Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Psilocybe mexicana is a psychedelic mushroom of the Agaricales family, having psilocybin and psilocin as main active compounds. It is a close relative to the European liberty cap. It was "rediscovered" by French mycologist Roger Heim during his trip to Mexico in 1956.
Habitat and formation
Psilocybe mexicana is found about 4000 to 5000 feet above sea level from the South of Mexico to Guatemala, especially in limestone regions. The species grows either isolated or sparsely in moss along roadsides and trails, humid meadows or cornfields, as well as in the margin of deciduous forests.
Appearance and size
The mushroom's hygrophanous or glabrescent cap ranges from 0.5 to 2 cm in diameter, rarely up to 3. Its form is conic-campanulate and often has a central papilla. The disk is ocherous or brown in color.
Consumption and cultivation
Like several other psychedelic mushrooms in the same genus, Psilocybe mexicana has been consumed by indigenous Central American people for its hallucinogeous effects. In the Náhuatl language, the fungus is known as Teonanacatl - the flesh of the God. It is however uncertain whether cultivated specimens maintain these effects.
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