Revised and Recreated 24 July 2002; August 31, 2007; August 27, 2008; May 23, 2010; April 21, 2013; and May 24, 2013.
Copyright 1998-2013 by John W. Allen.

Psilocybe cubensis (Earle) Singer Malaysian Spores. Enlarged 5,000 times: Photo: P. Sihanonth, Bangkok.

The Ultimate Identification Guide
Magic Mushrooms

This section is devoted entirely to the identification of psilocybian and Amanita active species of fungi.


Hello and welcome to the new Mushroom John's "Tales of the Shrooms, a newly rewritten Psilocybian Mushroom Identification Guide. In this section you will find several pages on how to identify and preserve psilocybian mushrooms for microscopic identification. Also considered are short chapters on their history, their cultivations, various strains of Psilocybe cubensis from around the World as well as a chapter on All Things Amanita/Soma.

Each species described, presents a wide variety of photographs of several common and not so common species of these visionary mushrooms. A majority of them found in the United States and from various locations around the world.

I first began photographing psilocybian mushrooms back in the early 1970's. And so listed here below in this ultimate mushroom field guide I present over 67 different species of magic mushrooms (five of which are non-active species often believed by some to be of a 'psilocybian nature.' They are arranged alphabetically by Genus and species. I have also placed on each species page a brief description with some comments about each mushroom which I identify. I have also place in each section of the gallery, various photographs taken over the years of each individual species to show their various stages during their growth and development. Some species present lawn varieties and woodchip or mulched varieties; including some species that share duel habitats. Their are also many species that grow directly from dung, and we present those varieties and images of bluing in individual species. Additionally, some species presented here also show specimens in their various stages of being harvest, how to properly dried and preserve them for future storage or use.

between 2000 and 2012, more than 190 mushrooms species were identified as containing psilocine and psilocybine. In this section, I have only listed species that I am familiar with or species that I personally studied and took photographs of or those species where other shroom lovers have personally provided rare photographs not available to the general public. Later I will add sketches for many more species. Since 2011, the known list of psilocybian fungi has risen to more than well over 200 species containing the tryptamine alkaloids psilocybine and/or psilocine.

Finally, I would like to remind again, that there are four species described here in this guide which are not psychoactive, but I have listed them below here because they are the most common mushrooms collected and mistaken for those which are psychoactive or which were, over the past century, studied by some and previously misidentified as psychoactive by numerous authors in their scholarly field guides or in medical journals. Such collections and misidentified species, whether from old wives urban legends or errors carried by new mycologists from older text, there is a new list of species and their published chemical academic papers now listed in Ethnomycological Journals: Sacred Mushroom Studies vol. IX and that journal will be published at MAPS.ORG's website for free viewing in mid-May of 2013.

A few of those species no longer considered as psilocybian fungi include" Panaeolina foenisecii (which macroscopically resembles Panaeolus subbalteatus [syn.=Panaeolus cinctulus]); Panaeolus antillarum (often mistaken and collected as species of Copelandia); and Panaeolus sphinctrinus (often collected and eaten with no noticeable mind-altering effects) has since been renamed as Panaeolus papilionaceus the 'butterfly' fungi; and finally, the common dung fungus known as Psilocybe coprophila. There is also a pictorial of deadly species that will be expanded this summer, as will the text and format of this guide.

I also have placed on page 4 of the guide text, a pictorial of some of the deadly poisonous look-a-like species such as Galerina marginata, Galerina venenata, Galerina autumnalis and the confusing deadly species Conocybe filaris and I have placed them along side of images of Psilocybe cyanescens and Psilocybe stuntzii for comparison. These images are in the Poisonous Mushroom page here in this guide. Last I have also included a few images of Chlorophyllum molybditis also referred to as 'Morgan's' Lepiota or 'Green Gills', a mushroom species sometimes mistaken for Psilocybe cubensis.

NEW: The Collectied Papers of Gaston Guzman.


Teonanacatl: Food of the Gods
Mushroom Chemistry
Poisonous Mushrooms
Symptoms and Effects
Treatment for Psilocybian Intoxication
How to Identify Psilocybian Mushrooms
A Trip to the Field
Methods of Preparation, Dosage and Preservation.
Some Final Words of Caution
Suggested Readings
Ruminants and Their Shroom Habitats From Various Locations
Shroom Stalkers
The Shit, The Flies, The Spores, The Shrooms, and the Ants

A New Revised Updated list of more than 200 known species. March 10, 2013
Psilocybian Cultivation: A Brief History (214 pages. 265 Cultivation Images)
Various Strains of Cultivated Psilocybe Cubensis Picture Gallery
Magic Mushroom Farms of the Nederland
News Items of Shroom Busts
Mushroom Pioneers (187 pages. Photographs and Art)
John's Power Point Slide Presentation Project with Chulalongkorn University
Amanita muscaria Picture Gallery and Articles

See below: One Happy Shroomer

"The Lunatic is on the Grass"
Pink Floyd: Brain Damage

A MacDonald's Lawn in Tumwater, Washington.
Image by Jochen Gartz, 1990.


Conocybe cyanopus
Conocybe smithii

Copelandia bispora
Copelandia cambodgeniensis
Copelandia cyanescens
Copelandia tropicalis

Galerina steglichii

Gymnopilus aeruginosus
Gymnopilus luteofolius
Gymnopilus spectabilis
Gymnopilus purpuratus

Inocybe aeruginascens
Inocybe calamistrata
Inocybe corydalina var. erinaceomorpha
Inocybe haemacta

Panaeolina foenisecii1 (This species is not psychoactive.)

Panaeolus africanus
Panaeolus antillarum (This species is not psychoactive.)
Panaeolus castaneifolius
Panaeolus sphinctrinus (syn.=Panaeolus papilionaceus. This species is not psychoactive.)
Panaeolus subbalteatus

Pluteus salicinus

Psilocybe allenii
Psilocybe antioquensis
Psilocybe arcana
Psilocybe atlantis
Psilocybe aucklandii
Psilocybe australiana
Psilocybe aztecorum
Psilocybe azurescens
Psilocybe baeocystis
Psilocybe bohemica
Psilocybe brasiliensis
Psilocybe caerulescens
Psilocybe caerulipes
Psilocybe columbiana
Psilocybe coprophila (This species is not psychoactive.)
Psilocybe cordispora
Psilocybe cubensis
Psilocybe cyanescens
Psilocybe cyanofibrillosa
Psilocybe fagicola
Psilocybe fimetaria
Psilocybe heimii
Psilocybe hispanica
Psilocybe hoogshagenii
Psilocybe liniformans var. americana
Psilocybe mexicana
Psilocybe moravica
Psilocybe natalensis
Psilocybe ovoideocystidiata
Psilocybe pelliculosa
Psilocybe portoricensis
Psilocybe quebecensis
Psilocybe samuiensis
Psilocybe sanctorum
Psilocybe semilanceata
Psilocybe semperviva
Psilocybe sierrae
Psilocybe silvatica
Psilocybe stuntzii
Psilocybe stuntzii var. tenuis
Psilocybe subaeruginosa
Psilocybe subcubensis
Psilocybe tampanensis
Psilocybe uxpanapensis
Psilocybe villarrealiae
Psilocybe weilii
Psilocybe xalapenensis
Psilocybe yungensis
Psilocybe zapotecorum

Return to Main Index