Magic Mushrooms Have Been Found Growing at Buckingham Palace
Although you would think that the gardens of Buckingham Palace would be a fortress of greenery, with dedicated gardeners combing over and maintaining every inch, Amanita muscari, also known as the fly agaric mushroom, has been found growing within the grounds. So what? The Queen of England has a couple of mushrooms in her garden, big whoop. Well, fly agaric is a type of magic mushroom!
The mushrooms were discovered by none other than Sir Alan Titchmarsh, a renowned and much loved TV presenter and professional gardener. He was filming within the Queens PRIVATE garden for a Christmas day special, little did he know what he would stumble upon.
He was quoted saying to newspapers that it “was a surprise but it shows just how varied the species [of mushrooms] are." Although hallucinogenic, it is a species of mushroom that is actually very common, but to see it in the private garden of the Queen of England would probably make anyone look twice.
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said “There are several hundred fungi species in the palace garden, including a small number of naturally occurring fly agaric mushrooms. As the programme explains, they are beneficial to trees, increasing their ability to take in nutrients." It was also stated that no mushrooms from the garden are ever used in the palace kitchen (yeah right!).
In all seriousness, it is worth noting, in addition to being hallucinogenic, fly agaric mushrooms are toxic, and can cause excessive vomiting, low blood pressure, and dizziness, amongst other things – not things you want to encounter before or during a trip.
Fly Agaric and Christmas
These mushrooms could not have appeared at a better time! Not only were they found on a Christmas special, but they also have a history within Christmas tradition. It is believed that Siberian shaman used to feed the fly agaric to their reindeer, whose liver and kidneys would filter out the toxins. They would then drink the reindeers’ urine to cause hallucinations. Not only this, but as a festive ritual, they would take these mushrooms to families within the community, delivering them through the chimneys (just like Santa) of peoples huts, as doorways would often be snowed shut.
Magic Mushrooms are illegal in the UK, but for some reason (likely due to their toxicity), fly agaric mushrooms do not seem to fall into this category. But then again, who would be crazy enough to use them – their toxicity makes them best left alone.