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Psilocybe semilanceata the amazing Liberty Cap

Psilocybe semilanceata

Table of contents

What do a Roman slave, a French revolutionary, and an English poet have in common?

Believe it or not, they all played a part in naming a mushroom. 

First a symbol of freedom after slavery, then the French Revolution, today the Liberty Cap is associated with the mushroom Psilocybe semilanceata, and all because of a poet named James Woodhouse, who discovered this little guy.

The name was commonly accepted as the discipline of mycology developed. Psilocybe semilanceata is a fascinating member of the  Hymenogastraceae family, known for its production of psilocybin, psilocin, and baeocystinThis unique characteristic places it among the most potent psilocybin-containing mushrooms in existence.

Source: Dr. Hans-Günter Wagner

This article offers an educational overview of Psilocybe semilanceata for those interested in mycology and fungal taxonomy.

And if you really want to dig deep into magic mushrooms you can read more about the Psilocybe genus

Liberty Cap Appearance

Talking about features, all mushrooms have their unique style, and here’s what you should be looking at:

  • Cap – Conical to bell-shaped with grooves and a cute protrusion on top. When it’s damp, it has ochre to pale brown or dark chestnut brown hues. When it dries, the cap becomes much lighter, a pale yellow-brown.

  • Gills – Underneath the mushroom’s cap, you’ll find 15 to 27 narrow gills. At first, they are pale brown, but as the spores mature, they turn dark gray to purple-brown.

  • Stipe – Slender, yellowish-brown 1.5-6 in long and thin slightly thicker at the base.

  • Veil – Delicate, cobweb-like partial veil that doesn’t last long. Sometimes, the partial veil leaves a ring-shaped zone on the stipe.

  • Flesh – Thin and membrane-like, similar in color to the surface tissue.

  • Stain – Any bruised part will turn a bluish color, as it ages naturally, it can develop a blue hue.

  • Spores – Reddish purple-brown spores and long cylindrical hyphae.

  • Spore print – The spore print has a deep reddish purple-brown color.

Distribution and habitat

Psilocybe semilanceata can be found all over the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, particularly in Europe. It even made its way down to the Southern Hemisphere, to Australia and New Zealand!

In North America, it is most common in the Pacific Northwest and has been reported in Canada and the United States. It is less common in South America, with records in Chile. 

This beauty thrives in grassland habitats, like meadows, pastures, or lawns. Precisely where our poet first found it.

It can grow independently or gather in groups in fertile, acidic soil. It feeds off decomposing grassroots and it’s a great contributor to the ecosystem’s charm. Psilocybe semilanceata showcases another hidden talent. It can create sclerotia, a dormant form of the fungus, protecting against wildfires and other natural disasters. 

Source: Lukas Large

Similar species 

This tiny shroom has a lot of lookalikes, here’s how you can tell them apart.

  1. Psilocybe strictipes doesn’t have a prominent papilla.

  1. Psilocybe mexicana has smaller spores and grows in manure-rich soil in Mexico. 

  1. Psilocybe samuiensis, found in Thailand, has a smaller cap and rhomboid-shaped spores. 

  1. Psilocybe pelliculosa is physically similar but has smaller spores. 

  1. Inocybe geophylla is a whitish mushroom with different gill and spore characteristics. 

  1. Panaeolus semiovatus usually has a bigger size and a rounder cap shape.

  1. Panaeolina foenisecii has a similar color range but is larger and without a pointy cap.

How to research mushroom spores

If you’re interested in gazing upon the magical world of fungi, your research journey starts here. Check out Fungushead, we have an amazing collection of Psilocybe cubensis mushroom spore Syringes and Swabs. 

Here’s what’s in them:

High-Quality Spores

We take great care in handpicking each strain from genetically isolated sources to offer you the best genetics possible.

Deionized Type 2 Water

Our syringes are filled with meticulously purified water, which serves as a protective shield against any unwelcome contaminants.

Tested for Viability

Our spores undergo regular tests to ensure they are lively and thriving, free from any potential contaminants.

Labeled for Identification

Each syringe comes labeled with the strain name and a picture of what that strain looks like when fruiting.

We take legal regulations seriously, it’s important to note that we do not sell any products containing psilocybin.

Due to local regulations, please be aware that possessing these mushroom spores is prohibited in California, Idaho, and Georgia. In the majority of states (47 out of 50), our products are legal and ready to be explored. We value compliance, so any orders coming from these prohibited states will regrettably be denied.

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 “magic” 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 psilocybin mushroom spores we offer are for consumption or cultivation. We do not sell any products containing psilocybin.


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