Amanita muscaria: the Fly Agaric

Photo courtesy of Georg MüllerPhoto coutesy of Georg Müller

If asked to describe the first thing that comes to mind upon hearing the word mushroom, one would most likely describe Amanita muscaria, the fly agaric.  Although many people do not immediately associate mushrooms with fungi, A. muscaria is probably the most easily identified and well-known of all fungal species.  This popularity can be attributed to a number of different factors including its toxicity, cultural influences, and pop culture cameos (such as its appearance in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory).  To begin our "trip" into the world of A. muscaria, let us take a look at its Classification.