What You Should Know
Panaeolus cyanescens, also known as Copelandia cyanescens, is a mushroom in the Bolbitiaceae family. Panaeolus cyanescens is a potent psilocybin mushroom and is similar to Panaeolus tropicalis. It is a fungal species found all over the world, including islands in Oceania, Australia, Europe, and North and South America (1,2). Most notably, it naturally contains the two psychoactive compounds psilocybin and psilocin (the former being a phosphorylated version of the latter) which produce intense sensory, mood, and thought experiences culminating in an altered state of consciousness in humans. For this reason, P. cyanescens is often used as a recreational drug, although psilocybin and psilocin are both controlled substances in many countries.
P. cyanescens has the potential to play an integral role in psychotherapy and neuropharmacology in the treatment of various psychological disorders. Other than fitness advantages in the dung and wood decay niche environment, it is unclear what evolutionary advantages the fungus might have obtained from producing psilocin.
Other names: Magic Mushroom.
Panaeolus cyanescens Mushroom Identification
1.5 – 4 cm across, dry, at first hemispheric, expanding to campanulate to convex, with an incurved margin when young. Young caps start light brown and fade to off-white or light gray at maturity, sometimes with yellowish or brownish tones. Often developing cracks in dry weather, slightly hygrophanous, turning greenish or blue where damaged.
Broadly adnate to adnexed attachment, close, starting gray and turning black as the spores mature. Gill faces with a mottled appearance, edges white.
Jet Black, 12 - 15 x 7 - 11 µm, smooth, opaque, elliptical. With a germ pore.
7 – 12 cm long by 2 to 3 mm thick, equal to slightly enlarged at the base, pruinose, colored like the cap, staining blue where bruised.
Odor and Taste
Basidia 4 spored, pleurocystidia fusoid-ventricose, cheilocystidia 12 x 4 µm.
Panaeolus Cyanescens Look-Alikes
The difference is identified since it contains deadly amatoxins and the spores of Pholiotina rugosa are a rusty orange to brown in comparison to the dark purple or black spores of Panaeolus cyanescens.
Similar but it is not poisonous; although it is hygrophanous like Panaeolus cyanescens, it grows in woodchips and not dung; they are also more delicate and not as bendy as Panaeolus cyanescens; they also have a spore print that is light orange or brown.
Is deadly if eaten, it has a rusty orange spore print and will usually be found growing on decaying wood; it also bruises black rather than blue-green like Panaeolus cyanescens on its stem.
They are macroscopically similar mushrooms that were once thought to be the same. Panaeolus cyanescens is hallucinogenic where P.Antillarum is not. P. Antillarum has a thicker cap and is also lighter in color.
Photo 1 - Author: Pancyan6.jpg: Prankster239derivative work: Photohound (talk) (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 2 - Author: Prankster239 (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 3 - Author: Prankster239 (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
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