Yet to no one in
all Muscovy could it have seemed strange that Tanya and I, and all our little
playmates, made ourselves useful, when in the country, by gathering various
kinds of mushrooms and bringing them home in childish rivalry and glee to
the kitchen. When we were naughty, our mother would punish us by forbidding
us to go mushrooming.
The Catskill Mountains in August are filled with mushrooms, exquisitely
In l970, twelve years after Psilocybe cubensis was identified on the Australian continent, two other scientists Picker and Rickards, 1970
reported that they had found psilocybine, but no psilocine, in specimens of Australian collections of P. subaeruginosa.
Mail Aluf.Co.Il Loc:Nl Com Loc Nl Loc Nl Fercamar confirmed the presence of 0.25 % psilocybin
in dried samples of Psilocybe semilanceata.
Publication of the results represented an
extraordinary achievement, because psilocybin had
never before been detected in a European
mushroom species. Previously, the alkaloid had
been found only in Psilocybe species native to
Mexico, Asia and North America.
While Psilocybe semilanceata was not
recognized as an important psychoactive species
until the 1960s, descriptions of the species were
included in many standard German language
mycology reference books published before 1963.
Figure 10 shows examples of two such
descriptions, one of them dated 1962 and the
second one written about 60 years earlier. Note
that the 1962 version designates Psilocybe
semilanceata as a "worthless" species - a rather
incongruous conclusion likely to amuse today's
readers. On the other hand, accounts of and
knowledge about cases of mushroom intoxication
in England did not find their way into Germany's
mycological literature. A few authors, such as
Michael & Schulz (1927) and A. Ricken (1915)
see Figures 11 and 12, pp. 19-20) contributed
excellent and valuable descriptions of Psilocybe
semilanceata, but these are the exceptions, rather
than the rule. A description of Psilocybe
semilanceata from 1977 reflects less emphasis on
details, and a rather cursory approach to
differentiation of the species, except for additional
data on the mushroom's microscopic
characteristics (see Figure 13).
In addition, a German aquarelle painting
from 1927 of five fruiting bodies depicts the
mushroom's habitus in remarkably realistic detail
(see Figure 1, p. 4).
In 1967 and 1969 Psilocybe semilanceata
samples from Scotland and England were found
to contain psilocybin as well. Later on (1977),
Michaelis reported discovering the alkaloid in
samples collected in Germany (see Figure 14).
The Popularity of Psilocybe semilanceata
Since the late 1970s, investigators in
several countries have been using of state-of-theart
methodology (High Performance Liquid
Chromatography) to test samples and quantify
their alkaloid content. The following sections
include more detailed reviews of these tests and
Psilocybe semilanceata has clearly
established itself as t h e psychotropic mushroom
species in Europe. The species thrives throughout
the European continent, where it has sparked
extensive research efforts. In terms of usage,
Psilocybe semilanceata is Europe's most popular
psychoactive species. In his 1983 monograph,
Guzman suggests that Psilocybe semilanceata may
well be the most common psychoactive Psilocybe
mushroom in the world. Even though the species
is known to flourish in Europe, North America,
Australia and Asia, the mycofloras of many
countries have not yet been studied or
documented. Thus, we cannot yet evaluate the
prevalence of Psilocybe semilanceata on a global
In Europe, however, discoveries of
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a have been reported from
the following countries: Finland, Norway,
Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland,
Austria, The Netherlands, Belgium, France,
Russia, Poland, the former Czechoslovakia,
Hungary, Romania, Scotland, England, Wales,
Italy and Spain.
Unfortunately, there are no comprehensive
maps detailing the species's
distribution pattern. Traditionally, mycologists
have often neglected relatively tiny species, such
as Psilocybe semilanceata, that tend to share their
habitats with other, more prominent species. The
sarcastic phrase "The mushrooms occur in
abundance wherever mycologists abound" is
particularly pertinent in reference to the Psilocybe
species. Prior to the discovery of psilocybin, the
Psilocybe genus languished in the literature,
shrouded in obscurity. To this day, few
189. Psilocybe semilanceata Fr. Worthless
The cap is uniformly conic to bell-shaped, with a pointy or obtuse center forming
an almost wart-like protrusion; initially, caps are often taller than they are wide, margins
are bent and curved inward; later on, width of cap is 1.5-4 cm. Hygrophanous; coloration
is a dirtyish olive-brown when wet, with translucent striate margins; at the center,
coloration is ocher or greenish-yellow against an overall shade of smudgy pale yellow and
oftentimes some greenish stains; only the margins are banded by a darkcolored, watery
stripe around the edge. No stripes or banding evident when mushrooms are completely
dried. Lacking a veil, caps are thin-fleshed, bald, with an easily separable pellicle that
remains gelatinous-sticky for a long time, turning shiny when dry.
Gills are olive brown to blackish purple brown in color, with the edges often
remaining white, gill spacing is quite crowded; gill attachment is either roughly linear or
mostly adnexed; up to 3.5 mm wide; attached at the stem only, fully detached later on.
Spores are elongated to ellipitical in shape, smooth and large, measuring 12-16 u
by 6-8,u. Color of spore dust is blackish purple brown.
Stem is very slender, almost uniformly thin and always twisted, 6-12 cm long and
1.25-2 mm thick, yellowish or whitish in color; areas subjected to pressure develop bluishgreen
stains. Stems are silky smooth and roughly at the center, cortinate fibrils appear like
remnants of a veil, which is brittle and lined with a white fibrous cord of wool-like
When dry, the flesh of the cap is colored pale yellow, while the stem's flesh is
ocher brown in color, especially towards the bottom. It is odorless and its flavor is mild.
The mushroom grows from August to October, frequently in gregarious clusters, and can
be found in pastures and along roadways, growing on dung that has undergone complete
decomposition. It is not a particularly rare species.
Figure 11(above) This excellent description of Psilocybe semilanceata by Michael & Schulz
(1927) is shown here as originally published in German, with an English translation.
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example occurred in 1969 when a whole family was
affected after a picnic somewhere in the mountains.
No mention is made as to the exact location where
this incident took place. Symptoms from this
intoxication included ... Mail Itambaraca Pr Gov Br Loc Nl badnews.co.jp badnews.co.jp