Collection location: New Hogan Lake, Calaveras Co., California, USA [Click for map]
Growing in a grassy area under oak debris. Very distinctive with greenish-blue cap and stem. Cap was also very viscid.
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Stropharia caerulea was described by Kreisel in this paper:
Kreisel, H. (1980). Zur Taxonomie von Stropharia aeruginosa sensu lato. Sydowia, Beihefte 8, 228-232.
“As a result of the article by Tuomikoski (1953), the attention of mycologists was turned to the fact that in addition to the well-known and seemingly unmistakable grünspan-träuschling, Stropharia aeruginosa (Curt ex Fr) Quél, a second similar species exists. It is characterized by (among other things) a brown spore-print (a unique characteristic in the genus Stropharia), with chrysocystidia lining the edges of the lamellae, and the presence of only an indistinct, evanescent annulus.”
I have made available a translation by Peter Werner of the of the original article at:
Spore color is an important characteristic for differentiating the two species.
My specimen (caerulea?) had decidedly brown spores. If yours had purple-black spores, then I retract my statement. This shows how important more detail is when posting some of these unusual species. Color and sight IDs are often not enough!
Ron, would you send one to peter??
Paul Stamets in his Psilocybin book has pictures and descriptions of both species. He prefers to call them Psilocybins however. They are very close in macro properties and the spore size range is also close. However, if one were to just use the reference Peter noted (Kreisel), one could make a good case for Stropharia aeruginosa for my Calaveras specimens. Kreisel notes that Stropharia caerulea differs in having brown spores. The Calaveras specimens definitely had purple or purple-brown spores and the photos even indicate that. Stamets notes that the S. caerulea has light purple- brown spores and a lack of veil-formed scales on cap. He says the S. aeruginosa has dark vinaceus purple-brown to purple-black spores. Quantity of spores could be a factor here but mine were fairly dark purple-brown in mass and if you look at the caps in high resolution, white veil fragments can be seen in a few places.
So unless Peter is speaking excathedra or until he lays hands on my specimens, I will remain a Doubting Thomas.
Based on discussions on both this site and the BAMS list.
Created: 2008-01-12 20:42:20 AST (-0400)
Last modified: 2008-01-12 20:42:20 AST (-0400)
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