Amanita

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Amanita

(ăm'ənī`tə): see mushroommushroom,
type of basidium fungus characterized by spore-bearing gills on the underside of the umbrella- or cone-shaped cap. The name toadstool is popularly reserved for inedible or poisonous mushrooms, but this classification has no scientific basis.
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Amanita

 

a genus of hymenomycetous gill fungi of the order Agaricales. The fruiting body in young Amanita is enclosed in the universal veil, which ruptures and remains in the form of a membrane or scales at the base of the stipe or in the form of white flakes on the surface of the cap. Most species of Amanita also have a partial veil in the form of an annulus on the stipe.

Many Amanita are poisonous, particularly the death cup (Amanita phalloides). Fly agaric (A. muscaria), which has a typically bright cap, is slightly poisonous. The toxicity of death cup is caused by the presence of thermostable toxins—phalloi-dine, α-amanitine, and β-amanitine—which poison animals and humans, often resulting in death. Fly agaric contains the toxic alkaloids muscarine and fungal atropine. There are some edible species of Amanita, such as A. vaginata and blusher (A. rubescens), which has a dirtypink cap. In the USSR, species of Amanita usually grow in forests from June through October.

References in periodicals archive ?
Changes in preparation type had a more substantial effect on the frequency of vomiting experienced during Amanita muscaria inebriation; still, only two preparation types had a significant effect on the odds of experiencing vomiting.
The change in Amanita muscaria's effects when the mushroom was prepared similarly to Soma, as described in the Rig Veda, was remarkable.
The differences in ill effects between dried preparations and preparations of tea showed that when applying Soma's second filter, a filter of woolen cloth, a significant change in the effects produced by Amanita muscaria also occurred.
Complicating our understanding of Amanita muscaria's pharmacology, however, is a recent article by William Rubel and mycologist David Arora (2008) that reveals a history of culinary use of this mushroom by scattered populations throughout the world.
While there is no indication in the Rig Veda that Soma is cooked, a comparison between fresh and cooked preparations of Amanita muscaria has been included in order to address an observation made by Wasson during his unsuccessful experiments with Amanita muscaria.
It has been over 40 years since the publication of Wasson's Soma: Divine Mushroom of Immortality, and in that time his theory identifying Soma as the Amanita muscaria mushroom has remained one of the most viable proposals to date.