Psilocybe semilanceata – Liberty cap



By far the most frequent occurring and best known psilocybin containing mushroom in countries with temperate climate. It grows best on meadows, particularly on cow and horse pastures. Besides Psilocybe semilanceata Panaeolus subalteatus can also be occasionally found. Other species native to western countries are, because of their rarity or risk of mistake, only of interest to mycologists. If somebody wants to gather mushrooms, he should first have them be shown to him by one who already knowns them. Those who are already knowledgeable with its use can use the aid of a Field guide. Sadly, most of these books do not contain the psilocybin containing species. All data that is necessary for the determination can be found in ZauberPilze (Magic mushrooms), which, moreover imparts a comprehensive background knowledge.

Use: ca. 1–2 g dried mushrooms are eaten on an empty stomach.

Active constituents: 10–11 mg/g Psilocybin, 0,9–3,4 mg/g Baeocystin in dried mushrooms.

Risk of mistake: I do not know of any very poisonous mushroom, that resembles the liberty cap. Neither did I hear of a poisonous lookalike from conversations nor found any in my researches. However a secondhand report is available to me according to which there was a case of mistake in Austria. The victim apparently knew about liberty caps just from hearsay and showed symptoms typical for orellanin with subsequent kidney damage. It was suspected that the mushroom in question could have been an unknown species of the family of the webcaps (cortinarius). This report, despite being not sufficiently verified, should still serve as a reminder to gather mushrooms only with sufficient knowledge. It is advisable to first consult a knowledgeable person to show the actual mushroom and explain the distinctive features, before gathering mushrooms alone.

Suppliers: Spores not available in the market.

Please see miscellaneous, warning and sections above in “ Psilocybin containing mushrooms – general facts ”.

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