Observation 82635: Psilocybe pelliculosa (A.H. Sm.) Singer & A.H. Sm.

When: 2011-11-15

Collection location: Capitol State Forest, Thurston Co., Washington, USA [Click for map]

Who: Image Sharer (image sharer)

Specimen available


Two different clear cuts in the forest, a handful of small collections.
Almost no blue bruising in the entire hunt.

A good tip: Some collections will bruise blue. Even in collections that do not bruise blue, a rare specimen carefully harvested may have a blue primordia connected to its base.

Also rare, but less rare, check for a purple annulus-like ring of spore deposits in freshly harvested specimens.

In my experience, they’ll grow spaced apart but within a community, sometimes in clusters of two or three specimens.

Spore print is difficult to categorize in terms of color. One could go along with trusted mycologists and say it is purple-brown. I will not. It looks brownish to me unless put under a Task Magnification Lamp, then some hues of purple appear in the otherwise brownish print. Some prints will come out darker and more purple than others. UPDATE based on several newer collections: Spore prints can vary in color noticeably from collection to collection. A collection from today showed a variance in color from from medium to dark purple to dark brown with purple tones.

Bluing is difficult to observe sometimes – even in the bluing specimens. Use a magnfication lamp to thoroughly look over your collections for bluing.

All specimens, unless they’ve begun drying, will have a separable gelatinous pellicle.

The pileus is hygrophanous, almost always umbonate otherwise conical in my experience.
Caps form vertical line formation while fresh. The margin is jagged versus smooth-edged.
The margin of the cap will usually be white and sometimes very dark (almost a purple-black).

Medium brown to light brown gills.
Gills (very technically speaking) are attached to the stipe.

Additional notes for comparison:
The first two times hunting for P. pelliculosa consider gathering a minimum of 50 mushrooms each hunt – for a total of 100 roughly. For educational experience, gather from various zones within the clear cut (old logging site) or until blue bruising is observed. Wait until a blue bruise is visible on at least a couple of them to get a clearer idea of the species. They will grow nearby Hypholomas, deadly Galerinas, and the rarer Mycena. Specimens can reach as large as 3.5" tall with a 2" wide cap roughly. In larger specimens, upon dehydration, a green-blue bruise can occur at the nipplish area of the pileus.

Species Lists


Cheilocystidia 150x (As seen with the gill tip)
Cheilocystidia 6000x (As seen with the gill tip)
Pleurocystidia once again present (Viewed at 150x)
Pleurocystidia without exception. 600×.

Proposed Names

5% (3)
Recognized by sight
Used references: The Genus Psilocybe page 357
Based on microscopic features: Psilocybe pelliculosa lacks pleurocystidia.
Based on chemical features: Staining blue
-31% (4)
Recognized by sight: Looks like P. silvatica and P. pelliculosa. Found in a clear cut.
Used references: http://www.fungimag.com/...
Smith AH. (1946). “New and unusual dark-spored agarics from North America”. Journal of the Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society 62: 177–200.
Based on microscopic features: Abundant pleurocystidia

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
Lacks pleurocystidia after closer examination
By: Image Sharer (image sharer)
2012-01-06 19:08:14 CST (-0600)

My observations were not pleurocystidia as previously written. Species matches Ps. pelliculosa after independent microscopy was performed.

By: Image Sharer (image sharer)
2011-11-15 20:38:45 CST (-0600)

They do. At 600x and working without stains, I would not venture into naming the cystidia shapes. I did compare them though to the Genus III book. By tomorrow or Thursday I hope to have my stronger scope functional. See images below right.

By: Alan Rockefeller (Alan Rockefeller)
2011-11-15 19:53:27 CST (-0600)

Do these have pleurocystidia? If so, what shape and size?

Created: 2011-11-15 19:42:25 CST (-0600)
Last modified: 2012-11-16 22:35:54 CST (-0600)
Viewed: 833 times, last viewed: 2018-06-28 01:29:15 CDT (-0500)
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