A Royal magic mushroom

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Photo: Edwyn Anderton

THEY’RE unlikely to be served up as part of the Royal Christmas dinner this year, but it seems that Buckingham Palace is home to the famous hallucinogenic known on the street as ‘magic mushrooms’.

Celebrity gardener Alan Titchmarsh was surprised to find magic mushrooms growing in the grounds of Buckingham Palace while filming for an upcoming television programme.

It’s believed, however, that the ‘fly agaric’ breed of magic mushroom was growing in the gardens naturally, rather than being specifically cultivated by someone.

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During filming for a programme called ‘The Queen’s Garden’, the television presenter came across the hallucinogenic Amanita Muscaria toadstool – also known as fly agaric – in the gardens of the Palace. The red-and-white spotted mushroom is known to be more poisonous and dangerous than normal magic mushrooms.

 “There are several hundred fungi species in the palace garden, including a small number of naturally occurring fly agaric mushrooms,” said a Buckingham Palace spokesperson. “As the programme explains, they are beneficial to trees, increasing their ability to take nutrients.”

In the programme, Titchmarsh asks ecology expert Professor Mick Crawley if the fungi is edible. Crawley replies: “That depends what you mean. It’s eaten in some cultures for its hallucinogenic effects. But it also makes people who eat it very sick.”


The Queen’s Garden is to be broadcast on ITV on Christmas Day.

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