POISONOUS AND HALLUCINOGENIC MUSHROOMS
by Michael W. Beug Email: beugm@evergreen.edu
The Evergreen State College, Olympia WA
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Slide 55.
Members of the Agaricus meleagris complex are found in both woodlands and grassy areas and are recognized by a slightly scaly cap where the scales are brown to dark gray. Many people can safely eat Agaricus meleagris but many others are made ill by it. More than one person has eaten this mushroom and then called me in the middle of the night convinced that they were going to die of their flu-like symptoms. Recovery is generally rapid, but an individual can suffer reduced energy for days. Agaricus meleagris usually has a creosote-like odor and the stronger the odor when cooking the more potent the poisoning. All poisonous Agaricus species and only a few of the choice edible ones turn yellow when 5% KOH solution is applied to a piece of the flesh. The mushroom illustrated is probably Agaricus moelleri.
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