Amanita muscaria (Fly Agaric) is one of the most striking of all mushrooms, characterized by its bright red cap and white warts. Fruiting generally occurs in early winter in conifer habitats, often in the same areas as the prized Boletus edulis. It is common in western North America, Europe, and Asia. It contains the toxins ibotenic acid and muscimol and is known for its use by ancient shamans. Helvella lacunosa (Saddle Elfin), also common throughout western North America, has a distinctive deeply furrowed stipe and dark, convoluted cap. Although edible, its texture and taste are unappetizing.
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