Derivation of "Agaric"

Clifford Brian Odom odom at netcom.com
Mon Mar 25 10:07:41 EST 1996


Stephen P. Bentivenga (invam at WVNVM.WVNET.EDU) wrote:
: In response to the recent speculation on the derivation of "fly-agaric" .....

<SNIP>

: Stephen R. Berlant wrote:
: >To the contrary, it always seemed to me that "fly-agaric" must have been 
: >derived from our word "agar" for a growth medium"; because, the mushrooms 
: >odor, resembling that of rotting flesh, caused flies to lay their eggs on it, 
: >as evidenced by popular reports that maggots appear on the mushroom soon after 
: >it starts to decay.
: >
: >I was wondering if anybody had any recent info that supported or refute either 
: >of these positions.
: >
: >My thanks in advance.
: >
: >Stephen R. Berlant 



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:         .|             Stephen P. Bentivenga, Ph.D.        __            __
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Technically, "agar" does not refer to growth media, it is simply an 
additive used to solidify nutrient solutions. Agar is specifically used 
for this task because it cannot be metabolized (provide nutrition) by 
most organisms.

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