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Psilocybe, the genus name, means ‘smooth head’ – a reference to the silkily mooth, scaleless surface of caps of these grassland mushrooms. The specific epitet semilanceata comes from semi- meaning ‘half’and –lanceata which means ‘spear-shaped’. Some of these little mushrooms do indeed look like spears, although many have wiggly stems uncharacteristic of spear shafts.
The common name Magic Mushroom is, of course, a reference to the hallucinogenic nature of this grassland species
There is also a rare orange variety of psilocybe semilanceatas that grows in Spain and the PNW USA. There is a couple pictures of this orange strain in our gallery. My friend from Spain that has been hunting these mushroms for decades also tells me he seens albino from time to time and several different shaded colors of semilanceatas. As well liberty caps grow along side psilocybe Gallaeciae in Galicae Spain.
Although semilanceatas do not grow directly out of dung, they do grow from the dung enriched soil below and through the dung when fresh. The dung acts like a casing soil and provides shade and holds in moisture. My friends in Spain are lucky psilocybe mushrooms are legal in their country and a normal part of their culture. I can’t wait to go back to the Pyrenees mountains of Spain and enjoy the immense beauty and visit my friends for some exciting mushroom foraging again.
Liberty Caps Mushrooms
liberty caps identification
Discovering the world of mushrooms can feel like journeying through a vast, uncharted wilderness. But suppose you take the time to explore this mysterious landscape and learn what it has to offer. In that case, one particularly intriguing mushroom stands out—the liberty cap mushroom. This mushroom is touted for its unique psychoactive properties. It has been used for centuries by various cultures in spiritual ceremonies and therapeutic practices.
This guide will take you through everything you need to know about the liberty cap mushroom, from its history and appearance to its effects and potential risks.
What are liberty cap mushrooms?
First named Agaricus semilanceatus by Swiss mycologist Elias Magnus Fries and known by the common name of liberty cap mushrooms or witch’s hat mushrooms, Psilocybe semilanceata (or P. semilanceata) is a psychedelic mushroom. They’re a member of the genus Psilocybe and are in the Strophariaceae family. They have the highest psilocybin content discovered so far. The cultivated fruit bodies of liberty caps have an average of 1.12% psilocybin, no psilocin, and .21% baeocystin (a naturally occurring psychoactive compound) (1).
Identifying liberty cap mushrooms
Liberty caps vary in color and are hygrophanous, which means they can appear to change color and transparency depending on the level of moisture in their environment. This is one reason why the mushroom’s fruit bodies may change color when moist and appear dull when dried out. Because of this, they can appear chestnut brown and dry to a light tan. The gills of a liberty cap mushroom move from a brownish color to purple-brown; spores can also be a dark purple-brown color. buy Liberty Caps mushrooms Australia NSW Qld Buy shrooms online Victoria South Australia Tasmania Melbourne Magic mushroom Sydney Brisbane Adelaide Perth
Most of the time, liberty cap mushrooms are easy to identify with their bell-shaped pileus or conical cap. The genus Conocybe also has a similar cap and contains toxic compounds. Liberty cap mushrooms may also be confused with the Galerina species of mushrooms. These dangerous lookalikes contain harmful compounds that can cause severe kidney and liver damage and may be fatal if ingested.
Another identifier to look out for is an annular zone. Many psilocybes develop this ring-like band that breaks apart as the mushroom cap grows and expands (1).
Where can you find liberty cap mushrooms?
Look for liberty cap mushrooms in pastures or other grassy areas. In North America, you can find these mushrooms west of the Cascade mountain range from Northern California and into the Pacific Northwest, including British Columbia. You can also find these shrooms in grassland habitats throughout Europe, including Ireland, France, Holland, Norway, and Switzerland (1).
Are liberty cap mushrooms legal?
The legality of liberty cap mushrooms is a hot-button issue and one that often causes confusion. And to get a sense of what may be legal (or not) in your area, it’s essential to understand what these fungi are.
Liberty cap mushrooms are psychedelic mushrooms, which means they contain psilocybin and, under federal law, are illegal in most states. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.
For example, in places like Oregon and Colorado, recent legislative changes have made possession of small amounts of psilocybin mushrooms a low-priority offense or legal in some cities. It’s wise to keep in mind that laws regarding these types of substances can vary widely and change frequently, so it’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with your local laws.
For example, Rhode Island recently moved to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of psilocybin mushrooms, while other states like California and Michigan are currently considering similar. And Missouri and Oklahoma are greenlighting bills promoting further research on psychedelic mushrooms.
Psst: It’s not just the United States that has stringent laws around hallucinogenic mushrooms. In the United Kingdom, psilocybin mushrooms are labeled a class A drug along with LSD. Canada, Australia, Japan, Germany, France, Mexico, and New Zealand all have laws prohibiting psilocybe mushrooms. However, some of those rules and regulations are evolving as some countries are legalizing psilocybin for mental health treatment.
Historical and medicinal uses for liberty cap mushrooms
Magic mushrooms have a long and storied history in various cultures. In fact, psilocybe mushrooms were used as a holy sacrament and called Teonanácatl in the Aztec language. And while it’s likely liberty cap mushrooms were used in sacred ceremonies, our information isn’t always well documented. It is often passed down through traditional folklore or anecdotal accounts.
Beginning in the 19th century, this humble little mushroom was starting to be identified by its common name, the liberty cap. Mordecai Cooke’s 1871 handbook referred to this mushroom as the “cap of liberty,” which can be tied to the cap worn by freed Roman enslaved people. This liberty cap is also called a Phrygian cap. It is named for the ancient region of Phrygia, located in modern-day Turkey (2).
Health benefits of liberty cap mushrooms
While more studies are needed to fully understand how psychedelic mushrooms affect people, the research conducted so far is promising. Here are some of the potential benefits magic mushrooms may offer:
- Psilocybin can have anti-depressant and anti-anxiety effects that last for several months
- Evidence suggests psychedelic mushrooms may help with nicotine and alcohol dependence
- Shrooms can alleviate depression and anxiety in patients who are terminally ill
- Compounds in magic mushrooms may increase the creation of new emotion and informational pathways in the brain
It’s important to note that more studies are needed to fully understand how hallucinogenic mushrooms like liberty cap mushrooms affect mental health before we draw more definitive conclusions (3). And with more funding allocated for psilocybin research, we can expect to see exciting new discoveries soon.
Although magic mushrooms are generally considered safe and non-addictive, some potential side effects are associated with consuming liberty caps and other psychedelic mushrooms.
Common side effects may include nausea, disorientation, confusion, changes in visual perception, or hallucinations. You may also experience increased heart rate, anxiety, or paranoia. It’s also possible to trigger underlying mental health conditions. Keep in mind that everyone reacts differently to these mushrooms, and it’s wise to approach the consumption of liberty cap mushrooms responsibly and with caution, especially if you are new to using them. buy Liberty Caps mushrooms Australia NSW Qld Buy shrooms online Victoria South Australia Tasmania Melbourne Magic mushroom Sydney Brisbane Adelaide Perth