Pileus (Cap): (0.5)1 - 2(3) cm in diameter, conic to campanulate or subumbonate and often with a slight papilla, hygrophanous or glabrescent, even to striate at the margin, ocherous to brown or beige to straw color in age, sometimes with blueish or greenish tones, easily turning blue when injured.
Lamellae (Gills): Adnate or adnexed, gray to purple-brown with whitish edges.
Stipe (Stem): 4 - 10(12.5) cm tall x 1 - 2(3) mm thick, equal, hollow, straw color to brownish or reddish-brown, becoming darker where injured, annulus absent.
Microscopic features: Spores dark purple brown, 8 - 12 x 5 - 8 um. Ovoid and smooth. Cheilocystidia 13 - 34 um, fusoid-ampullaceous to sublageniform, sometimes with a forked neck. Pleurocystidia sublageniform or absent.
Season: Fruiting takes place from May to October.
Habitat and Distribution: The species is found in Mexico, growing among moss along roadsides and trails, humid meadows or cornfields, in particular in the grassy areas bordering deciduous forests, and limestone regions. Common at elevations between 300-550 metres (980-1,800 ft), rare in lower elevations, known only from Mexico and Guatemala. Graeme LyonsMO Occurrence Map
Growth Habit: Solitary or in small groups.
Bruising: As is characteristic of psilocybin mushrooms, all parts of the fruit body bruise blue when handled or injured.
Other Notes: It was first used by the early natives of Central America and North America over 2,000 years ago. Known to the Aztecs as teonanacatl from Nahuatl: teotl "god" nanacatl "mushroom." This species was discovered by French botanist Roger Heim. It was from this species that Dr. Albert Hofmann, working with specimens grown in his Sandoz laboratory, first isolated and named the active entheogenic compounds psilocybin and psilocin. Uncertain of whether or not the artificially cultivated mushrooms would retain their natural psychoactive properties, Dr. Hofmann consumed thirty-two specimens. Like some other grassland species such as Psilocybe semilanceata, Psilocybe tampanensis, and Conocybe cyanopus, Psilocybe mexicana may form sclerotia, a dormant form of the organism, which affords it some protection from wildfires and other natural disasters. Psilocybe mexicana is a moderately potent hallucinogen due to the presence of both psilocybin (4-phosphoryloxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine) and its biologically active form, psilocin (4-hydroxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine), in the species%u2019 fruiting bodies. Due to their hallucinogenic effects, many Psilocybe species, including P. mexicana, are ingested recreationally. Although the recreational use of Psilocybin species often calls to mind the %u201Cpsychedelic underground- of hippies, freaks, and travelers,%u201D so-called %u201Cmagic mushrooms%u201D have been used for at least hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years by indigenous civilizations around the world, particularly those of Mexico (Letcher 3). Anthropological research has indicated that %u201Cat the time of the Spanish invasion, psychoactive mushrooms were being consumed in a variety of religious, secular, recreational, and even diplomatic contexts within the dominant Mesoamerican Aztec civilization%u201D (Letcher 76). Despite frequent association with both recreational and Mesoamerican ritualistic use, psilocybin-containing mushroom species also offer potential medicinal value. For example, administration of psilocybin is being assessed in pilot studies for its potential to alleviate anxiety, depression, and/ or pain associated with advanced or potentially life-threatening cancer, perhaps through inducing spiritual experiences associated with increased well-being (%u201CPsilocybin Advanced%u2026%u201D and %u201CPsychopharmacology%u2026%u201D).