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New Psilocybe species from New Mexico


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#1 mjshroomer

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 12:07 AM

Okay,

I bring joy to the citizens of the State of New Mexico and I am proud to post here first, the information of this new species which belongs to the section Stuntzii of the genus Psilocybe.

Psilocybe mescaleroensis.

Studied materials: NEW MEXICO, Mescalero Range, Sierra Blanca, Lincoln County, near town Mescalero.

(Trivia)
Lincoln County is where Pat Garrett Shot and killed Billy the Kid.

A sketched image of the features of the mushrooms.

http://mycotopia.net...=1&d=1223442358

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and have a shroomy day because it is my birthday.

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#2 shroom_seeker

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 12:19 AM

:cool:

#3 Guest_psi_*

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 12:23 AM

Nice, Mexico has such a vast array of Psilocybe species. Do you have any more information on it such as substrate preference, necessary environmental conditions to fruit, etc?

#4 mjshroomer

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 01:06 AM

Nice, Mexico has such a vast array of Psilocybe species. Do you have any more information on it such as substrate preference, necessary environmental conditions to fruit, etc?


This is New Mexico Psylence, not Mexico.

Actually, New Mexico does not have a large array of Psilocybe species. It does have P. coprophila, a non-active Psilocybe species in dung, and for one year had a small transplanted fruiting of Psilocybe azurescens which Stamets noted in his Book Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World. However, it did not grow back the following year. Stamets noted transplants in Ohio and New York and a few other places, but the species does not come back after the initial flushes inthe first year.

Dr. Jochen artz had made a dozen or so transplants in Germany and the same problem occurred after the years first fruitings, the mushrooms failed to regrow and especially failed to spread and grow elsewhere from the traveling spores in the wind.

Here is the actual list of Magic Shrooms in New Mexico.

Gymnopilus liquiritae (Hesler, 1969)
G. luteofolius (Hesler, 1969; Stamets, 1996)
G. sapineus (States, 1990)
G. spectabilis (States, 1990; Hesler, 1969)
Panaeolus papilionaceus (Gerhardt, 1996)
Psilocybe azurescens (Stamets, 1996) (one time only and then no more.

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 01:33 AM

My mistake, I'm not familiar with all the states of the USA.

Quite right, that isn't a broad array at all. This makes the find all the more spectacular then. Do you know who found/described it?

#6 throatgorge

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 01:56 PM

This is an old post but I created an account just to respond to it. I probably know more about this than anyone who has never actually seen one...


Lee Walstad discovered P. Mescaleroensis. When I met him he was a 17 year old drummer in a local punk band called backwash. He went to college at the New Mexico Mining Institute and became a rather brilliant and enigmatic scientist.


After reading the description of this mushroom’s habitat I had a very good idea where to begin my search... I found none.


One day, after learning he was in town, Lee responded to a request for some foray guidance. After missing him, describing him to some out of town hikers, and being put on his trail, I sprinted 1/3 of the way up a 9,000 foot mountain (trailhead 7,400 ft) barefoot (barefoot hiking is a hobby of mine) only to discover that the “prime habitat” he wanted to explore was exactly where I had been looking.


Lee told me that they are more potent at higher elevations, and that the ones closer to the average elevation in our mountains (6000-7000 feet) sometimes do not bruise blue or retain a bluish annulus. They are often weaker specimens.


The habitat widely described is “in dead grass by gopher holes.” Lee told me several untested theories about their growth cycle. I do not know if the Apaches know about this, but they are pretty tight lipped about their sacred things, and the grassy meadow in the creek bed is on the reservation and a gay apache friend told me that was one of their most sacred healing places, leading me to believe they are aware of the mushroom.


Lee showed me two plants that he believed the gopher’s actually use to cultivate the mycillium, He believes they use it to strengthen their holes from the footsteps of the various large animals that stomp around in the area. He told me they cut a small section from the stem of these plants, and further sheer the tips off at a 45 degree angle (he voiced no speculation why they do this).


Later on, during the hike, we examined some of these plants (the dew collects on their folliage and keeps the mushrooms moist) and to my astonishment we discovered a small section of sheered plant stem matching his description perfectly.


He said they will sometimes not appear if there isn’t enough rain. It has been fairly rainy, but a bit less so than typical for our monsoon season-- that’s how I missed them.


Thinking back, though, in near proximity to where we discovered the stem, is a muddy creek bank with incredibly rich black soil and on numerous occasions I observed a dense and brilliant white mold growing in patches in this soil.


I am taking a winter recess from further expeditions to this area, but I intend on collecting samples and submitting them to the local branch of ENMU (Eastern New Mexico University) for study. I believe this is the mycillium Lee was talking about. At the time I did not know psilocybins had white mycillium.
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#7 mjshroomer

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 10:36 PM

Wwll they are Psilocybes. Not psilocybins. That is one of several alkaloids in several families of mushrooms that are the active ingredients. Many species have white mycelium and if you truly knew that you would see that in everyone here who has posted grow logs of their Psilocybes and Panaeolus (Copelandia) cultivations projects. As for Lee I never met him. I only posted the info on some new species back in 2008 or there abouts. However, a lot of what you are saying does not make sense. And all Psilocybes in woodchips have white mycelia all over the chips and topsoils, as do manure heaps that produce cubes and copes. I have posted overturned dung heaps and even openly shown elephant dung with cubes and masses of white mycelia. I would not advise anyone to ever eat white mycelia just because there could be some magic species growing in it as deadly mushrooms also produce white mycelia and Galerina species have been found under clusters of Psilocybe cyanescens.. Also, no American Indians have ever used psilocybian mushrooms but some offshoots of the Algonquin's in Northern Michigan and Southern Ontario are the only known North American Indians to use Amanita muscaria, although a few mushroom stones in both México and Guatemala resemble Amanitas. The Miswego were known to have used Amanita with data in journal publications more than 100 years before the first reports of its use by Siberian shamans.
mjshroomer/man of knowledge. Being 17 does not make for good mycological science. It takes years to learn the habitats and the symbiosis between them and the fungi and micro fungi that grow within their various environments.

#8 EstimatedProphet

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:02 PM

I would just like to add that Panaeolus cinctulus grows in New Mexico, I have seen collections from there.

This is awesome and on a similar note, did someone finds a Psilocybe species in Colorado yet? I thought one was discovered in the mountains there, it might say in Stamets book Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World, but I don't remember hearing anything else about it. Do you know anything about that MJ?

I think there's something like 200,000-250,000 people that use Psilocybin mushrooms and/or Peyote in the Native American Churches of North America now so that's looking good I think. :lol:

#9 throatgorge

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 01:16 AM

Wwll they are Psilocybes. Not psilocybins. That is one of several alkaloids in several families of mushrooms that are the active ingredients. Many species have white mycelium and if you truly knew that you would see that in everyone here who has posted grow logs of their Psilocybes and Panaeolus (Copelandia) cultivations projects. As for Lee I never met him. I only posted the info on some new species back in 2008 or there abouts. However, a lot of what you are saying does not make sense. And all Psilocybes in woodchips have white mycelia all over the chips and topsoils, as do manure heaps that produce cubes and copes. I have posted overturned dung heaps and even openly shown elephant dung with cubes and masses of white mycelia. I would not advise anyone to ever eat white mycelia just because there could be some magic species growing in it as deadly mushrooms also produce white mycelia and Galerina species have been found under clusters of Psilocybe cyanescens.. Also, no American Indians have ever used psilocybian mushrooms but some offshoots of the Algonquin's in Northern Michigan and Southern Ontario are the only known North American Indians to use Amanita muscaria, although a few mushroom stones in both México and Guatemala resemble Amanitas. The Miswego were known to have used Amanita with data in journal publications more than 100 years before the first reports of its use by Siberian shamans.
mjshroomer/man of knowledge. Being 17 does not make for good mycological science. It takes years to learn the habitats and the symbiosis between them and the fungi and micro fungi that grow within their various environments.

I said I was going to have them tested at the university. I wouldn't want to eat some weird mystery funk I found on the forest either. sorry if I didn't make that clear. I'm very much aware of gallerinas, and a few other look alikes. It was the proximity of the fungus to signs of this hypothetical "cultivation", along with the color that leads me to get this cleared up by a university. I would not be surprised if they were something else entirely. Certainly they are nothing like anything I have ever seen in my many years exploring various wilderness areas. Lee was initially looking for A. Muscaria, like myself. He is 28 or so now, and has already established himself with several institutions out of state and attends a variety of conferences, mostly as a climatologist of some sort, I believe. He is enigmatic because he is seldom in town, rarely talks to anyone and a great many wild stories abound about him. Myself I am an ametuer with a great deal of experience, but I know a scientist when I talk to one, as I have discussed many matters in many fields over the course of my 45 years. Lee may be young but he certainly has more credentials and education than me. He was quite a fresh faced kid when I met him, but even then I could tell he had more on the ball than your average kid. I just thought it was pretty cool that he discovered this thing, and cooler still that he takes the time to do his own field work and come up with and test some pretty surprising ideas. I never would have imagined that gophers cultivated silly sigh bin mushrooms, and I have a pretty vivid imagination.
Like I said, when I get the samples tested, I wouldn't be at all surprised if they are something else entirely-- I am not even aware if psilocybe growbin inbin soil.
However, if these turn out to be what I am guessing they might be, I think I may have to be pretty smug about it. Time will tell. That fungus ain't a goin no wharr!

#10 mjshroomer

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 09:17 AM

Estimated Prophet, Only members of the Native American Church and the Peyote Church way of life eat Peyote. And those in the drug subculture.

No north American Indians have ever eaten psilocybian mushrooms. Their use is restricted to between 7-9 tribal groups living in remote Mexican villages, primarily along the Siearra Mazateca mountain range in Oaxaca, Mexico and surrounding other Mexican states. over 56 species of Psilocybe occur in México of which at least 38 of those species have been know to be used my Mesoamerican Indian groups. Paul Kroger in a lecture presented after mine at Breittenbush years ago found a new Psilocybe species but it was an inactive species. And I am not sure if he found it at telluride or near Breittenbush Hot Springs in Lake Detroit, Oregon, 60 miles east of Salem in the mountain regions. I have some photos of that one somewhere in my files that I took when he laid them out for the meeting on the Shroom Identification table at the workshop. The Telluride festival has been going on for years and as far as I know, no active Psilocybes have ever been found there. If one has it will probably show up in Guzman's forthcoming revision of his Monograph, "The Genus Psilocybe."

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#11 mjshroomer

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 10:20 AM

Gophers do not cultivate psilocybin containing fungi. That is what is as referred to as an old wives tale. in fact a new version of a wife's tale.

However, termites do cultivate termitomyces species that grow to diameters of up to over three feet in diameter. They clear a garden under the ground and sterilize it until no bacteria remains. Then after the first flushes the termites then bring mycelia above ground to colonize a larger garden. There are two different time lapse photos of Termites and their edible mushroom gardens growing under ground and above ground in the National Geographic documentary on Termites. They are the only know insects that cultivate mushrooms, and probably the only ones who do so for food for their nest/hive/mound. According to Guzman, one termite species also has been reported in the academic literature as besides growing various species of Termitomyces, they also were reportedly cultivating on hallucinogenic Psilocybe as well.

mjshroomer,

again, no members of the Native American Church use any psilocybine mushrooms in their ceremonies ever.

There are thousands of mushroom collections in every University in the world. Most in all of our lifetimes will never be investigated. It tookl over ten years for academic scholars to study the P. allenii that I sent for years to Universities. Unless you specifically have a course you yourself are taking that is related to fungi or microbiology, micro fungi, etc., it will be hard to get any research done on every mushroom people collect and deposit in herbariums. They get put on sheets in the herbarium and sit. Its like Psathyrella species. In America there are over 400 species of Psathyrella and most have never been studied beyond their names and now DNA is about to move many into other families.

Also, there are now over 200 species of fungi alone with psilocybine/psilocine and other related tryptamine alkaloids, and about 100 Psilocybe species that do not contain any psilocine/psilocybin whatsoever. I have 7 species still unidentified of which 5 exhibit bluing in them, including two from Thailand and 5 from the PNW. I am currently working on the Chemistry of P. allenii with Thai colleagues and one SF mycologist who is well known now on the Internet.

So because you bring a mushroom to a University or herbarium does not mean someone will examine it beyond trying to give you a macroscopic identification, and it dried, it really is impossible to identify LBM mushrooms once they are dried. Guzman identified my first specimens of Psilocybe samuiensis as Copelandia cyanescens. For 5 years, hundreds of photos and SEM photographs of the P. allenii, he told me each time I sent him collections that they were Psilocybe cyanescens, ignoring the photographic differences, And likemy guide and many others, even Paul Stamets' Psilocybine Mushrooms of the World has over 15 species that contain no active ingredients, he listed several as having no chemical analysis when indeed several of those that did he was not aware of. He mislabeled Psilocybe samuiensis Guzman, Bandala and Allen as "Psilocybe samuiensis Allen, Gartz and Guzman. That error was later added to Christian Rätsch's "Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants" by using the error from Paul's book and then added that the species Psilocybe samuiensis was referred to by locals as the Samoan Samuiensis. It is not in Samoa which is 2000 km away from the Gulf of Thailand. I eventually due to Guzman's error had to send several collections to Dr. Tjakko Stijve at Nestles for confirmation. I wrote them that they slightly resembled small three inch high liberty caps and were also macroscopically similar to Psilocybe mexicana Heim. Stijve forwarded specimens to Else Villinga at the Rykersherbarium n the Nederland and to mycologist Hoiland who both said that they were either P. mexicana or a new species. Then After sending the new data to Guzman, he then reread my field notes and he and I wrote the paper and Victory Bandala did the Lain taxonomic description of the species from my macroscopic notes of the species, habitat and region. Since I found it on Koh Samui, I named it P. samuiensis although Guzman wanted to call it P. thailandensis. I claimed it was only known on Koh Samui by me at the time. l Later a friend in Thailand studying orchids for his masters found specimens in Ranong Province in Thailand facing the Andaman Sea towards India and in the early 2000s I collected both specimens of P. antioquensis and P. samuiensis from Angkor Wat in Xiem Riap, Cambodia. Both taxonomically identified by Guzman.
So it is not easy to get a mushroom examined at a local University unless you are in such classes and can do such research with others as partners or such a paper would never make it to be peer reviewed. You make it sound easy but it is not that simple to have anyone immediately look and study particular specimens at places of higher education.

So good luck and keep up posted. And again, no mycologist would believe the story of mushrooms growing at gopher holes. We have had posts of cubes growing outdoors in Alaska, P. samuiensis Oregon variation, Cyanescens in Nevada desert regions. And even the other night, the Castle tv show had someone poisoned by an Agaricus species that was deadly and only grew in the desert near sage brush. They went to the desert and their in the sand were pictures of shitake mushrooms some person working on the show placed into the sand to indicate that is where they grew. I do not know of anyone finding mushrooms in deserts yet many species can fruit in sandy soils but that is because the mycelia comes with liquid fertilizers and is in the top soil and that causes fruitings\

Have a shroomy day,

mjshroomer

Edited by mjshroomer, 04 February 2013 - 10:46 AM.
Add text.

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#12 throatgorge

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 12:46 PM

man of knowledge, do you know everything? This place is very remote, and I'm sure it contains many things still unknown. Do you actually read and understand what I have posted? I did not say I was taking a mushroom to the university, I said I was taking a very dense and very radiantly while mycillium or mold of some kind to see if it could be identified. As for what people know and do not know about natives, you can be assured that a great deal of their culture is intact and there is a great deal that they will not tell anyone. I think it is very logical proposition then, to assume that if a psychedelic mushroom grows in a place, and if that place is used for healing ceremonies, there is very likely to be some connection between these two facts. I have been to this place and can tell you first hand that it is an ecologically unique place-- a micro ecosystem where I observed variations in color of well known plants and animals that are unknown to me. This area, Lincoln county, is known to be an area where fugitive come to disappear and evade the law, and has been so since before the days of Billy the Kid. There are innumerable habitats seldom ventured into, accessible only on foot. I'm sorry I'm not classically trained as a field researcher, but neither was my great uncle Stewart Springer. This man discovered many, many unknown sharks, all named Springeri, after him. I find it sad that your zeal to demonstrate your great knowledge has made you absolutely overlook several rather obvious statements I made-- that I was collecting mycillium specimens for analysis, not for peer review, but to find out for myself if what I was observing was something unknown about these organisms and their habitat. Such reactionary responses I suppose might be expected from a public internet message board where all kinds of people come, with little knowledge and experience with a plethora of misconceptions, but would make for very poor anthropology. I seriously doubt a shaman would be willing to share any knowledge (please note, since you do not read my post carefully-- I am not claiming to be either-- just drawing an analogy) with you were you to initiate your conversation by correcting a common error made by many people in using proper nomenclature to describe the subject of discussion.
Such condescending seems absolutely contrary to the rules of this forum... but it is likely I would be the one expelled by giving it any more response than this.
I have already observed things first hand that I was told were not what I thought they were and proved otherwise to myself by direct observation. I have been told a lot of bullshit by a lot of bullshit natives, and I can tell when a sincere friend among them is well versed in their traditions and when I am not being taken for a ride, and bearing that in mind I am sure I have heard some things very few people know-- mostly folklore, such as stories concerning supernatural things Geronimo was said to have done. I know how to evaluate matters of culture very well, having studied anthropoogy and living here where things are probably very different from where you live. I certainly do not dispute the facts you speak of above, or the detail you are able to recite as knowledge, but I find your dismissal of any possible new knowledge to be a poor way to conduct science. At any rate, it is no longer my intention to share any information I gather, in any context, which will be given such spatter dash review. I only signed on to share some of what I had seen and experienced in direct response to a question that deserved a response from someone with first hand experience on an expedition with a person who, you can look this up, actually discovered the species in question. It is fairly clear to me that there is no further reason to share anything beyond that. Other than the painstaking tediousness of academic work and the hair splitting difficulties of determining the veracity of possible new mushroom information, there is very little I can learn here. I will therefore seek my own peers elsewhere. It seems to me there is a very good reason the Apaches are tight lipped about what they know. It is difficult to share important things in the face of prejudice and ridicule. In any case, if you are of such great knowledge, yet are actually unable to correctly comprehend such things as "collecting samples of mycillium" thinking instead that I meant I'd go chowing down on unknown fruit bodies... well I can see very well the caliber of discourse to expect around here. Good luck with whatever it is you think you can study so well. Later, dude.

#13 cheetolay

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 12:52 PM

leaf cutter ants grow fungus. just sayin. oh, and also, im a native american, though not in the NAC, and I do use fungus because loph's arent so readily available in my area. i should probably elaborate on that last statement. i use the fungus in the same way the NAC uses peyote. as a sacrament. not recreationally. its medicine thats to be used in a respectful manner.

Edited by cheetolay, 04 February 2013 - 02:35 PM.


#14 Spooner

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 01:42 PM

Random thoughts:
1) not all spiritual journeys originate in a church
2) not all ceremonys are publically witnessed
3) not all witnessed events are reported

#15 Alan Rockefeller

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 02:15 PM

No north American Indians have ever eaten psilocybian mushrooms. Their use is restricted to between 7-9 tribal groups living in remote Mexican villages, primarily along the Siearra Mazateca mountain range in Oaxaca, Mexico and surrounding other Mexican states. over 56 species of Psilocybe occur in México of which at least 38 of those species have been know to be used my Mesoamerican Indian groups.


Mexico is in North America.

#16 mjshroomer

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 03:24 PM

Mexico is in North America.


Yes Alan but I have and others have always referred to Mexico as Mesoamerica and/or Mexico. And North as America and Canada. But still my point above was that no America Indians have eaten Psilocybe species as was noted above in the Native American Church which is for peyote and not for psilocybian mushrooms.

#17 mjshroomer

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 03:50 PM

A point of knowledge. Andrew Weil in 1978 introduced me to a Navajo medicine man who Andrew introduced to me as a Shaman named Cody. I was asked to present him with a present of some P. cyanescens. I gave him a Ritz Cracker box full of freshly picked P. Cyanescens and two hours later, this medicine man came to me to tell me he lost his mushrooms and asked if I had any more left.

I did not, and my moral was it is pretty sad when a medicine man loses his medicine. And as far as Indian secrets go, Don Juan, whom many believe in was a Yaqui Indian. My original comments above were of the fact that it ws mentioned that members of the Native American Church used Peyote and psilocybine. That was not true. My point about Universities is that someone might tell you what your mycelium was but then the mycelium would not be scrutinized because conditions change when moving from one place to another. . Maybe you should read some of the works of Anthropologist Weston LaBarre whose book, The Ghost Dance: The origins of Religion tell a lot about American Indians and their medicines and uses. He also wrote one of the most definitive books on the Peyote religion known as, "The Peyote Cult." That book is used by many members of the native America Church to create new charters for their religion. It was written by a man who, with Richard Evans Schultes, the leading botanist of the last century who both only consumed peyote twice in their lives. Schultes went into Mexico and collected the first Psilocybe specimens and later into the Amazon for 14-years and discovered over 20,000 plants new to science of which over 84 are hallucinogens. He was also the world's leading expert in Orchids, Rubber and arrow poisons sent to the Amazon in WW2 to study rubber for the war effort. He saw less and 15-20 white people during his time there. Had Malaria for 8 years and chewed coca leaves to combat the malaria and beat it. In fact his love of the rain forest led to a 2 million acre land tract in the Amazon being named in his honor. He was one of my mentors. Over the years I have studied many volumes on American Indians and drugs used by them as healing plants. So I do have a lot of knowledge and personal communications in letters to and from such native Americans and other scholars who studied and lived with them for years. So I do know of what I speak. Yes you can take that mycelium to a University, but then again, it would be extremely rare for someone to put it under their microscope to identify it for you. Reminds me of when I first met Albert Hofmann in 1977 and a guy at the symposium walked over to him and said something to the effect, "Hey gramps, got any of that LSD on you? I could use a few hits." Hofmann's glare back at this guy was one of astonishment. He was not happy about the people there. Later Steven Pollock told me that about 25 people had attempted to ask Dr. Hofmann for LSD while at the three day conference. But some people would examine mycelia, but usually that would be in biology or microbiology and still anyone can drop off specimens and samples and again I reiterate, that does not mean that someone will aid in identifying the mycelium for You. This is not a rude attempt to intimidate but to bring to your attention that I have placed hundreds of collections into herbariums around the world and only about ten have been studied by people other than me and my colleagues that like what I do. There was no negativity in what I was trying to bring to your attention.

Elephant dung cubes and white mycelia. There were also Coprinus species, Panaeolus antillarum and Conocybe species all growing in the same dung heap as these cubes with white mycelium by them. It does not necessarily mean the mycelium belongs to the Psilocybe cubensis in the image.

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#18 mjshroomer

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 04:01 PM

Native American ceremonies for Peyote are nowhere similar to the healing and curing ceremonies of the Mazeteca and other Indians in Oaxaca and Mexico. The Peyote rites revolves around the tracks of the deer's which is the journey to get the peyote. and is for communications with ancestors and prayers. The Indians in Mexico, 7 major groups and two in other parts of Mexico use them in Healing and curing ceremonies and to find lost objects and they never take mushrooms to find God. God was a product of Western civilizations intrusion into Mexican society. and all Mexicans are or were Indians who bred with the Spanish conquistadors. Here is a picture of an authentic Indian Peyote dealer. Actuually images.

peyoteseller2.jpg

peyoteseller1.jpg

Here is an article about this vendor:

"Troubled times for Texas hallucinogen harvesters
December 16, 2007 - Reuters

RIO GRANDE CITY, Texas (Reuters) - Mauro Morales has chickens in his yard, deer antlers hanging from the fence and a shed full of peyote behind his house.

A slight, balding man in his 60s, Morales is one of just three "peyoteros" in the country licensed by the government to sell the small green cactus that contains the hallucinogen mescaline.

His profession is an old one that used to be more common along the Rio Grande, the only place where peyote grows in the United States. Now it is threatened by the forces of modernity.

His customers are the 250,000 to 400,000 members of the Native American Church, the only people in the United States for whom peyote is legal.

The government warily allows them to buy it because it has been part of indigenous religious ceremonies for centuries.


The church members think the visions that peyote produces provide enlightenment and that the cactus has curative powers. They reverently call it "the medicine."

Morales has never tried peyote because it would be illegal for him to do so. He does not want to risk losing his peyote license, for which the main requirement is that he be law-abiding.

"You have to make sure you don't have a problem with the law, you know?" he said in a recent interview.

In the 1970s, Texas licensed as many as 27 peyote dealers. There were supposedly many more before peyote was outlawed in 1967. One of Morales' fellow peyoteros also lives in Rio Grande City, the other 70 miles north in Mirando City.

The profession seems barely legal in a nation perennially at war with drugs, but in the peyote region there is nothing clandestine about it.

Morales has a big sign out in front of his modest home that proclaims "Mauro Morales -- Peyote Dealer, Buy or Sell Peyote."

It includes his phone number should any prospective customers pass by.

"It's a business," he said with a shrug of the shoulders in a recent interview. "It's the only income I got."

It is not a bad business, either. State figures for 2006 show the peyoteros sold a combined 1.6 million peyote "buttons" -- the term for the harvested cactus -- for a total of $463,000.

But records also show volume has declined steadily from mid-1990s peaks of around 2.3 million buttons.

"NOT LIKE IT USED TO BE"

Several factors have contributed to the peyoteros' dwindling number, but the main one is the growing scarcity of peyote.

"There's still some peyote out there, but not like there used to be. It's getting kind of scary now," said Morales above the crowing of a rooster from the roof of his shed.

He has had his peyotero license for 16 years, and before that worked as a picker, walking the arid brush country of southern Texas with a machete in hand and lopping off the top of the cactus when he found it.

It used to be easy -- peyote was plentiful and landowners were happy to let peyoteros harvest the cactus for a small fee.

But urban development and widespread "root plowing," which scrapes natural vegetation off the land to replace it with grass for cattle grazing, destroyed many of the peyote fields that once sprawled along the U.S.-Mexico border.

And more and more peyote land is off-limits because it is being bought by rich Texans who turn it into hunting preserves, said Martin Terry, a biology professor at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas.

They have no need for the few hundred dollars the peyoteros offer to pick over their land and often view them suspiciously, said Terry, who has helped start the Cactus Conservation Institute to protect peyote.

He estimates that peyote's natural range in Texas covers about 800 square miles, but much less is open to the peyoteros.

The result, said Terry, is that the slow-growing cactus is overharvested and the quality and quantity of peyote available for sale is declining.

"We've got a serious case of overgrazing by human herbivores, to put it in biological terms," he said.

Peyote also grows across northern Mexico, which has prompted suggestions that native Americans be allowed to get it there as Texas peyote becomes scarcer.

But Terry believes the wisest thing would be for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to allow what it currently does not: greenhouse cultivation of peyote.

That would save the cactus, but likely make the peyoteros extinct.

Morales said his pickers cut the peyote in a way that allows the plant to grow back. He grabs a machete and slides the blade horizontally along the ground to show the technique.

"It comes back, but it grows slow," he said. "It's hard to get enough medicine." End of article. See above photos of his home area where he legally still sells peyote.


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#19 Heirloom

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 08:44 AM


Court: Growing Hallucinogenic Mushrooms Not Illegal in N.M.

By Barry Massey/
Associated Press
SANTA FE — Growing hallucinogenic mushrooms isn't prohibited by a New Mexico law against manufacturing an illegal drug.
That's the legal conclusion of the state Court of Appeals, which has overturned the felony drug trafficking conviction of an Alamogordo man for growing psilocybin mushrooms in his home.
Under state law, drug trafficking includes the manufacturing of illegal drugs.
However, the court said growing mushrooms was not covered by the drug trafficking law's definition of "manufacture.''
The hallucinogenic substance in the mushrooms, psilocybin, is an illegal controlled substance under state and federal law. Street terms for the mushrooms include "magic mushrooms'' and "shrooms,'' according to a U.S. Justice Department Web site.
The court, in making its decision, cited a 1999 ruling that concluded that growing marijuana does not constitute manufacturing under New Mexico's law against drug trafficking.
The law defines manufacture as "the production, preparation, compounding, conversion or processing of a controlled substance or controlled substance analog by extraction from substances of natural origin or independently by means of chemical synthesis or by a combination of extraction and chemical synthesis and includes any packaging or repackaging of the substance or labeling or relabeling of its container.''
Police raided David Ray Pratt's home in Alamogordo in June 2002 based on information from a confidential informant. They found mushrooms growing in glass jars, syringes containing psilocybin spores for inoculating a mixture used to grow the mushrooms, a foam cooler with a humidifier apparatus and instructions for growing the mushrooms.
At his trial, Pratt testified he was trying to grow the mushrooms for his own use and didn't intend to sell them. He said he was a heavy user of the mushrooms and they were expensive, worth about $15 a gram. About seven grams of the mushrooms were found by police.
Pratt was convicted of drug trafficking by manufacture — a second-degree felony — and sentenced to nine years in prison. The sentence was suspended and he was placed on five years' probation.
He also was convicted of possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor. In the raid of Pratt's house, police had found pipes used to smoke marijuana.
Pratt did not appeal the drug paraphernalia conviction.
The attorney general's office argued Pratt's felony conviction should be upheld because he used special equipment to artificially grow the mushrooms.
Pratt's lawyer in the appeal, Cordelia Friedman, an assistant appellate public defender, contended in a brief that the mushrooms were in "a natural state of mushroomness when their 'cob-like' structures were ripped out of their mason jars by police.'' The illegal hallucinogenic substance is produced naturally by the mushroom during a certain stage of its development, according to the court.
"Genetic material in a seed or spore, brought to fruit by provision of soil and water, is not 'manufacturing' as contemplated by the Legislature'' in the drug trafficking law, Friedman wrote.
The Court of Appeals agreed.
"Because there is no evidence that defendant engaged in 'extraction from substances of natural origin or ... chemical synthesis' as defined by (the drug trafficking law) ... his acts of cultivating or growing mushrooms, even if by artificial means, are not prohibited'' by state law, the court said in an opinion written by Judge James Wechsler.
The court pointed out New Mexico's anti-drug laws are patterned after a federal law. However, state law does not include a federal provision that makes clear the "planting, cultivation, growing or harvesting of a controlled substance'' is illegal because those are defined as the production of a drug.
The court said "we believe the Legislature acted intentionally when it omitted a similar definition'' of production in New Mexico's law against drug trafficking.
Attorney General Patricia Madrid will ask the state Supreme Court to consider overturning the appeals court's ruling, said spokesman Sam Thompson. She said Wednesday it was uncertain whether the attorney general would ask the Legislature next year to change the state's drug trafficking law because of the court ruling in the mushroom case.

https://www.abqjourn...ush06-15-05.htm





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Edited by Heirloom , 17 May 2017 - 08:45 AM.

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#20 Alan Rockefeller

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 03:17 PM

Heirloom, that article is a bit misleading, as it's still a felony to grow Psilocybe in New Mexico.    Now it's possession / distribution instead of manufacture.....so slightly less illegal.

 

Regarding Psilocybe mescaleroensis, I found the holotype in Xalapa:  http://mushroomobserver.org/162774

 

And last year I traveled to New Mexico and photographed them in their native habitat:  http://mushroomobserver.org/260056


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