Psilocybe allenii Borov., Rockefeller & P.G.Werner (2012)
Psilocybe cyanofranciscana nom. prov.
Description: Psilocybe allenii was described as new to science in 2012 by Jan Borovička, Alan Rockefeller, and Peter G. Werner. Borovička received material collected from Seattle, Washington, which he noted was microscopically similar to Psilocybe cyanescens, but lacked the wavy cap margins characteristic of that species. In previous publications, Borovička had noted that both macro- and microscopic characters of certain Psilocybe species were highly variable, which could also account for the differences observed in the Seattle material. However, DNA sequencing revealed a 5-base pair change in the internal transcribed spacer regions (a segment of RNA often used in molecular phylogenetics to identify or distinguish fungal species) between Psilocybe cyanescens and the Seattle collections. This difference, in addition to the readily observable macroscopic differences, was deemed sufficient to warrant describing the taxon as a new species. Additional molecular studies published by Borovička and colleagues in 2015 identified Psilocybe azurescens, Psilocybe cyanescens, Psilocybe weraroa, Psilocybe cubensis, and Psilocybe serbica as closely related to Psilocybe allenii.
For several years before its official description, the taxon was known in the San Francisco Bay Area, and suspected of being an undescribed species. The authors suggest that a color photograph of "Psilocybe cyanescens" in David Arora's popular 1986 guidebook Mushrooms Demystified may actually depict Psilocybe allenii. Mycologist Paul Stamets suggested in 2005 that it "probably is new, or least a newly imported species". It is commonly called "Psilocybe cyanofriscosa" in the online mycological community, but this name is grammatically incorrect Latin and has never been validly published in scientific literature. The specific epithet allenii honors John W. Allen, who collected the original material and provided the impetus for the study. Allen collected the type material from the University of Washington Campus in November of 2009. He first collected the fungus in Capitol Hill in 1982, and several times later from Seattle. Some of these collections he sent to Mexican Psilocybe specialist Gastón Guzmán, who initially thought them to be Psilocybe cyanescens because of their overlapping spore size ranges. Fruitbodies of Psilocybe allenii are variable in size, depending on the substrate in which they grow.
Notes: The mushrooms are consumed for their psychoactive properties, and have a potency roughly similar to Psilocybe cyanescens. Borovička and colleagues say they are "commonly sought out by some mushroom hunters" According to Rockefeller, "If you go to Golden Gate Park in December you will see hundreds of hippies looking at the wood chip landscaping for Psilocybe cyanescens and Psilocybe allenii."
Several Psilocybe species have an appearance roughly similar to Psilocybe allenii, but these can usually be distinguished by differences in morphology or distribution. The European species Psilocybe serbica var. moravica has a similar cap and stipe, but is generally more slender than Psilocybe allenii. The closely related Psilocybe cyanescens is indistinguishable by microscopic characteristics, but features a wavy cap in maturity, a longer fruiting season (from late September through April), and lacks a ring zone on the stipe often seen in Psilocybe allenii. Psilocybe azurescens has a broader cap, an umbo that may be broad or acute, a longer stipe up to 20 cm (7.9 in), and a growing season similar to that of Psilocybe cyanescens. The authors also note that the Australian Psilocybe subaeruginosa is similar (including three taxa that have since been synonymized: Psilocybe australiana, Psilocybe eucalypta, and Psilocybe tasmaniana) but suggest that further research is required to better understand the delimitation of this species complex.
Habitat: Psilocybe allenii is found in the northwestern North America, with a range extending from British Columbia south to Los Angeles, California. It is most common in areas up to 10 miles (16 km) from the Pacific coast, although it has been collected 100 miles (160 km) inland. Fruitbodies grow scattered, in groups, or (more rarely) in clusters, on woody debris, such as wood chips often used in landscaping. Favored substrates include hardwood mulches made of oak, eucalyptus, Douglas fir, and alder. Fruiting occurs in cold weather, generally from late September to January. The species can be readily cultivated on agar, grain spawn, and cellulosic material, including wood chips and sawdust.
source - www.wikipedia.org
Season: Much Like Psilocybe cyanescens they prefer the cold temperatures of fall and usually are found late September into December, and October through January in California.
Habitat: Much like Psilocybe cyanescens they like the mulch and wood chipped areas. "Being a bit south helps (Tacoma and south Washington)" (NeoSporen). They are largely seen in the San Francisco Bay area of California where they get their name from.
Blueing: Bruising when handled. Especially in the cap margin.
Notes: In the book Mycelium Running by Paul Statements it says "microscopically, they seem identical to Psilocybe cyanescens, leading me to believe that these are probably Psilocybe cyanescens, and that this species is simply highly variable in macromorphology".
This species has been very well documented by amateur mycologists, however it has not been officially described and thus has no scientifically accepted species name at this time.
The nic name "Cyanofriscosa" was coined by a member of the website www.Shroomery.org a couple years ago when other Bay Area hunters began finding them. Other common names have been used to describe this mushroom, such as the "Cyclone Psilocybe", coined by Paul Stamets due to an instance in which the mycelial pattern of an agar culture looked like a spiral.
source - www.shroomery.org
Pictures at www.mushroomobserver.org
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