Books like Shroom: A Cultural History of the Magic Mushroom

Shroom: A Cultural History of the Magic Mushroom

2007, Andy Letcher

Amanita muscaria, commonly known as the fly agaric or fly amanita, is a basidiomycete of the genus Amanita. It is also a muscimol mushroom. Native throughout the temperate and boreal regions of the Northern Hemisphere, Amanita muscaria has been unintentionally introduced to many countries in the Southern Hemisphere, generally as a symbiont with pine and birch plantations, and is now a true cosmopolitan species. It associates with various deciduous and coniferous trees.

Arguably the most iconic toadstool species, the fly agaric is a large white-gilled, white-spotted, usually red mushroom, and is one of the most recognizable and widely encountered in popular culture, including in video games—e.g., the extensive use of a recognizable Amanita muscaria in the Mario franchise and its Super Mushroom power-up—and television—e.g., the houses in The Smurfs franchise.

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