Psilocybe fagicola

Psilocybe fagicola
  • Native to sub-tropical, humid, high-altitude forests in Mexico
  • Confirmed hallucinogenic, unknown potency
  • Closely related to other Mexican species: P. yungensis, etc.
  • Potentially used by the Nahuatl and Totonac tribes

Psilocybe fagicola is found in the Fagus (Beech tree) forests of Mexico. It is commonly discovered among the leaf debris or rich soil on the ground. It prefers regions of high altitude and subtropical areas with high humidity. Because of this, it is primarily restricted to the states of Hidalgo and Veracruz in Mexico.

Their natural range overlaps with the historical ranges of certain native tribes in Mexico. Along with clues from the oral history of these peoples, this fungus may have been used ceremonially among the Nahuatl and Totonac tribes. While the potency is not well known, the renowned mycologist Guzman confirmed that they are hallucinogenic along the lines of the Cordisporae members (P. yungensis, etc.).

It shares its habitat with Liquidamber styraciflua and members of the Pinus and Quercus genera. Many other species of Psilocybe share this preference, especially P. yungensis. Further, P. fagicola is the namesake for a complex, or sub-group, of the Psilocybe genus, sharing very similar features with up to six other species.

P. fagicola has a variable appearance and few defining or recognizable characteristics. It has a dark brown cap that frequently displays an umbo or papilla. Accompanied with a reddish or brownish stipe, these mushrooms may pose a difficulty for spotting them in the undergrowth.

The variation in this species has led to confusion about whether the sub-species P. fagicola var. mesocystidiata even exists as a separate entity. Both the main and variant species have a variable or subtle bluing reaction to damage or age, and both share a floury scent and flavour.

Online availability, restricted natural range, and unknown or variable potency prevents real amateur interest in this species. Their rarity and variability has made them a challenge for scientists and experts alike.

Heim R, Cailleux R (1959). “Nouvelle contribution à la connaissance des Psilocybes hallucinogènes du Mexique”. Revue de Mycologie (in French). 24: 437–41.