In l970, twelve years after Psilocybe cubensis was identified on the Australian continent, two other scientists Picker and Rickards, 1970
reported that they had found psilocybine, but no psilocine, in specimens of Australian collections of P. subaeruginosa. ile this is the exception, it
may well be a representation of the so-called
In Nature, these colors are associated
with the bluing Psilocybe and Panaeolus species.
These mushrooms could have grown on several
substrates, such as fallen twigs and raw compost,
grounds littered with the remains from evergreen
and deciduous trees or dung left behind by pasture
animals. Among the mushroom species that may
have grown in the area thousands of years ago, the
most likely candidates are relatives of Psilocybe
cubensis and Panaeolus cyanescens (dunginhabiting
species), Psilocybe semilanceata (a
nitrophilic species) as well as Psilocybe
cyanescens, a species that grows on top of raw
Considering the impressive nature of
existing historic evidence, the obvious question
would seem to be whether any of these species can
currently be found in Africa, where the cradle of
mankind is located.
African Species Related to
Interestingly, on October 24, 1912, R.
Maire first collected several specimens of bluing,
dark-spored mushrooms which he found growing
on raw compost underneath some cedar trees in
Algeria, at Chrea Pass near the city of Blida south
of Algiers. He collected additional specimens every
year up until 1926 and published his findings in
1928, naming the species Hypholoma cyanescens
Later on, G. Malencon classified a number
of similar specimens from his own samples
collected in the Central Atlas Mountains (Morocco)
as belonging to this species. In 1973, Singer then
classified the species as Psilocybe mairei Sing.
Krieglsteiner, however, considered this species to
be identical with Psilocybe cyanescens Wakefield,
as found in Europe. Thus, bluing Psilocybe species
can still be found in Africa today.
In his monograph on Panaeolus
mushrooms from the 1960's, Ola'h mentions two
Panaeolus species that are strongly psychoactive:
- Panaeolus africanus Ola'h and
- Panaeolus tropicales Ola'h
There are also accounts from Africa about
typical hallucinatory intoxications, caused by
mistaken identification of a yellow Stropharia
species as a culinary mushroom. In 1945, E.R.
Cullinan and D. Henry described 22 cases in
Nairobi, which occurred in July of that same year.
The symptoms started one hour after
ingestion of the mushrooms, peaked within three
hours and then persisted for 24 to 48 () hours.
Symptoms consisted of emotional imbalance, fits of
mirthful and irresponsible laughter alternating
with depressive moods, during which patients felt
they wanted to die. Patients were unable to sleep,
due to nightmarish feelings that descended when
they closed their eyes... They remained conscious
throughout the experience and their speech, while
somewhat uncontrolled, was rational.
In 1957, A.D. Charters reported additional
cases of intoxication from Nairobi: On May 18,
1949, a man and his wife - both Europeans who
resided in Nakuru, ate generous portio
Mail Gbstyle.Co.Kr Loc:Nl Mailhotelinternationalcokrlocnl lose relative of Mexico's
psychoactive species, Psilocybe semilanceata is
a mushroom whose physical appearance
resembles Psilocybe semperviva Heim &
Cailleux and Psilocybe
Stalks generally single, sometimes clustered, from two to four inches in
height, the thickness of a goose quill, thread shaped whitish almost solid, the
tube being very small, glutinous; ring, a little below the cap, scarce
“ Cap, from one to two inches in breadth, of a brown color; in the full. grown
ones hemispherical, always convex, and more or lets glutinous; wet with
rain, it becomes browner and transparent,'so that it sometimes appears
“ Gills numerous, single, of a brownish purple color, clouded; whole ones
about twenty, horizontal, three shorter ones placed betwixt them; they throw
out a powder of a brownish purple color."
With respect to the use of it, he only says, « There is nothing acrimonious or
disagreeable in its taste, yet its appearance will not recommend it to the
lovers of mushrooms."
Figure 9 - Drawing and description of Psilocybe semilanceata by J. Sowerby (London, 1803).
1733. A. semilanceatus Fries (Observ. II. pag. 178).
Synon. : Agaricus semiglobatus Sowerby (Engl. Fungi taf. 240.
fig. 1-3). Hut etwas hautig, spitz kegelfdrmig, fast zugespitzt, 11/2 Cent.
breit, 1/2 Cent. hock, feucht klebrig, fein streifig, gelb oder grunlich,
zah, mit Anfangs umgeknicktem Rande und leicht trennbarer Oberhaut.
Stiel zah, gebogen, 11 Cent. hock, kahl, blass. Lamellen angeheftet,
aufsteigend, purpur-schwarz. Sporen ellptisch, hellbraun, 9 -16 u
lang, 4 - 9 u dick.
Ax Wegen, auf Grasphitzen, besonders wo Mist gelegen hat.
spitzkegeliger Kahlkopf (Psilocybe semilanceata). Kegel-glockenformig mit
papilenertiger spitze Hut-o,5-1 cm breit, bis 2cm hock, lehmfarben mit olivgrunem
Stich, klebrig. Lamellen breit, oliv-lehmfarben, spater purpurbraun.
Stiel schlank, glanzend. - Gedungte Wiesen, Wegrander. Stellenweise.
Figure 10 - Two descriptions of Psilocybe semilanceata from the German-language
literature. The first description (top) was written over a hundred years ago, while the
second one (bottom) dates to 1962. Significantly, the more recent entry classifies the
species as "essentially worthless". Also see Figure 11.
mexicana Heim. Like Psilocybe semilanceata, these
Mexican species thrive in meadows and pastures.
Another common trait among these species is the
rather subdued and subtle quality of their bluing
reaction. Recognition of these similarities with
Mexican species sparked the curiosity of scientists
who wanted to learn more about Europe's
Psilocybe species. A research team that included
A. Hofmann and R. Heim began to study samples
of Psilocybe semilanceata, in collaboration with C.
Furrer, a mycologist who examined fruiting bodies
collected in Switzerland and France. By 1963,
paper chromatography testing had yielded data of
historic significance. For the first time, scientists
Mycologists Mail Schule Oe Ch Loc Nl are prone to exaggerate the importance of mushroom poisonings
In their writings we repeatedly find a list of eminent persons who have
died allegedly from eating poisonous mushrooms, a list that they copy from each
other without verification. Sometimes we read that Euripides lost his wife and
two daughters thus, an assertion unsupported by any ancient text, apparently
based on a misreading of Athenaeus. Mailhotelinternationalcokrlocnl loc:NL loc:NL
Some Frenchmen know it
too. They use for it various names - tete de negre, cepe polonais, gendarme noir, and
cepe bronze. The name that the mycologists use is boletus asreus. Apparently it
does not occur in the New World.1 It is rare in Russia, so rare that many
Russians apply the famous name erroneously to its close relative, the belyi grib. Mail Schule Oe Ch Loc Nl growin-mexican-mushrooms