Psilocybe germanica

Psilocybe germanica Gartz (2015)

Discussion: Psilocybe germanica was described as a new taxon from Germany. This species was found to be autumnal and lignicolous, living in soils enriched with deciduous wood-debris, and featured strong blueing behaviour after bruising and ageing. It contained high amounts of psilocybin and baeocystin. This mushroom appears to be the first described species derived from wood chips that contains significant amounts of baeocystin in the absence of psilocin. The novel species was differentiated from other psychoactive taxons such as Psilocybe cyanescens, Psilocybe azurescens and Psilocybe bohemica in combination from features of the stipes and caps. As it was observed previously with the potent psychoactive species Psilocybe cyanescens, it is expected that Psilocybe germanica might be found to achieve a remarkably wide area of distribution in the future given the modern use of mulch in parks and gardens.

Macroscopic feat.:
  • Cap/Pileus: 1-4 cm in diameter, always broadly umbonate, rarely flattening to a little turn up in age with a persistent broad umbo; no traces of a veil at any stages, hygrophanous, moist deep brown, lacking a separable pellicle, margin not wavy, not striate, not translucent when moist, fading in drying to whitish; during development soon a spontaneous gray-bluish colouration on the umbo occurs, at age an additional strong blueing develops, particularly after rains and during freezing; bruising of the white flesh also yields a strong blue colour, odour pleasantly aromatic.
  • Stem/Stipe: 5-9 x 0.3-0.7 cm, characteristic enlarged at the pileus, sometimes the thickening often impressed as a joint, in which the upper end of the handle with the cap then drops; dry, white, not very hard, not flexuous, always curved, often multiple times, without traces of a veil, no fine mycelia on it, sometimes solid lumps visible as a rub, easily staining deep blue when touched at all parts; at first touch sometimes green discoloring until a very fast-moving to deep blue; the wood-like layer in the thickening shows no blueing at all, stuffed with white mycelia at first, later hollow, rhizomorphs on the base, keeping wood substrate together.
  • Gills/Lamellae: At first brownish then dark purple-brown, closely set, alternating adnexed to adnate.

Microscopic feat.:
  • Basidio/Spores: 9-12 x 5.5-7.5 µm, with a clear germ pore.
  • Cheilocystidia: Lageniform, numerous, 25-33 / 6.0-8.3 µm.
  • Pleurocistidia: Absent.

Habitat: Gregarious to cespitose on deciduous on wood chips from various plants, also on bark in mixture with soil and other wood debris.

Distribution: Until now, the mushrooms have only been observed to grow in parks. Holotypus: a gathering (8th October 2014, Dippoldiswalde, Germany) is deposited in the herbarium of the botanical museum Berlin / Dahlem (B).

Season: Observed growing is from September to December.

Comment: The tiny species Psilocybe serbica Moser & Horak showed features for caps and stipes similar to Psilocybe bohemica. The microscopic features are comparable to other wood-loving Psilocybe species as is the case with Psilocybe germanica. Chemical analyses of five Psilocybe germanica mushrooms samples revealed the presence of significant amounts of psilocybin and baeocystin. This was consistent with qualitative TLC analysis of 30 samples from 2013 and 35 extracted samples from 2014 and psilocin was not detected.
Psilocybe germanica showed similar alkaloid levels to what is known about Psilocybe semilanceata with only traces of psilocin. Psilocybe azurescens is generally considered more potent and, in addition to psilocybin and baeocystin, is also displaying comparatively large amounts of psilocin. Both Psilocybe cyanescens and Psilocybe bohemica typically show the presence of psilocybin and traces of baeocystin. A large variation in psilocybin levels are frequently encountered. In contrast to Psilocybe bohemica, Psilocybe cyanescens can also contain large amounts of psilocin. In addition, the new indole derivative aeruginascin was not detected in any of the mushrooms. As far as it is currently known, this trimethylammonium analog of psilocybin has only been reported to occur in the hallucinogenic species Inocybe aeruginascens Babos. Psilocybe semilanceata is the best studied psychoactive mushroom species in the world and is known to contain psilocybin and baeocystin. Previous investigations in 1994 have shown that the use pure methanol yielded the authentic indole derivatives from dried mushrooms and the use of aqueous solvents resulted in hydrolysis of psilocybin and baeocystin to give psilocin.

source - [31 March 2015]

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