Friday, April 6, 2012

Mushrooms and Fairy Tales

While doing my Botany reading I found something interesting fact that kind of relates to our class. The book I have to read is called Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart and has short descriptions and/or stories of poisonous plants. Though mushrooms are not a plant, they still cause many illnesses and deaths so she decided to include them.

Anyway, the interesting entry is about the fly mushroom (Amanita muscaria). This mushroom is reddish orange with white spots which is often used in illustrations of fairy tales. In fact, the mushroom that the caterpillar sits on in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland might be a fly mushroom. Stewart even says that the symptoms Alice experiences after nibbling on the mushroom are similar to the kind of hallucinations that mark the first signs of poisoning from this mushroom species.

Just thought this was interesting so I wanted to share this!

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