Amanita muscaria, commonly known as the fly agaric or fly Amanita is a poisonous and psychoactive basidiomycete fungus, one of many in the genus Amanita. The quintessential toadstool, muscaria is a large white-gilled, white-spotted, usually deep red mushroom, one of the most recognizable and widely encountered in popular culture, owing to its iconic and easily identifiable appearance.
- Cap: bright red and 8-20 cm (3-8 in) in diameter and covered with numerous small white to yellow flecks (warts) which are remnants of the universal veil
- Spore print: white
- Gills: free on hymenium
- Stipe: white, 2-8 in (5-20 cm) tall, with a basal bulb that bears universal veil remnants (more or less distinct rings or ruffs) and has the slightly brittle, fibrous texture
- Veil: thin and white, covers the gills during development then tears away and hangs from the stipe
Amanita muscaria cultivation in a lab environment has been uncommon if not impossibile due to the symbiotic mycorrhizal relationship of this mushroom to its host trees.
Amanita muscaria is native to birch, pine, spruce, fir and cedar woodlands throughout the temperate and boreal regions of the Northern Hemisphere, including high elevations of warmer latitudes in regions like the Hindu Kush, the Mediterranean and Central America.