Amanita Muscaria, also known as the Christmas mushroom (also known as fly agaric, or the toadstool mushroom) is an iconic mushroom and a natural psychedelic.
Recognizable for its bright red cap with white spots, it has become closely associated with Christmas.
The Iconic Amanita Muscaria
To begin with, let’s describe the appearance of the Christmas mushroom in more detail. It can grow to 20cm across and 30cm tall and has a savory smell.
- Cap: Scarlet or orange color, sometimes with white wart-like spots. - Gills: White to cream colored, located under the cap. - Stipe: The stipe (or stalk) is white with a brittle texture.
There is a similar-looking mushroom (the blusher: Amanita rubescens), which some may confuse with amanita muscaria. The blusher has a similar shape, with a pale, reddish-brown cap and cream spots.
Where And When Amanita Muscaria Grows
The amanita muscaria is native to conifer and deciduous woodlands of the temperate and boreal regions of the northern hemisphere.
It grows in the following regions.
- Europe - Northern Asia - North and Central America
The colorful fruiting bodies can typically be seen between late summer and early winter — the end of August to the end of December.
The Use Of Amanita Muscaria In Siberia
Many of the indigenous peoples of Siberia traditionally use fly agaric as an entheogen. In western Siberia, the use of this psychedelic mushroom was restricted to shamans.