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Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations

The top list on this page is a glossary of general mycology-related terms to help you learn how to speak the lingo.

The list at the bottom is a list of slang abbreviations that you might hear, to help you understand, but we don't condone its usage to speak. 

All these abbreviations and long words. What do they mean?

Some of it's slang, and some of it's science, here's a list of some of the weird terms you might see being thrown around in groups like this..


'Active' = Psychoactive. In most cases in this community, this means mushrooms containing psilocybin but other active species such as Amanita muscaria contain very different psychoactive molecules, they are considered active, but in a completely different way.


'Adnate' = Broadly attached to the stipe.


'Adnexed' = Narrowly attached to the stipe.

'Aff./Affinis' = Has an affinity with. Species affinis, in a mycological context, is a Latin term meaning "closely related to". It indicates evidence that something is similar but not identical. For example, you might see us identify something as Psilocybe stuntzii aff. This is a recent discovery closely related to Psilocybe stuntzii, it's not exactly the same, and it doesn't have a name. Using aff. is a way to identify it and also let people look it up online, as it can be compared with Psilocybe stuntzii, it shares most of the identifying features.

'Anastomosis' = Fusion between branches of the same or different hyphae.


'Annular ring' = A distinct ring on the stem.


'Annulus' = The remnant of the partial veil seen as a ring on the stipe.


'Attenuated' = Tapering.


'Campanulate' = Bell-shaped.


'Caespitose' = In groups, clusters.

'Cap' = The top of a mushroom, the proper term is pileus.

'cf.' = confer/conferatur, Latin for "compare". When cf. is placed between the genus and species it means something is hard to identify confidently because of practical difficulties, and/or significantly resembles. For example, Psilocybe cf. tasmaniana - Psilocybe tasmaniana was described from Tasmaniana in 1978 and not seen again. The current species being called Psilocybe tasmaniana doesn't fit some significant features from the description, and the holotype (original preserved specimen) isn't available for DNA comparison. So long story short that's why we use Psilocybe cf. tasmaniana instead. Some people prefer Psilocybe sp. 'Tasmaniana' but both refer to the same species.


'Concentric' = With circular or arc-like zones or bands having a common centre.


'Concolorous' = Having the same colour.


'Conic' = Cone-shape.


'Convex' = Equally rounded or evenly symmetrical.


'Coprophilous' = Grows from dung. Dung-lovers.


'Cortina' = Partial veil with the texture of a spider's web.


'Crowded' = Refers to gill spacing, very close together.


'Decurrent' = Refers to gills/pores/wrinkles/teeth whose attachment to the stem extends down for some distance.


'Depressed' = Of caps, sunk in the centre like a saucer.

'Ectomycorrhizal' = Refers to a mutualistic symbiotic relationship between certain fungi and the roots of plants, typically trees. In this relationship, the fungal hyphae (thread-like structures) form a sheath around the plant's root tips, creating a specialized structure called a mantle, while also extending hyphae outward into the surrounding soil. Unlike other types of mycorrhizal associations, such as arbuscular mycorrhizal, ectomycorrhizal fungi do not penetrate the root cells but instead form a dense network of hyphae around the root surface called Hartig nets.

'Endemic' = Refers to a species that is native or restricted to a specific geographic area or population. It describes the natural occurrence or prevalence of a disease, species, or cultural element in a particular region and not found elsewhere in significant numbers. Endemic species, for example, are those that are uniquely found in a specific location and are not naturally occurring in other regions.

'Fibrillose' = Composed of delicate hairs which are usually long and evenly dispersed.


'Fibrils' = Fine, delicate hairs found on the surface of the cap or stipe.


'Floccose' = Cottony.


'Gasteroid' = A group of secotioid fungi that have a fleshy pouch-like fruiting body structure resembling a gastropod or stomach-like shape. These fungi typically have an enclosed spore-bearing structure called the gleba, which is contained within the fruiting body. Gasteroid fungi are distinct from typical mushroom-like fungi in their appearance and reproductive structures. They include various species such as puffballs and earthstars.

'Gelatinous' = Jelly-like.


'Genus' = A classification used for organising and naming species. A genus is a group of different species that are quite closely related. A species name is usually written as the genus then the species. For example the species Psilocybe weraroa. Psilocybe is the genus, and weraroa is the species within the genus Psilocybe. The species name is Psilocybe weraroa, rather than just 'weraroa' because sometimes in another genus there is a species where the second word is the same.


'Gills (lamina/lamella, pl. lamellae)' = Plate of blade-like or leaf-like surfaces aligned radially around the stipe in ridges/grooves, beneath the cap of an agaric, on which spores are produced.


'Gregarious' = Growing close to one another but not touching.


'Hygrophanous' = Changing colour in a marked manner on acquiring or losing moisture.


'Hymenium' = The spore-bearing surface of a mushroom.


'Hypha (pl. hyphae)' = Microscopic, tubular filamentous units of a fungus.


'Indicator/Indicator species' = Mushrooms that are not active but share the same habitat and season so their presence is a good sign that the area is promising.


'Lamella (pl. lamellae)' = Gill/gills


'Lookalike/Lookalike species' = Mushrooms that are frequently mistaken for active mushrooms.

'Margin' = Typically of cap or gills, outer edge.

'Myc/Mycelium' = Vegetative part of the fungus which grows in the host or soil and produces the fruit body; the mycelium is like a mass of often microscopic fibres, which is that usually white, furry-looking stringy fibre stuff that lives in the substrate and produces mushrooms. In short, the mycelium is the fungi.

'Mycologist' = A scientist in the field of studying fungi

'Mycorrhizal' = The symbiotic association between the mycelium of a fungus and the rootlets of plants. The fungus colonizes the host plant's roots in a mycorrhizal relationship.

'Papilla' = A small pointed area in the centre of the pileus.


'Partial veil' = The inner veil of tissue extending from the cap margin to the stem and at first covering the gills in young fruit bodies. A thin covering that stretches between the stem and the cap rim in immature mushrooms and covers the developing gills. The ring on the stem is a remnant of the partial veil.


'Pellicle' = The outermost layer of the cap.


'Peridium' = Outer surface of a gasterocarp.


'Pileus' = The cap of a mushroom.


'Pileipellis' = The upper-most/outer-most layer of hyphae of the pileus.

'Pin' = A baby mushroom that has not yet broken its veil.


'Print' = Spore print. Can be used to see the spore colour which can be a useful characteristic for identification, or as a source of spores for microscopy where variations between the spores of different species can be used for identification. Spore prints are usually done on clean aluminium foil, but are also done on a variety of other materials, depending on the expected colour of the spores of the species being printed.


'Ps./P' = Psilocybe. It is often abbreviated and you will see people say 'Ps. weraroa' and this means 'Psilocybe weraroa'. Other genus also start with the letter P and yes, this does inevitably cause confusion when people just use the letter 'P', but you will see people do it.


'Psilocin' = An active molecule in psychedelic mushrooms.


'Psilocybe' = Genus Psilocybe. A group of mushroom species that dominate the world of Psilocybin containing mushrooms, however, there are also psilocybin mushrooms that are not Psilocybes because they are in another genus.


'Psilocybin' = The main active molecule in psychedelic mushrooms.


'Punctae' = Small spots or hollows.


'Punctate' = Marked with many punctae.


'Rhizo' = Rhizomorphic mycelium. A form of mycelium with a fibre or rope-like appearance. It explores and colonises new substrates rapidly. Mycelium can switch between rhizomorphic and tomentose when it gets cues from the environment.


'Saprotroph' = Also called saprophyte or saprobe, an organism that feeds on nonliving organic matter known as detritus at a microscopic level. Woodlovers.


'Secotioid' = Gilled mushrooms that have evolved to be pouch-like in form as their caps don't open.

'Semi-secotioid' = A gilled mushroom that is almost pouch-like in form, though the cap has partially opened and separated from the stipe somewhat, partially showing the gills.

'Skirt/Ring' = The annulus or partial veil remnant, seen on the stipe of some species of mushroom. 'Skirt' is generally associated with a more prominent annulus, while 'ring' is more commonly used when it is a smaller feature.

'sp./spp.' = Species. For example, someone might ID a mushroom as


'Psilocybe sp.' = When it is known to be a Psilocybe but not which species.


'Spore' = Microscopic part of the fungus, which can germinate to reproduce the fungus.


'Spore bearing surface' = The part of the mushroom that produces, holds, and releases spores. The gills, pores or gleba of the fruiting body. Also called a hymenium or hymenophore.

'Squamules' = Remains of a universal veil that are seen as small scales on the caps of some mushroom species such as Amanita muscaria.

'Stain' = When fungi change colour upon bruising it is usually called a stain.

'Stem butt' = The base of a mushroom where the stem comes out of the substrate, including the very bottom of the stem, and the clump of mycelium that it grew from. Usually has some substrate attached.


'Stipe' = The stem.


'Striate' = Marked with delicate lines, grooves, or ridges, radially orientated on the pileus, longitudinally orientated on the stipe.


'Subcampanulate' = Partially bell-shaped.


'Subdecurrent' = Gills that are attached to and running downward along a stem or stipe, but curving inward just before the attachment point.


'Substrate' = Whatever the fungi grows in. There are infinite variations of a few themes. The psychoactive fungi discussed in NZ almost always grow in substrates made up of variations of dead, often partially decayed plant matter with or without dirt, with a strong emphasis on wood. In the wider field of mycology, the substrate options can get complicated and very, very varied.


'Subviscid' = Slightly sticky.


'Sulcate' = Has parallel grooves. Deeper than striation.


'Symbiont' = Any organism living in symbiosis with one another.

'Symbiosis' = A close, long-term relationship between two organisms.

'Tomentose' = Tomentose mycelium. This is the furry-looking form it takes when it is focusing on digesting the substrate it has already colonised and it is slower at colonising new substrate.


'Translucent-striate' = Said of a pileus which is striate because the gills are visible through its very thin, translucent flesh.


'Umbo' = A protrusion, bump, or hump on the pileal disc/the middle of a mushroom's cap.


'Umbonate' = With an umbo.


'Undulated' = Wavy.


'Universal veil/veil' = A veil covers the full fruit body, protecting immature fruit bodies and is broken through as the fruit matures. A partial veil covers just the cap and gills and breaks away to expose the spore-bearing surface as the fruit body matures.

'Viscid' = Very sticky but not slime covered.

'Volva' = A cup-like structure at the base of some species of mushroom that is the remnant of the universal veil. Also known as the egg sac.

'WLP' = Wood-Lovers Paralysis, a yet-to-be-understood temporary paralysis type effect that occasionally occurs with the ingestion of certain wood-loving Psilocybes. Psilocybe subaeruginosa and weraroa are two frequently reported species to cause WLP but there are others.

The following section contains a list of commonly used slang, colloquial, common or nicknames for different species.

The names used in this section shouldn't be used, as using nicknames leads to confusion as you'll see below, with some nicknames being shared across multiple different species.

This section is purely for anecdotal and explanatory purposes only, to try and help lessen some confusion, as these aren't widely accepted terms or abbreviations so please try not to use them if you know the correct name to use.

Learning correct binomials for the species you're looking for can help you to research them and learn more about where you might find them as well.

'Angulos' = Psilocybe angulospora. (Does not grow wild in Australia)

'Bluemeanies' = Confusion. Depending on who uses it, it means different things. In Australia, it is usually Panaeolus cyanescens. In NZ Psilocybe weraroa, subsecotioides and aucklandiae in roughly that order. This is why slang/common/nicknames are not preferred as they can lead to confusion.

'Cubes' = Psilocybe cubensis. (does not grow wild in NZ)

'Cyan' = Confusion. Can be two things, Panaeolus cyanescens or Psilocybe cyanescens, and this frequently causes confusion. Both are widespread psilocybin-containing mushrooms. Panaeolus cyanescens is not found in NZ.

'Goldtops' = Confusion. In NZ it usually means subaeruginosa but is occasionally used to refer to every Psilocybe in NZ except weraroa. In Australia, it can refer to subaeruginosa but is usually used in reference to cubensis, which isn't found in NZ.

'Gym/Gyms' = Gymnopilus, a genus of wood-lovers containing many species of which a few are psilocybin-containing, such as Gymnopilus purpuratus.

'Larry/Larrys' = Leratiomyces ceres. An indicator species and lookalike for Psilocybe subaeruginosa.

'Libs/Liberty caps' = Psilocybe semilanceata.

'Orini' = Psilocybe stuntzii aff. or Psilocybe sp. 'Orini', is a working title applied to an undescribed species.

'Pan/pans' = Panaeolus. Panaeolus is a genus of mushrooms that has some active psilocybin-containing species. Panaeolus cinctulus and olivaceus are the two active species in this genus found in NZ. Australia also has Panaeolus cyanescens.

'Plut/Pluteus' = Genus Pluteus, a fairly large and widespread genus found on rotting wood that contains a few species that are psilocybin-containing mushrooms.

'Roas' = Psilocybe weraroa. (Endemic to NZ)

'Secos/Subsecos/Sectoids/Subsectoids' = Psilocybe sp. "subsecotioides", the informal name for an unnamed variety closely related to subaeruginosa and weraroa.

'Subs' = Psilocybe subaeruginosa. There is also subsecotioides and a few other 'sub-something' species but they are not referred to as 'subs'.

'Tazzies/Taz/Tassies/Tas' = Psilocybe sp. "tasmaniana" What people refer to is not the real Psilocybe tasmaniana.

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