Monday, December 27, 2010

Fungi of Bulgaria

Bulgaria Post issued a series of stamp depicted the fungi species, like : Amanita muscaria (32ct), Gyromitra esculenta (42ct),Boletus satanas (60ct),Amanita phalloides (5ct),Amanita verna (10ct),Amanita pantherina (20ct) on year 1990.


(32cr) Amanita muscaria, commonly known as the fly agaric or fly Amanita is a poisonous and psychoactive basidiomycete fungus, one of many in the genus Amanita. Native throughout the temperate and boreal regions of the Northern Hemisphere,Although generally considered poisonous, deaths are extremely rare, and it has been consumed as a food in parts of Europe, Asia, and North America after parboiling in water. Fully grown, the bright red cap is usually around 8–20 cm in diameter, although larger specimens have been found. The red color may fade after rain and in older mushrooms. After emerging from the ground, the cap is covered with numerous small white to yellow pyramid-shaped warts.

Amanita muscaria contains a number of biologically active agents, at least two of which, muscimol and ibotenic acid, are known to be psychoactive. Amanita muscaria is now primarily famed for its hallucinogenic properties, with its main psychoactive constituent being the compound muscimol. It was used as an intoxicant and entheogen by the peoples of Siberia and has a religious significance in these cultures.

(42cr) Gyromitra esculenta is one of several species of fungi known as false morels, is an ascomycete fungus from the genus Gyromitra, widely distributed across Europe and North America.Resembling a brain, the irregularly shaped cap may be up to 10 cm high and 15 cm wide. Initially smooth, it becomes progressively more wrinkled as it grows and ages. The cap colour may be various shades of reddish-, chestnut-, purplish-, bay-, dark or sometimes golden-brown.Gyromitra esculenta grows on sandy soil in Temperate coniferous forest and occasionally in deciduous woodlands.

Despite its recognized toxicity, Gyromitra esculenta is marketed and consumed in several countries or states in Europe and North America. Although potentially fatal if eaten raw, Gyromitra esculenta is a popular delicacy in Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, and the upper Great Lakes region of North America. It is eaten in omelettes, soups, or sautéed in Finnish cuisine.Although it is still commonly parboiled before preparation, recent evidence suggests that even this procedure may not make the fungus entirely safe The toxin affects the liver, central nervous system, and sometimes the kidneys.

(60cr) Boletus satanas, commonly known as the Devil's bolete or Satan's mushroom, is a basidiomycete fungus of the bolete family. Found on chalky soil in mixed woodlands in the southern, warmer regions of Europe and North America, it is generally regarded as a poisonous mushroom, with predominantly gastrointestinal symptoms of nausea and vomiting occurring if eaten raw. However, reports of poisoning are rare due to its odd appearance and at times putrid smell minimising casual experimentation. There are reports of its traditional consumption in the former Czechoslovakia, Italy and San Francisco Bay Area after thorough cooking.

The squat, brightly coloured fruiting bodies are large and imposing, with a pale dull-coloured velvety cap up to 30 cm wide, blood red pores and bulbous red-patterned stalk. The flesh turns blue when cut or bruised. There is a smell of carrion, more noticeable with age. It is the largest bolete growing in Europe.


(5cr) Amanita phalloides commonly known as the death cap, is a deadly poisonous basidiomycete fungus, one of many in the genus Amanita. Widely distributed across Europe. Amanita phalloides forms ectomycorrhizas with various broadleaved trees. In some cases, death cap has been accidentally introduced to new regions with the cultivation of non-native species of oak, chestnut, and pine. The large fruiting bodies (mushrooms) appear in summer and autumn; the caps are generally greenish in colour, with a white stipe and gills.

Coincidentally, these toxic mushrooms resemble several edible species commonly consumed by humans, increasing the risk of accidental poisoning. Amanita phalloides is one of the most poisonous of all known toadstools. The principal toxic constituent is α-amanitin, which damages the liver and kidneys, often fatally.

(10cr) Amanita verna, commonly known as the fool's mushroom, Destroying angel or the mushroom fool, is a deadly poisonous basidiomycete fungus, one of many in the genus Amanita. Occurring in Europe in spring, Amanita verna associates with various deciduous and coniferous trees.

The large fruiting bodies (i.e., the mushrooms) appear in summer and autumn; the caps, stipes and gills are all white in colour.The fool's mushroom is pure white, all the way to the gills and the stem. This fungus, like all amanitas, has a volva. The fool's mushroom's cap is 5–10 centimetres wide, and is about the same height. This mushroom's lamellae is free and white, and the volva is bag-like and large.The mushroom lives in Europe. The fool's mushroom is known to grow in woodlands and hardwood forests.

(20cr) Amanita pantherina also known as the Panther cap and False Blusher due to its similarity to the true Blusher (Amanita rubescens), is a species of Europe and western Asia. The panther cap is an uncommon mushroom, found in both deciduous, especially beech and, less frequently, coniferous woodland and rarely meadows throughout Europe, western Asia in late summer and autumn.It is an ectomycorrhizal fungus, living in root symbiosis with a tree, deriving photosynthesised nutrients from it and providing soil nutrients in return.

The European Panther contains ibotenic acid and muscimol, it is used as an entheogen much less often than the related Amanita muscaria because of the extremely high levels of these compounds found in the mushroom. Still they aren't deadly.

1 comment:

Jef Taylor said...

Very cool! Good mycological info and beautiful paintings on the stamps.

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