Psychoactive magic mushroom found in Buckingham Palace

A hallucinogenic toadstool mushroom has been found growing in the gardens of Britain's Buckingham Palace, a media report said Friday.

IANS| Last Updated: Dec 12, 2014, 18:50 PM IST

London: A hallucinogenic toadstool mushroom has been found growing in the gardens of Britain's Buckingham Palace, a media report said Friday.

The red and white spotted Amanita muscaria species -- also known as fly agaric -- has been discovered by Alan Titchmarsh while on a tour of the grounds with ecology expert Mick Crawley, The Independent reported.

The discovery of the mushroom -- which is likely to have grown on the 40-acre land without being specifically cultivated -- was recorded during a 12-month study for ITV show "The Queen's Garden" which is to be aired on Christmas Day.

"It’s eaten in some cultures for its hallucinogenic effects. But it also makes people who eat it very sick," Crawley said.

“Not something to try at home,” he added.

Chemicals muscimol and ibotenic acid found in the fungi cause psychoactive effects such as drowsiness, hallucinations, mood changes, euphoria and disassociation.

The plant has a long history of religious and shamanic use dating back around 10,000 years.

However, the legal status of selling fly agaric in Britain remains complicated. Possession is not illegal.

The physical effects are described as "undesirable" and the chemicals can carry risks of poisoning and death.

The mushrooms are culturally depicted in Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland", Nintendo's "Super Mario Brothers" video games and in Disney's musical production "Fantasia".