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Amanita.

Botanical name:

AMANITA, Lam. Mushrooms, with gills beneath, and a central support: nearly 500 species in North America. (The only way to avoid dying of mushroom poisoning is to know your mushrooms. Most if not all of Rafinesque's information telling edible fungi from toxic ones is plain wrong. -Henriette.)

Also see Boletus

Several are excellent for food, the best are , A. muscaria, A. deliciosa, A. edulis, A. campestris, A. albella, A. aurantiaca, A. procera, A. ovoidea, &c. All the European species are found with us, 50 kinds are eaten in France, 100 kinds in Italy. Here we are afraid of them, and only eat 2 or 3. An easy test can teach us which are harmless (Not a reliable test! -Henriette): boil or cook a white onion with them, if it retains the color, the mushrooms are good: if the onion becomes bluish they are bad or unhealthy. Many species are poisonous, all the milky ones are such (Not reliably! -Henriette), also the black and thin kinds (Not reliably! -Henriette). The fleshy and firm are commonly good (Not reliably! -Henriette); those who have a fine smell firm are the best (Not reliably! -Henriette); some are delicious. They may be dried and used for condiment. Dried mushrooms are an article of trade in Italy: we could collect them in abundance (Provided that you found a reliable way to tell edible fungi from toxic ones, yes. -Henriette). They are an essential ingredient of good catchup sauce. When poisonous mushrooms are eaten by mistake, they produce anxiety, spasms, convulsions, and death; the best remedies are emetics, ether, milk, &c. (Some fungi are so toxic that tasting a tiny bit will do your liver or kidneys in, nevermind emetics, ether, milk, &c. -Henriette). The A. atramentaria can make ink. The best kinds are cultivated in Europe in dung beds and cellars, by sowing the little bulbs or filaments.


Medical Flora, or Manual of the Medical Botany of the United States of North America, Vol. 2, 1830, was written by C. S. Rafinesque.



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