Magic mushrooms found growing in Buckingham Palace gardens

Amanita muscaria, fly amanita. Credit: Sojka Libor/Czech News Agency/Press Association Images

A type of magic mushroom has been discovered growing in the grounds of Buckingham Palace.

The Amanita muscaria, commonly known as fly agaric or fly mushroom, was identified during a walkabout of the private gardens for a television show to be screened on Christmas Day.

Presenter Alan Titchmarsh told The Sun (£) he was surprised to happen upon the red and white-headed toadstool, which has hallucinogenic properties.

"That was a surprise but it shows just how varied the species are," said the presenter of The Queen's Garden.

Fly agaric are a common species and are understood to have grown naturally in the palace grounds rather than having been planted there.The hallucinogenic properties of the mushroom have been well-known for centuries .

The fungi is also important to the growth and development of many types of tree, and provides food for flies, and a breeding site for beetles.A Buckingham Palace spokesman told the paper:

The drug contains poison which, although rare, can cause death if consumed.

  • You should never eat wild mushrooms unless you are certain about what type it is.

  • The Forestry Commission advises anyone who wants to go mushroom foraging to go with someone who knows what they are looking at and to follow the fungi pickers code.