Psilocybe stuntzii (Stuntz's Blue Legs)

Description: Sticky, brownish cap with brownish gills and brownish, ringed stalk; bruising blue.

Cap: 1.5 - 4 cm) wide; conical, expanding to broadly convex with central knob, or nearly flat; becoming somewhat wavy and uplifted; sticky to moist, smooth; dark to yellow-brown, often green-tinged on margin.

Gills: attached, close to almost distant, broad; off-white, becoming brownish.

Stalk: 3-6 cm long, 3 mm thick, sometimes enlarged at base; yellowish, smooth to fibrous.

Veil: partial veil leaves fragile ring that becomes bluish zone on upper stalk.

Spores: 8-12.5 X 6-8 m; elliptical, smooth, with pore at tip. Spore print purple-brown.

Edibility: Hallucinogenic.

Season: September - December

Habitat Several to clustered, in coniferous wood-chip mulch; reported in lawns.

Range: Pacific N.W.

Look-alikes: The deadly Galerina autumnalis has tawny cap fading to yellow, brown, gills, and rust-brown spore print. Stropharia species do not bruise blue.

Comments: Also known as the "Washington Blue Veil". Like some other blue legs, this does not blue conspicuously. To avoid confusing it with the Deadly Galerina (Galerina autumnalis), be sure to take a spore print.

"Stuntz's Blue Legs" images and excerpt from Gary H. Lincoff's National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms, (1981, 2004, pp. 725).

Mushrooms which contain psilocybin/psilocin are difficult to consider poisonous. They must, however, be treated with the utmost respect since the user is dealing with a powerful mind-altering drug....Following the ingestion of psilocybin-containing mushrooms, psychotomimetic symptoms resembling those induced by lysergic acid dethylamide (LSD) commence in about 30-60 minutes and continue for several hours. The patient may display anxiety and difficulty in concentration and understanding. Changes in sensory perception, including sensitivity to touch and distortion of tactile sensations, as well as changes in size, shape, colour, and depth of vision with kaleidoscopic variations, are noted. The mood is altered: usually it is elevated, but depression may occur. Both elementary hallucinations, such as the appearance of coloured lights and patterns on closing the eyes, and true hallucinations may be experienced.

Special attention should be given to cases of children who have ingested these mushrooms. They may develop fever to 106 degrees F. and demonstrate clonic-tonic convulsions. Both of these symptoms may be life threatening.

Other image and excerpt from Richard and Karen Haard's Poisonous and Hallucinogenic Mushrooms, (1977, Colour Plate 22, pp.107-108).

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