Liberty Cap or Magic Mushroom

Psilocybe semilanceata

Appears in

By Roger Phillips

Published 2006

  • About

Liberty Cap or Magic Mushroom Psilocybe semilanceata (Fr.) P. Kumm. (illustrated just over life size) Cap 0.5–1.5cm across, elongate conical with a distinct sharply pointed umbo, puckered at margin; hygrophanous, yellowish-brown with olivaceous tinge, drying ochre-buff; covered with a detachable viscid layer. Stem 25–75×1–2mm; white to cream, sometimes with a bluish tinge at base. Flesh cream to pallid. Gills pale clay at first, finally dark purple-brown. Spores 11.5–14.5×7–9¼, elliptical. Spore print dark purplish-brown. Habitat lawns, pasture and roadsides; late summer to late autumn. Common. Edible hallucinogenic. Note the active substance, psilocybin, gives a euphoric trip with effects such as synaesthesia. Mushrooms are ingested fresh, dried, or powdered, but possession of all forms of this mushroom is now illegal in most countries, including Britain since 2005.