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Psilocybe subaeruginosa

Psilocybe subaeruginosa

Pileus/Cap: 10mm-60mm, conical to convex (cone-shaped to domed) and often with a slight umbo, curling or uplifting with age. Honey coloured to reddish caramel brown to tan brown, hygrophanous (changing colour abruptly from wet to dry), striate margins when moist (fine lines visible), uplifting in age.


Lamellae/Gills: Adnate to adnexed attachment to stipe, pale cream colour when young, darkening to violet brown with maturity.

  • Adnate: most or all of the gill is vertically joined to the stem.

  • Adnexed: only a portion of the gill is attached, with the lower part separate as if a wedge has been removed.


Stipe/Stem: 25mm to 70mm long by 4mm to 8mm thick, silky fibrillose, whitish often with white rhizoids at the base, flesh reddish-brown to pale yellowish, hollow but not fragile. Veil cortinoid, well developed, often remaining visible as fibrils on the upper portion of the stipe in older fruit bodies. Old or wet stems become brown, yellow or grey, especially near the base. A dark spore deposit is often caught on the fine veil remnant fibrils around the annular zone beneath the cap.


Bruising and spore print: Bruises blue to greenish blue when handled or damaged. Spore print purple brown, occasionally brown, or absent/clear (resulting in pale gills).


Distribution and habitat: Fruits solitary to gregarious throughout NZ, most often from April to August. In NZ this species is most commonly found in wood chip gardens and occasionally on rotted wood in native bush.

Comments: Many close lookalikes including species of Agrocybe, Cortinarius, Galerina (some are deadly), Gymnopus, Gymnopilus, Hygrocybe, Hypholoma, Inocybe, Leratiomyces ceres, Marasmiellus, Pholiotina, Psathyrella and Stropharia.
All parts of this species can have a staining reaction to damage - this may appear as blue or greenish streaks, blotches, or colour at the cap and gill edges. It is an important characteristic for identification in combination with other features.
Blue staining, bruising or natural colour does not mean a mushroom is psychoactive. Many toxic or poisonous lookalikes appear purple, green or blue.
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