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Sunday, 2 December 2012

Psilocybe quebecensis

Cap: 1-3.5 cm broad. Nearly hemispheric at first, soon expanding to convex, then becoming broadly convex to plane, and without an umbo. Margin incurved at first and usually not markedly undulated; translucent-striate when moist. Pale straw yellow and often with brownish or tawny hues, becoming more grayish in drying. Bruising bluish when touched or disturbed. Surface smooth, becoming finely wrinkled with age, and viscid when moist. Flesh whitish. Gills: Attachment adnate, thin, moderately broad to swollen in the middle. Becoming very dark chestnut brown at maturity, and tisiil1y somewhat mottled, with the edges remaining whitish. Stem: 20-35 (45) mm long by 1-2.5 mm thick. Brittle, tough, and fibrous. Slightly enlarged at the apex and flared at the base, which is often furnished with rhizomorphs. Yellowish tawny, drying to a distinct grayish yellow, becoming bluish where bruised. Partial veil cortinate, and soon disappearing. No annulus. Microscopic features: Spores purplish brown and black In deposit, ellipsoid to subovoid in side and face view some spores mango shaped, 8-14 (16) by 6-8.8 µ. Basidia 4-spored. Pleurocystidia present, 12-35 by 9-15 µ, very distinctive by their swollen apices, as in Psilocybe cubensis and Psilocybe cyanescens. Cheilocystidia 18-36 by 5.5-10 µ, fusoid-ampullaceous with an extended neck, 2-3.3 µ thick. Habit, habitat, and distribution: Grows in sandy soils, particularly in outwashes or streams, and in the decayed-wood substratum of alder, birch, fir and spruce in the late summer and fall. Reported from Quebec, specifically in the Jacques Cartier river valley. Comments: Moderately active according to Ola’h and Heim (1967). P.quebecensis is a classic flood-plain species and is probably more widely distributed than presently reported. This species is not well known to Quebec residents, and I suspect that naturalized colonies could easily be established by those wishing to have P. quebecensis growing in their backyard.