May 30, 2022
The Amanita Muscaria is the most famous mushroom in the world. Even if you don’t pay much attention to fungus, you’ve seen them in fairy paintings, Alice in Wonderland, Super Mario Brothers, and as the mushroom emoji. Also known as “fly agaric”, they are found all over the Northern Hemisphere, August through November.
The most recognizable part of the mushroom is its stunning bright red cap with white spots. They also have little cute white skirts on their stems and a bulb at their base. While Amanita Muscaria is commonly thought to be poisonous, they are not fatal. They cause intoxication when consumed. Other members of the Amanita family can cause liver failure and death.
Amanita Muscaria appears all over in folklore. Many believe they are the source of the legends behind Santa Claus and flying reindeer. They are also associated to magic and fairytales, especially when they grow in fairy rings.
The North American Mycological Association maintains a mushrooms in art registry. The registry is full of Amanita Muscaria mushrooms. With the influences of the Cottagecore aesthetic and Harry Potter running strong, it’s not surprising that many contemporary Halloween artists are incorporating them into their work. I’m enjoying collecting pieces by @CalamityKim (Kimberly Sherrod), Folk Art by Penny Grotz, Dustin Yoder (bydustin on Etsy), just to name a few.