Psilocybe, the genus name, means ‘smooth head’ – a reference to the silkily mooth, scaleless surface of caps of these grassland mushrooms. The specific epitet semilanceata comes from semi- meaning ‘half’and –lanceata which means ‘spear-shaped’. Some of these little mushrooms do indeed look like spears, although many have wiggly stems uncharacteristic of spear shafts.
The common name Magic Mushroom is, of course, a reference to the hallucinogenic nature of this grassland species
There is also a rare orange variety of psilocybe semilanceatas that grows in Spain and the PNW USA. There is a couple pictures of this orange strain in our gallery. My friend from Spain that has been hunting these mushroms for decades also tells me he seens albino from time to time and several different shaded colors of semilanceatas. As well liberty caps grow along side psilocybe Gallaeciae in Galicae Spain.
Although semilanceatas do not grow directly out of dung, they do grow from the dung enriched soil below and through the dung when fresh. The dung acts like a casing soil and provides shade and holds in moisture. My friends in Spain are lucky psilocybe mushrooms are legal in their country and a normal part of their culture. I can’t wait to go back to the Pyrenees mountains of Spain and enjoy the immense beauty and visit my friends for some exciting mushroom foraging again.