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Psilocybe yungensis

Singer & A.H. Sm.

Psilocybe yungensis *
Singer & A.H. Sm.


Alan Rockefeller



Alan Rockefeller

Pileus (cap): 
conical to bell-shaped in maturity, and reach a diameter of up to 2.5 cm (1.0 in). The cap surface is smooth and sticky, and, in moist specimens, has faint radial striations (grooves) that extend almost to the margin. The color of fresh caps ranges from dark reddish-brown to rusty brown to orangish-brown. Additionally, the cap is hygrophanous, meaning it will change color depending on its state of hydration; a dry cap fades to become dull yellowish-brown or the color of "dingy straw". The cap frequently has a prominent umbo.

Lamellae (Gills): 
The gill attachment ranges from adnate (broadly attached to the stem) to adnexed (narrowly attached). The spacing of the narrow gills is close to crowded, and the gill color is initially dull gray before maturing spores cause the color to change to purplish-brown.

Stipe (stem): 
3 to 5 cm (1.2 to 2.0 in) long and 1.5 to 2.5 mm (0.06 to 0.10 in) thick, and more or less equal in width throughout its length or slightly larger near the base. The hollow, brittle, stem is pale brown on the upper part, and reddish-brown near the bottom. The stem is densely covered with whitish fibrils that are pressed flat against the surface; the fibrils slough off in maturity to leave a smooth surface. The mushroom has a cortinate partial veil (resembling the webby cortina produced by species of Cortinarius) but it does not last for long; it occasionally leaves behind sparse remnants of tissue hanging on the cap margin and the upper part of the stem. No ring remains on the stem after the veil disappears. All parts of the mushroom will stain blue when injured; these stains will blacken as the mushroom dries.

Microscopic features: 
The spore print is dark purplish-brown. Spores range in shape from roughly rhomboid to roughly elliptical, and typically have dimensions of 5%u20136 by 4%u20136 um. They are thick-walled and have a large germ pore. The basidia (spore-bearing cells) are club-shaped to swollen, hyaline, usually four-spored (although rarely two- or three-spored forms are present), and measure 13%u201319 by 4.4%u20136.6 um. The pleurocystidia (cystidia on the gill face) are ventricose (swollen) near the base and often mucronate (ending abruptly in a short sharp point) at the apex, and measure 14%u201325 by 4.4%u201310.5 um. The cheilocystidia (cystidia on the gill edge) are variable in shape, and measure 14%u201340 by 4.4%u20137.7 um. Pleurocystidia are relatively sparse, while cheilocystidia are abundant. Clamp connections are present in the hyphae.

In Mexico and Colombia, the fungus usually fruits between June and July; in Bolivia, it was recorded appearing during January.

Habitat and Distribution:
A saprobic species, and contributes to the degradation of organic matter deposited in soils and nutrient cycling in forests where it grows. It is often reported from coffee plantations, subtropical, or cloud forests, especially those occurring at elevations between 1,000 and 2,000 m (3,300 and 6,600 ft). The species occurs in northeast, central and southeastern Mexico, and has been recorded from several locations in the states of Oaxaca, Puebla, Tamaulipas and Veracruz. It is also known from Bolivia, Colombia, and Ecuador, as well as the Caribbean island Martinique. In 2009, it was reported from China.

                                Alan Rockefeller                          MO Occurrence Map

Growth Habit:
It typically grows in clusters or groups on rotting wood (rarely on humus); it is less frequently found growing solitarily.

Bruising where damaged.


Other Notes:
The fruit bodies of Psilocybe yungensis are used for entheogenic, or spiritual, ritualistic purposes by the Mazatec Indians in the Mexican State of Oaxaca.

Psilocybe yungensis -MushroomObserver

Compiled and Edited By: Joust

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