What You Should Know
Amanita regalis is a rare hallucinogenic/psychoactive mushroom. It contains the highest amount of Muscimol; 2-3x more potent than Amanita muscaria, and comparably twice the strength of Amanita pantherina. Used by shamans for spiritual and physical healing. It is associated with Shamanic and magical rites.
Cap surface is dark brown, dark umber-brown, ocher-brown, ocher-olive, rarely gray-yellow, darker in the center, covered with remains of the general cover, in the form of flakes of irregular shape, at first bright yellow, later whitish, with age gray-yellow color. The rings are a remnant of the volva left behind during the expansion of the young fruit body. The cap is fleshy and when mature has grooves on the margin. The gills are crowded close together, free from attachment to the stem, and white with a creamy yellow tinge. The flesh is whitish, faintly yellowish in the stem, and golden yellow under the cuticle of the cap. It does not change color in air and has an insignificant taste and smell.
Common in Scandinavian countries, it is also found in eastern and northern Europe. In North America, its distribution is restricted to Alaska.
Other names: Royal Fly Agaric, The King of Sweden Amanita, Amanite Royale (France), Königsfliegenpilz (German), Muchomůrka Královská (Czech Republic).
Amanita regalis Mushroom Identification
The cap is 7-15 (20) cm in diameter, initially hemispherical, later convex, convex-spread, flat-spread, and sometimes slightly concave in the center. The surface of the cap is dark brown, dark umber-brown, ocher-brown, ocher-olive, rarely gray-yellow, darker in the center, covered with the remains of the general cover, in the form of flakes of irregular shape, at first bright yellow, later whitish, with age gray-yellow color.
The hymenophore is lamellar. The gills are thick, at first narrowly attached, later free, creamy.
9-20 cm high, 1-2.5 cm in diameter, thickened downwards, with a tuberous thickening at the base, fibrous-velvety, white or whitish, sometimes slightly browns in places of contact. The ring is wide, hanging, whitish, located in the upper part of the stem. The volva has grown, in the form of several yellowish warty-flaky bands on a bulbous thickening.
The flesh is pale yellowish, under the skin of the cap is yellow-brown or olive-ochre, without a pronounced smell.
9-12 * 6-9 μm, elliptical or broadly elliptical, with a smooth surface, non-amyloid.
Grows in coniferous and mixed, less often in deciduous forests, forms mycorrhiza with spruces, pines, and birches.
August to October.
Amanita regalis Look-Alikes
Found in northern Europe. The cap is bright orange without small veil fragments but with a striated margin. The stem has a yellow color.
Some species have glossy brown caps. It turns red when cut.
Amanita regalis Toxicity
A case of poisoning was reported from Finland, where three individuals believed they had consumed the edible parasol mushroom Macrolepiota procera. The symptoms of poisoning, which began 1–2 hours after ingestion of the mushrooms, were gastrointestinal—nausea and heavy vomiting. Two had central nervous system manifestations and cholinergic symptoms, including hallucinations, confusion, or loss of consciousness as well as profuse salivation and sweating. All three individuals recovered within 4–24 hours without any damage to liver, kidneys or the central nervous system. As this incident demonstrates, cooking the mushrooms does not completely neutralize the toxic components of Amanita regalis. Chemical analysis has shown that this species contains ibotenic acid and muscimol, the same toxic constituents as Amanita muscaria.
Amanita regalis has the ability to bioaccumulate the heavy metal vanadium, a phenomenon first reported in Amanita muscaria in 1931. A field study of Scandinavian specimens found vanadium contents ranging from 38 to 169 mg of vanadium per kg of dry mushroom (average of 119 mg/kg). For comparison, the vanadium concentration in most other mushrooms is typically less than 2 mg/kg.
Amanita regalis Taxonomy and Etymology
Amanita regalis was first described as Agaricus muscarius β regalis by Elias Magnus Fries in his Systema Mycologicum, published in 1821. In 1887, Pier Andrea Saccardo treated it as a variety of Amanita muscaria. Edmund Michael, in 1903, became the first to consider it a distinct species.
In 1941, Jean-Edouard Gilbert suggested a complete reorganization of the genus Amanita in his world monograph of the genus, and moved it to Amanitaria as A. muscaria var. regalis. In his original (1949) version of Agaricales in Modern Taxonomy, Rolf Singer considered it a subspecies of A. muscaria, but noted that it may be regarded as a separate species; in the fourth edition (1986), he listed it as a distinct species.
More recently, a Japanese group studied the biogeography of A. muscaria and related species, and, using molecular phylogenetic analysis, concluded that the taxon should be considered a grouping of A. muscaria, rather than a distinct species. However, as of 2012, both Index Fungorum and MycoBank list the taxon as Amanita regalis.
The specific epithet is derived from the Latin word regalis, meaning "royal".
Amanita regalis Synonyms
Amanita umbrina Pers. (1797)
Agaricus muscarius β regalis Fr. (1821)
Agaricus muscarius var. umbrinus (Pers.) Fr. (1838)
Amanita emilii Riel (1907)
Amanitaria muscaria var. regalis (Fr.) E.-J.Gilbert (1941)
Amanita emilii f. lutetiana R. Heim 1963
Amanita muscaria var. umbrina (Pers.) Sacc. 1887
Amanita regalis (Fr.) Michael 1904 f. regalis
Amanita regalis f. umbrina (Pers.) Neville & Poumarat 2002
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