Public Description of Panaeolus cinctulus (Bolton) Britzelm.

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Name: Panaeolus cinctulus (Bolton) Britzelm.
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 Draft For Wild Mushrooms Of The Northeastern United States By Erlon Bailey (Private)
 Draft For Macrofungi Of The Pacific Northwest By Chaelthomas (Private)
 Draft For Agaricales By Chaelthomas (Private)

Description status: Unreviewed

Taxonomic Classification:

Domain: Eukarya
Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Agaricales

General Description:

Cap: (1.5)2 — 5(5.5) cm, hemispherical to convex when young to broadly umbonate or plane in age, smooth, hygrophanous, dark dull red-brown when moist, whitish when dry. Often with a darker band along the margin (zonate) which disappears as the mushroom completely dries out. The flesh is red-brown to cream-colored and thin.

Gills: Close, adnate to adnexed, cream-colored when young, later mottled digny brown to soot-black. Gill edges white and slightly fringed.

Spore Print: Jet Black

Spores: 12 × 8 µm, smooth, ellipitic-citriform, thick-walled.

Stipe: (2)3.5 — 8(10) cm long, (2)3 — 7(9) mm thick, equal or tapered at the ends, reddish brown to whitish, pruinose, hollow, no veil remnants, longitudinally white-fibrillose and white-powdered, striate at the apex or twisting vertically down the entire length of the stipe, Stem base and mycelium occasionally staining blue.

Taste: Farinaceous when fresh, saliferous (salty) when dried.

Odor: Slightly farinaceous.

Microscopic features:

Diagnostic Description:

Smooth black spores differentiate this species from its close look-alike Panaeolina foenisecii.

The lack of sulphidia on the gill faces differentiate this species from Panaeolus fimicola.

Relatively meaty Panaeolus species that grows on lawns and horse manure. Sometime specimens have a blue stem base. Sometimes other parts of the mushroom stain blue, especially if exposed to the sun for long periods of time.


A cosmopolitan species, it is found in all 50 states of the USA and almost every country in the world. Commonly found in the pacific northwest, the northeast, and the southeastern USA.

This is without a doubt the worlds most widely distributed psilocybin mushroom.


Solitary to gregarious to cespitose on compost piles, well fertilized lawns, gardens and pastures, occasionally found directly on horse dung, and very rarely on cow dung. Spring – Fall. Prefers warmer temperatures to fruit.

Look Alikes:

Panaeolina foenisecii is also found on lawns and looks very, very similar.

Panaeolus fimicola is also found on lawns and looks very, very similar.

Panaeolus papilionaceus also looks similar and can be distinguished by the presence of appendiculate veil remnants around the cap margin and dung habitat.


Contains the psychoactive alkaloids psilocybin and psilocin.

Commonly eaten for its psychoactive effect.

When dried it is roughly as potent, gram per gram, as Psilocybe cubensis.


Stamets, Paul (1996). Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press. ISBN 0-9610798-0-0.


Most people know this mushroom as Panaeolus subbalteatus or “subbs”.

Some other common names include “Weed Panaeolus”, “Girdled Panaeolus”, “Banded Mottlegill” and “Red Caps”.

The species concept of Agaricus (Panaeolus) cinctulus is based on a drawing made by Bolton in 1791. No type collection exists. Since it is not possible to know whether Bolton’s species was Panaeolus subbalteatus, P. olivaceus or P. fimicola, I consider Panaeolus cinctulus to be a nomen dubium. -Alan Rockefeller

Description authors: Alan Rockefeller, Erlon Bailey (Request Authorship Credit)
Description editors: Nathan Wilson, AmatoxinApocalypse