Psilocybe washingtonensis

Psilocybe washingtonensis A.H.Sm. (1946)


Macroscopic feat.:
  • Cap/Pileus: 1-2 cm broad. Obtusely conic to convex. Margin incurved at first, then straight. Deep walnut brown, lighter towards the margin, hygrophanous, fading to dull cinnamon or pale pecan in drying. Surface smooth, though the margin may be ornamented with faint remnants of the veil, viscid when moist from a gelatinous pellicle, separable only in shreds when wet. Context thin, pliant, and nearly concolorous with the cap when moist.
  • Gills/Lamellae: Attachment adnate or subdecurrent, close to subdistant, with two or three tiers of intermediate gills. Color slightly darker than the cap at maturity.
  • Stem/Stipe: 30-50 mm long by 1.5-2.5 mm thick. Equal, tubular, and pliant. Concolorous with the cap, but becoming blackish brown in age from the base upwards. Surface covered with grayish fibrils and adorned with grayish mat of mycelium around the base. Flesh dark brown, fading in drying to pallid tan. Partial veil thinly cortinate, leaving fibrillose patches on the stem and remnants along the cap margin.

Microscopic feat.:
  • Basidio/Spores: Purplish brown in deposit, ellipsoid to slightly ovoid, 6-7.5 (8) by 4-4.5 µm.
  • Basidia: 4-spored.
  • Pleurocistidia: 38-56 (64) by 9-12 µm, narrowly fusoid-ventricose to lageniform with expanded necks.
  • Cheilocystidia: 18-38 by 7-12 µm, variable, fusoid-ventricose, often mucronate, or clavate to capitate with an abbreviated neck.

Habitat: Scattered to gregarious in forests, directly on decaying conifer wood in the fall. Reported from Mt. Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State and along the Salmon River near Welches, Oregon. Probably more widely distributed.

Comment: Activity unknown. Psilocybe washingtonensis could be weakly psilocybin. It bears similarity to Psilocybe physaloides and to a lesser degree Psilocybe pelliculosa, although the latter species lacks pleurocystidia. The overall aspect of this mushroom places it into a cluster of difficult-to-delineate taxa, unless microscopic examination is conducted. Several mycenoid Hypholomas (=Naematolomas), look very similar, including Hypholomas udum, Hypholomas dispersum, and allies. See also Psilocybe silvatica and Psilocybe crobula.

source - Paul Stamets "Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World"

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