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Psilocybe mexicana: the Star of Ancient Traditions

Picture this: the arid landscape of Mexico, where Psilocybe mexicana has been revered for centuries. Over 2,000 years ago, the people from North and Central America knew about it. The Aztecs called it teotlnanácatl – a blend of teotl (which means “god”) and nanácatl (aka “fungus”).

This French botanist named Roger Heim first sorted it into its category. And Dr. Albert Hofmann, in his Sandoz lab, isolated and identified the compounds psilocybin and psilocin from this very species.

In a sense, it’s the very first discovery from the Psilocybe genus

In this article, we’ll talk about the structure and habitat of Psilocybe mexicana, a true little pioneer.

Source: Alan Rockefeller

The structure of Psilocybe mexicana

Psilocybin mushrooms come in different sizes and forms. This little gem has its own special look too. Here’s how you can recognize it. 

Cap Ranging from 0.5 – 2 inches, it has a conical to campanulate form. As it matures, its color transforms from ocherous to brown or even beige, possibly hinting at hints of blue or green.
Gills These gills are either adnate or adnexed, showing off shades from gray to purple-brown, fringed with whitish edges.
Stipe Stands at a height of 2 to 5 inches, with a slender diameter. It remains consistently hollow, and its hue ranges from straw color to brownish or reddish-brown.
Stain Any nicks or bumps will swiftly turn it blue.
Spores Spores measuring 8 to 12 x 5 to 8 μm are smooth and shaped like ovals.
Spore print Imagine a deep purple-brown mark left behind by the spores.

Habitat and distribution

It can appear solo or in small groups amidst moss along roadsides, trails, and humid meadows. You might even spot it in cornfields and grassy spots next to forests.

It’s a fan of high altitudes between 300 and 550 meters (around 980 to 1,800 feet), and you won’t find it much at lower elevations.

This mushroom’s a bit of a jet-setter, making appearances in Mexico, Costa Rica, and Guatemala. You can catch it fruiting from May all the way through October.

Source: Alan Rockefeller

Similar species 

Mushrooms similar to Psilocybe mexicana are Psilocybe atlantis and Psilocybe samuiensis.

Now, here’s where it gets interesting: Ramirez-Cruz and his research team were exploring the possibility of Psilocybe acutipilea from Brazil being a synonym of Psilocybe mexicana, back in 2013. But – the main mushroom in question, the type specimen, was a bit too moldy for them to be absolutely sure.

Explore the world of spores with Fungushead

Ever wondered about those microscopic mushroom spores? Scientists dig into these tiny powerhouses to unravel the secrets of mushrooms: their chemistry, how they’re recognized, and how they scatter around.

And you can too. At Fungushead, you can find spore syringes, Swabs, and Mixpacks.

If you’re curious about the color, size, shape, and moves of mushroom spores, you can browse our top-notch mushroom spores collection:

All of the content and images on our site are for informational reference only. The cultivation of psilocybin mushrooms is federally illegal in the United States. We do not promote the cultivation of psilocybin mushrooms under any circumstances. Do not contact us asking for advice related to this subject. Any products found on this site are for microscopy and taxonomy purposes only. None of the mushroom spores we offer are for consumption or cultivation.


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