Pukekura Park - its ecology and history - Friends of Pukekura Park New Plymouth Inc.

Fly Agaric - the Fairy Tale toadstool

The Fly Agaric - a conspicuous autumn “toadstool”

The Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria) is the traditional “toadstool” of fairy-tale illustrations. It is one of the most conspicuous, beautiful, and widely-known fungi. It is easily recognised when fresh by its large size and red cap speckled with white warts.

The Fly Agaric is native to the temperate region of the northern hemisphere. It was accidentally introduced to New Zealand where it is widely-distributed and very common. It grows on the ground in association with introduced conifers and deciduous trees in such habitats as parks and gardens, plantations, and farm shelterbelts. In Pukekura Park and Brooklands, fruiting bodies of the Fly Agaric are most commonly found in April and May growing mostly under Radiata Pine (Pinus radiata) and English Oak (Quercus robur) trees. The number of fruiting bodies which appear may vary from year to year.

The Fly Agaric is an intoxicating and poisonous fungus that should not be eaten.

David Medway


May 2008

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