Science

Psilocybe Semilanceata: Liberty Cap Identification

The Psilocybe Semilanceata, or Liberty caps, belong to the Psilocybe genus. These are the kinds that have smooth heads and scaleless caps. They are a hallucinogenic fungus that grows abundantly in areas with plenty of rainfall, usually in the grassy and mossy ground. These mushrooms contain Psilocybin, a compound that causes auditory and visual hallucinations and distorted time and space perceptions. A Swedish mycologist first described the species in the 1830s. Its appearance is considered to be one of the most iconic in shape and style. 

How Liberty Caps Look Like

Generally, Liberty Caps have a conical shape with a small structure and is different from it’s sister, the Mycena Cyanorrhiza. Here is a breakdown of psilocybe semilanceata: liberty cap identification:

Liberty Cap Mushroom

  • The caps do not get bigger than one inch in diameter, ranging from a .5 to 2 cm only. The name semilanceata comes from the word semi and “lanceata” which means spear-shaped. It has a prominent pimple or nipple at the center top. Moisture can change its color, from a cream when dry to a yellowish-brown when wet.
  • The gills are narrow and crowded, greenish-grey when young but turn purple-black or dark grey as spores mature. 
  • The stem grows to about 2 to 3 mm wide and 4 to 10 cm. tall. It is slender and wavy, with a cream color. In comparison to the capsize, it appears to be longer. At its base, it can have a blue or purple tinge. 
  • The spores are dark purple-brown, have a strong and earthy taste, musty odor, feel smooth, and are ellipsoidal. 

Where Liberty Caps Naturally Grow

Liberty caps like pasture lands because they like a ground that is often wet and marshy, with lots of natural fertilizer. In the fields and meadows, they grow in the lower sections, cold and damp. They can also grow in parklands and grasslands like pathways, lawns, and even roadsides. They like temperate areas in the Northern Hemisphere, like the UK and Ireland.

These mushrooms do not grow directly on dung, but they want a substrate that is fertilized with it. In the US, they grow during Autumn, mostly in the western part. 

How to Eat Liberty Caps

mushrooms noodle in a salad bowl in the kitchenMagic mushrooms are eaten after going through a drying process. Chewing feels gritty or chalky, especially when eaten whole. The stems and caps can be boiled and prepared as a tea, which tastes earthy without any sweetener. To make it better, adding honey, sugar, or other types of syrup is recommended. If added with food, it is often powdered and mixed like a regular spice.

The most popular creations are pizza and pasta dishes. Some people worry about losing the psychedelic properties of the magic mushrooms when in prolonged heat. To avoid this, only add the powder in the last stages of cooking or use it as a topping.

The Typical Dosage

Magic mushrooms are not known to cause an overdose, but there is a thing called a bad trip. It often affects a person’s mood or mindset and makes the overall experience unpleasant. First-timers are advised to have mental and physical preparations before attempting to try a single dose. Being with a watcher can also help look out for the person and ensure that nothing will bother them.

Experts recommend initial doses to be on the minimum, about .2 to .5 grams of dried mushrooms. This is enough to feel the effects of Psilocybin, though it may vary from person to person. Height and weight are important factors, as well as the metabolism of a person.

Eating before taking the shrooms will also affect, so consuming them on an empty stomach is better. Going to a moderate dose of 1 to 2.5 grams is a gradual increase, with effects lasting up to six hours. 

Magic mushroom in a moss covered ground in the forest

Cultivating Liberty Caps

Cultivating Liberty caps indoors is not recommended because of its demand for a particular environment. These mushrooms are known to feed on putrescent grassroots and like fertilized substrate. Mimicking or simulating these can be difficult.

Experienced fungi cultivators often say that it is impossible to do. Instead, they recommend searching for them in their natural habitat as it is easier. With their unique shape and size, they are relatively easy to distinguish compared to other mushrooms. 

 

A Final Note on Liberty Caps

Liberty Caps are mushrooms you wouldn’t forget when you see them. Its physical characteristics are easy to remember and distinguish from other similar-looking ones. People who live in regions where they grow abundant can find luck in picking some of them. The only thing to remember is to consume these types of mushrooms safely and rightly identifying them before eating. 

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