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naja naja

Mushroom ID for dummies


Common Australian Psychoactive mushrooms

Psilocybe subaeruginosa (Cleland 1927)(copper tops, subs)

Potency: Low-High

Description: A large species, dark brown hydrophanous cap, strong umbo with a hollow, white stem. Crowded gills that ascend towards the stem and are soon chocolate brown. Cap and stem stain strong blue. The cap can often be uptifted at maturity, but tends toward, being inrolled at the margins through to maturity. The stem is often covered with greyish/blue streaks. The blueing reaction can vary from place to place, with some not staining blue at all(although this is very uncommon)

Microscopic features:4 spored basidia(Teonan, james, kata, workman 2002) and a spore size around 11-15, by 6-9 (Reville 2002). Spores, Purple brown.

Distribution: Reported from W.A, S.A., Vic, NSW, SE QLD and Tas

Habitat: P.subaeruginosa is a lignious species, found on rotting wood debris, pine mulch, Eucalypt mulch and has been reported in kangaroo and cow manure.

Season: Winter, as soon as there are descent rainfalls in your area and the temperature drops.

Hints: Pine forests are your best bet, local knowledge is invaluable! In W.A. They have a very limited distribution, only occuring in and around Bailingup. Rotting Eucalypt mulch in a pine forrest is ideal. Eastern states they occur in woodchipped garden beds, best if irrigated during summer, pine forrests, native bushland, growing off of rotting Eucalypt.


Can u spot the imposter pictured below?

post-1045-1173344488_thumb.jpg It's the one on the right, luckily it is harmless, but this is not always the case and there are deadly lookalikes known as gallerina's

Psilocybe cubensis (Earle and Singer) (Gold tops, cubies, cubes)

Potency: Medium-High

Description: Large mushroom up to 20cm+ in diameter, with a yellow/white to dark brown cap that eventually developes to flat or uplifted upon maturity with a thick shower of purple-brown spores. Sometimes spotted. Surface often viscid moist, with whitish flesh that stains blue. Veil often remains intact and attatched to stem covered in purple spores. Stem often yellowish/white, mottled, swollen towards the base, often hollow and bruising blueish/green. The general size, thickly set goldish coloured cap and thick veil set the mushroom apart.

Distribution: Found exclusively in QLD and NSW growing off manure and manure enriched grass areas.

Microscopic features: Spores are very dark purple-brown. 11.5-17 by 8-11 sized spores with mucronate and sometimes pear-sheped pleurocystidia.

Habitat: Found exclusively in QLD and NSW growing off manure and manure enriched grass areas.

Season: Spring - summer, when the temps are in the mid 20's, a week or two after the first serious summer rains.

Hints: Cow paddocks, growing directly off of cow pats. Bulls can be dangerous!

Panaeolus cyanescens (Fries) (Blue meanies, Pans)

Potency: Med/High-High

Description: Petite greyish white mushroom with a campanulate dome shaped cap, that may exhibit some splitting and blue staining as it developes. Light brown/yellow at first, but developing into a white-grey as the mushroom matures, with the centre remaining darker. Bruises strongly deep blue with damage. Gills soon develope dark black. Some Australian specimens are darker brown capped throughout maturity. Stem, thin and greyish blue with white mycelial lumps, very thin, drying dark blue/black. Often covered in black spores. No veil remnants. The black spore print along with the strong blue staining are the main indicators.

Microscopic features: Black spores. 12-14 by 7-10 in size, with pleurocystidia sometimes hayline, sometimes pigmented and varying in shape considerably.

Distribution: Found on manure and manured lawns in QLD and NSW as well as reports from Vic and S.A.

Habitat: Found on manure and manured lawns.

Season: Sping-summer, same time and i little bit after Psilocybe cubensis season

Hints: The black spore print along with the strong blue staining are the main indicators.

They are small, so look hard. There are a few other non-active Panaeolus species that u may encounter, but non that are poisonous. However, Pan cyans bruide blue, deeply and quickly! If the specimen u are examining doesn't do this, then it is most likely not active and should be concidered unedible.

(A big thanks goes out to Fusion and Freedom for their pics)

Amanita muscaria (L. : Fr.) Lam. Encycl. 1: 111 (1783) (Fly agaric, Fly's, Fairy tale mushrooms)Amanita.gif

Potency: (N/A) WARNING! Do your research! This mushroom does not contain Psilocybin! It is potentially poisonous if not prepared correctly before consumption! However, Contrary to popular belief, this species is only mildly poisonous, but rarely if ever fatal.

Description:Large mushroom, Pileus Cap 6-39 cm broad, rounded at first, then plane in age, surface viscid when moist;margin striate often with adhering partial veil fragments when young; cap red, usually with white warts but in one variety, yellow warts..

Microscopic features:

* Spores

Spores 9-13 x 6.5-9.5 µm elliptical, smooth, nonamyloid. Spore print white.

Distribution:Common in Vic,NSW and Tas with a few reports from S.A.

Habitat:Amanita muscaria occurs under pines, but is now spreading to native habitats.

Season:Early winter, first rains, a few weeks before and during the sub season.

(ANother big thanks goes out to Alkatrope for these pics)

Hints: There are no other imitation which to mistake this mushroom for.White stem, white gills, bright red cap with white warts. Under Pine trees.

Edited by naja naja
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