no scaly spots and has small notches along the edges. There is no ring on the leg of the double.
- Many mushroom pickers note the similarity of a young toadstool-like fly agaric with a yellow russula, the cap of which can be rough or smooth. At first, the edible mushroom also looks spherical, then takes on an elongated shape. Distinctive features are located on the stem. The russula has a tuber, but no ring and no volva.
- Another edible counterpart of the toadstool is the mushroom mushroom. This similarity is especially evident at the early stage of fungal development. But distinguishing them is quite simple. The edible twin's hat is darker in color. There is a small ring on the leg. The base is straight, the Volvo is absent. The pulp of raw champignon has a woody smell, after processing it acquires a pleasant taste.
- Umbrella is white (field, meadow). The edible mushroom, which looks like a toadstool-like fly agaric, has a pleasant smell and taste. The leg thickened at the base is white, below the ring it acquires a cream or brown hue. Darkens slightly when touched. The egg-shaped cap opens with time, becomes flat with a convex tubercle in the central part. Volvo is absent, the remains of the bedspread look like a wide, movable ring.
Mushroom pickers should be extremely careful and, in case of even some doubt, refuse to collect suspicious mushrooms that resemble the yellow-green relative of the pale toadstool. A photo and description of the twins of the toadstool-like fly agaric will help you not to make a mistake in the forest.
Is the toadstool-like fly agaric suitable for consumption?
A number of substances contained in the pulp, especially in the hat, can lead to poisoning, hallucinations and psychedelic perception disorders. Therefore, the toadstool fly agaric is considered inedible. Severe intoxication of the body can even lead to death.
Traditional healers of some regions prepare decoctions and tinctures from toadstool-like fly agaric, activating the body's defenses and relieving various pains. It is believed that if mushrooms are subjected to prolonged heat treatment, harmful substances will decompose and cannot lead to intoxication.
Poisoning symptoms and first aid
Toadstool poisoning can lead to both mild indigestion and severe disruption of the internal organs. The poison has a negative effect on some parts of the cerebral cortex, which causes visual and auditory hallucinations.
Important! It is necessary to save the remains of uneaten mushrooms for the subsequent determination of the causes of intoxication.
Symptoms of toadstool poisoning:
- increased physical activity;
- loss of consciousness;
- intestinal pain.
The first clinical manifestations can be observed for a long time, from 30 minutes to 6 hours after eating the toadstool. The intensity of individual signs may differ depending on the amount of poison that has entered the body.
In case of poisoning with toadstool fly agaric, it is necessary to send the victim to the hospital as soon as possible, having previously provided first aid:
- Put to bed, since the effect of poisons on the body is manifested in impaired blood circulation and heart function.
- Apply a heating pad to the legs and stomach.
- Rinse the stomach in order to reduce the degree of intoxication from the poisonous substances of the toadstool-like fly agaric entering the body. To do this, you need to drink 1 liter of water, in which you must first dissolve a small amount of baking soda or potassium permanganate. Then induce vomiting by pressing your fingers on the base of the tongue. The procedure is repeated several times until the liquid leaving the stomach becomes clear.
- After cleansing the stomach, it is recommended to take sorbents, for example, ordinary activated carbon, at the rate of 1 tablet per 10 kg of body weight.
- Liberation of the intestines. Boiled water should be introduced through an enema into the rectum. For an adult, 1-2 liters are enough. Taking 1-2 tablets of antispasmodics will help eliminate pain.
- Eliminate the intake of alcoholic beverages that accelerate the absorption of toxins.
- Allowed to take milk, strong tea, coffee and cold salted water in small quantities.
Carrying out these measures before the arrival of doctors will help stabilize the condition of a patient who has been poisoned by a poisonous mushroom. Timely medical assistance can save a person's life.
In the process of studying the lemon relative of the pale toadstool, several interesting facts were established related to the history of its distribution and use:
- Despite its inedibility, the mushroom finds unconventional use in some categories of the population. Since ancient times, the priests have used it for ritual and cult ceremonies. The prepared tinctures helped the shamans to enter a state of trance and communicate with the other world, invoking the souls of the departed. There is no scientific evidence for this.
- It is a proven fact that some toxins of this species are similar to those produced by some rare species of amphibians.
- The growing area of these inedible mushrooms is so wide that it even covers New Zealand and Australia.
Amanita muscaria is often used for the preparation of formulations, to which flies flock and then die. Hence the name of the genus.
Amanita muscaria, due to its inedibility, is not recommended to be collected, and even more so to eat. Inexperienced mushroom pickers should be especially careful when picking mushrooms, since the similarity of the lemon relative of the toadstool with mushrooms, umbrellas and russula can lead to poisoning and disruption of the whole body.