Amanita muscaria var. muscaria photo courtesy of MushroomObserver.org, 2008, MushroomObserver.org
Commonly known as the fly agaric or fly Amanita, Amanita muscaria is a mycorrhizal basidiomycete fungus that contains several toxic, psychoactive compounds. Amanita muscaria is the typical “toadstool” mushroom, bearing white gills and white warts on its variably colored cap and growing typically in clusters near conifers or hardwoods throughout the northern hemisphere. (2) (3)
The name fly agaric comes from its use as a control for pesky flies. The old practice was to soaking pieces of the mushroom in a saucer of milk to attract flies. The flies would drink the tainted milk, become intoxicated, and fly into walls to their death.