You might be ecstatic to get your hands on the Psilocybe semilanceata mushrooms from the English Civil War, but wait, it might be an imposter or just a look alikes.
Its common look alikes are Egghead Mottlegill, Mower’s Mushroom, Deadly Galerina and Dunce Caps.
So, follow along to know the differentiating factors between a Psilocybe Semilanceata and its doppelganger.
Table of Contents Show
How Do You Identify A Psilocybe Semilanceata?
Psilocybe semilianceata, commonly known as Liberty Cap Mushroom in the U.S., is famous for its hallucinogenic effects.
Native to Europe and North America, the cap of the Liberty Cap Mushroom is usually conical or bell-shaped, more like a pointed hat.
Besides, the cap’s color can vary, but it is typically pale to dark brown and sometimes whitish.
One of the major distinctive factors of these mushrooms is their nipple-like protrusion at the centre, which you’ll not find in the regular Button Mushroom or Portobello Mushroom.
Key Features of The Liberty Cap Mushroom
Besides the psychedelic effect, here are some physical characteristics to set the Psilocybe semilanceata to set them apart from its look alikes.
- Cap Shape & Size: As the name Liberty Cap suggests, the mushrooms are usually conical or bell-shaped, with a pointy cap of 0.5-2.5 cm in diameter.
- Stem Size: These mushrooms have slender and curved stems that can grow around 2.5 to 10 cm in length.
- Gills: The underside of these mushrooms is covered with closely packed gills. Initially, the gills are pale in color, then turing dark purple-brown as it matures.
- Presence of Veil: Different from common mushrooms like Portobello, Liberty Cap has partial veils covering its gills. But the mushroom matures, and the cap expands. This veil might leave a distinctive ring on the stem.
Are Liberty Cap Mushrooms Poisonous?
Normally, Liberty Cap Mushroom contains psilocybin and psilocin, which are psychoactive compounds that can cause hallucinations.
But they are not considered as poisonous or toxic in the traditional sense as they do not possess any toxin with potential immediate harm.
While not exactly toxic, a high dose of psilocybin can have mental and perceptual effects and increases heart rate and body temperature.
Moreover, the psychedelic effect depends on the dose taken and also on the individual’s mindset, environment, and emotional state.
Disclaimer: We do not recommend the use of any intoxicating substance or mushroom.
3+ Psilocybe Semilanceata Look Alikes
Mushrooms that live in similar habitats tend to evolve to look similar.
Also, there is little genetic variation within the mushroom community, so many might resemble each other. Similar is the case with the Liberty Cap.
That said, it is essential to identify the Psilocybe semilanceata correctly to save yourself from other species that could be a potential poison.
Let’s have a look at a few Psilocybe semilanceata look alikes.
1. Egghead Mottlegill
Panaeolus semiovatus, commonly known as Egghead Mottlegill, is a type of non-edible mushroom.
Given the tiny size of around 0.5 inches in diameter, with a smooth, yellow-brown cap, the Egghead Mottlegill tends to look like a Liberty Cap Mushroom.
However, Panaelous semiovatus does not contain psilocybin like the Liberty Cap.
They are neither considered to be poisonous but they are neither edible as well.
2. Mower’s Mushroom
Another fungus from the Panaeolus genus that might deceive for Liberty cap is the Mower’s Mushroom.
Meanwhile, Mower’s Mushroom have small to medium-sized caps, making them a Psilocybe semilanceata look alikes.
But unlike any other on the list, these mushrooms are covered in a fine, powdery substance called pruina.
3. Deadly Galerina
Next on the list of Psilocybe semilanceata look alikes is Galerina marginata, aka Deadly Galerina Mushroom.
These mushrooms are native to similar regions of Europe, North America, and parts of Asia, just like the Liberty Cap.
But these chemicals are capable of causing liver failure and death, beginning with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and seizure, usually after 6-12 hours after ingestion.
So, keep your distance from these brown smooth cap mushrooms with pale yellow gills.
You may find the Deadly Galerina around wood chips or mossy areas like the Psilocybe semilancceta.
4. Dunce Caps
You might have difficulty differentiating the Dunce Cap (Conocybe apala) from Psilocybe semilanceata as they appear to look alikes.
Both the mushrooms are small and found in grassy areas.
The slender whitish stem and cluster growing habit with similar white cap color adds to the resemblance.
Nevertheless, look for their spore print for correct identification. Dunce cap had a white spore print while Libery Cap Mushroom have a purple-brown spore print.
From Editorial Team
Be Aware Of The Legality!
In most parts of the U.S., cultivating, possessing, and consuming the Psilocybe semilanceata and other psilocybin-containing Mushrooms is illegal.
This is due to their psychoactive effects.
So, before you dive into searching for one, make sure to get proper information about the law of your state.