Fairy Ring Mushrooms: psychedelic, lethal, & legal in Idaho
No, Idaho hasn't changed its stance on shrooms. They're still banned. But we recently learned that certain mushrooms found in fairy rings (also known as pixie rings) can have a psychedelic effect on people. They're also legal to consume.
While technically edible, extreme caution is advised when consuming fairy ring mushrooms for psychedelic/recreational use. Despite the danger they pose to human health, shroom-lovers favor fairy ring mushrooms for their delicious nutty-to-sweet taste and how easily they dry out. Eating the toxic mushrooms of the fairy ring, All About Heaven writes, can cause "hallucinations and delirium."
Where Do Fairy Rings Grow?
According to the lawn gurus at Zamzows, fairy ring mushrooms are more common than most realize in lawn and grassy fields throughout the Treasure Valley.
Fairy rings can sometimes appear in lawns in the Treasure Valley. Often associated with a ring of darker green grass adjacent to stressed or even dead grass. It will often grow in a semi-circle with the mushrooms appearing along the edges. This is one of the few mushrooms that will appear with damaged grass. -Zamzows
They're caused by individual fungus growing underground that sprout threads called mycelium, in a circular shape. After one year, mushrooms appear around the edge of the circle; hence the name "fairy ring."
Centuries ago, herbalists and botanists knew little of the mysterious fungi. In fact, the majority of what was known about fairy rings was rooted in wild superstition.
Irishmen believed fairy rings were the work of leprechauns, witches dancing in circles, or dark omens. Swedish folklore warned fairies would gain control of your mind if you entered their ring, while in Germany, it was told "the dead grass in a fairy ring [marked] the landing spot of a scorching dragon."
The English, however, were the only ones who seemed to favor the fairy ring! They believed it was good luck to build a house where one grew.
The hallucinogenic effect fairy ring mushrooms further influenced their lore. It was told that those who tripped on them spotted fairies and elves in the ring.
Fairy rings occupy a prominent place in European folklore as the location of gateways into elfin kingdoms, or places where elves gather and dance. According to the folklore, a fairy ring appears when a fairy, pixie, or elf appears. It will disappear without trace in less than five days, but if an observer waits for the elf to return to the ring, he may be able to capture it. -W.H. Sullivan
Folklore concerning fairies and fungus last through the Victoria era. Today, however, we know fairy rings mostly pose a threat to our beautiful lawns. Unless, of course, you were to make a meal out of them!
Scroll on for everything we know about Idaho's psychedelic and most dangerous mushroom varieties!