Amanita muscaria – Mushrooms Up! Edible and Poisonous Species of Coastal BC  and the Pacific Northwest

Are these safe to eat?  

Amanita muscaria (Fly agaric) is a highly poisonous mushroom that can have a red or yellow cap, The cap often has white warts on the surface and there maybe a veil and enlarged volva at the base of the stalk. It is called a fly agaric because some folks would put pieces of the mushroom in a small bowl of milk in order to entice and kill flies. In Siberia some people would drink a tea made from this mushroom for its hallucinogenic effects, others would drink the urine from those that ingested this mushroom to avoid some of the unpleasant side effects. The ferociousness of Viking Berserkers has also been attributed to eating this mushroom before battle (Davis et. al. 2012 Field Guide to Mushrooms of Western North America , page 36).


Amanita Muscaria: 'Shroom like Alice did on a psychedelic growing right  here in Alaska | CANNAPress |

Viking swords honoring the Amanita muscaria


  1. A Modern Herbal (Mrs. M. Grieve)
  2. Greek & Latin in Botanical Terminology
  3. Plantae 
  4. Tips for Identifying and Photographing Mushrooms (Dr. Robert Berdan)


Zuni Medicine Bag, 19th Century

Zuni Medicine Bag, late 19th century

Dimensions Overall: 5 1/2 × 1 7/8 × 1/2 inches (14 × 4.8 × 1.3 cm)



Remember, Folks:  Snake venom is 100% natural, and can be medicinal – and it can kill.

 “What is there that is not poison? All things are poison and nothing is without poison. Solely the dose determines that a thing is not a poison.” (Paracelsus)

Be well informed, and take good care in your choices with medicinals, so as to not poison yourself.



The same ecosphere 3 days old and one month old : Ecosphere

The same ecosphere 3 days old and one month old.


Growth Experiments



Compost Salad (500x309)

“Compost Salad”



PsBattle: David Latimer and his bottled ecosystem : photoshopbattles

David Latimer first planted his bottle garden in 1960 and last watered it in 1972 before tightly sealing it shut ‘as an experiment’ . [He definitely be getting an “A” for this one.]

“The hardy spiderworts plant inside has grown to fill the 10-gallon container by surviving entirely on recycled air, nutrients and water

Bottle gardens work because their sealed space creates an entirely self-sufficient ecosystem in which plants can survive by using photosynthesis to recycle nutrients.

The only external input needed to keep the plant going is light, since this provides it with the energy it needs to create its own food and continue to grow.

Light shining on the leaves of the plant is absorbed by proteins containing chlorophylls (a green pigment).

Some of that light energy is stored in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a molecule that stores energy. The rest is used to remove electrons from the water being absorbed from the soil through the plant’s roots.

These electrons then become ‘free’ – and are used in chemical reactions that convert carbon dioxide into carbohydrates, releasing oxygen.

This photosynthesis process is the opposite of the cellular respiration that occurs in other organisms, including humans, where carbohydrates containing energy react with oxygen to produce carbon dioxide, water, and release chemical energy.

But the eco-system also uses cellular respiration to break down decaying material shed by the plant. In this part of the process, bacteria inside the soil of the bottle garden absorbs the plant’s waste oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide which the growing plant can reuse.

And, of course, at night, when there is no sunlight to drive photosynthesis, the plant will also use cellular respiration to keep itself alive by breaking down the stored nutrients.

Because the bottle garden is a closed environment, that means its water cycle is also a self-contained process.

The water in the bottle gets taken up by plants’ roots, is released into the air during transpiration, condenses down into the potting mixture, where the cycle begins again.”



New Guinea has greatest plant diversity of any island in the world, study reveals

The Science of Basil