Amanita in the Royal Garden

Just in time for the yearly Christmas-time Amanita-mania (Santa is an Amanita mushroom! Shamans gave Amanitas as gifts on the solstice! Reindeer fly because they are tripping on Amanita!), it turns out that fly agaric has been found growing in the royal garden at Buckingham Palace. I really hope that’s true.

Amusingly, the comments section of the Yahoo news report reveals a lot about popular culture’s associations with fly agaric. People referenced Mario Brothers, Alice in Wonderland, etc. There was also a bit of irrational hysteria thrown in for good measure (“These mushrooms will kill you!!!! All Amanitas are deadly poisonous!!!). Though I do agree that it is confusing at best to call these “magic mushrooms” when that has traditionally always referred to psilocybin in particular, which is an entirely different mushroom with its own set of chemicals and effects.

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