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Fly agaric (Amanita muscaria)—Larry C. Moon/Tom Stack & Associates
Any mushroom of the genus Amanita, containing about 500 species, some of which are poisonous to humans. Among the deadliest of all mushrooms are the large, white destroying angels (A. bispongera, A. ocreata, A. verna, and A. virosa), which are found in forests during wet periods in summer and autumn. The green or brown death cap (A. phalloides), also deadly, is found in woods in summer or early autumn. The poisonous fly agaric (A. muscaria), found in pastures and fields in summer, was once used as a fly poison. Common edible species include A. caesarea, A. rubescens, and A. vaginata.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on amanita, visit Britannica.com.