Plant / associate
fruitbody of Psilocybe montana is associated with Polytrichum
Other: minor host/prey


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Deconica montana

Deconica montana
View the Mycomorphbox template that generates the following list
Mycological characteristics
gills on hymenium
cap is convex
hymenium is adnate
stipe is bare
spore print is purple-brown
ecology is saprotrophic
edibility: unknown

Deconica montana, commonly known as the mountain moss Psilocybe, is a common species of mushroom that is usually found growing in mossy areas, often in montane regions around the world. The appearance is that of a typical "little brown mushroom"—with a small, brown cap and a straight, thin stipe, growing separately or in clumps with others.


Psilocybe montana was formerly the type species of the mushroom genus Psilocybe.[1] Because it does not contain hallucinogenic tryptamine derivatives like psilocybin or psilocin,[2][3] it does not stain blue when handled, unlike other typical hallucinogenic members of this genus. Molecular studies in the late 2000s revealed that the genus was polyphyletic and consisted of two distinct clades separating the blueing species from the non-blueing species.[4][5][6] However, dividing the genus would be problematic as the name Psilocybe was attached to P. montana and consequently to the non-blueing clade, leaving the hallucinogenic species without a generic name. Because the name is widely associated with the hallucinogenic species and considering the potential legal ramifications of changing their generic name, a proposal was made to conserve the name Psilocybe with P. semilanceata as the type. This left Deconica available as a name for the non-blueing species.[7] The proposal was unanimously accepted by the Nomenclature Committee for Fungi in 2009.[8]


The cap is 0.5–1.5 cm in diameter, initially convex in shape but flattening in age, sometimes with a broad umbo. The cap is moist, glabrous, hygrophanous, and has radial striations to the center; the color is brown to dark-brown. The gills are adnate to broadly adnate or sometimes very shortly decurrent, and of the same color as the cap. The stipe is 1.5–4 cm long, 1–2 mm thick, smooth, the same color as the cap, and brittle. Spores are typically 7.5–10 × 6–8 × 5–5.5 µm and ovatelentiform in shape with a thickened wall.[9] A large spored variety (spore dimensions of 8.5–11 × 6.0–8.5 × 5.0–7.0 µm), Psilocybe montana var. macrospora Noordel. & Verduin (1999), has also been reported from the Netherlands.[10] The spore print is dark greyish-brown.[11]


Deconica montana is saprobic, possibly also parasitic. It is often associated with mosses such as Brachythecium albicans, B. mutabulum, Campylopus introflexus, Ceratodon purpureus, Dicranum scoparium, Eurhynchium hians, E. praelongum, E. speciosum, Rhacomitrium canescens, Pohlia species or Polytrichum piliferum.[12] It is commonly found in exposed situations such as dune-meadows, heaths and tree-less tundra, and open Pinus forests, usually on nutrient-poor, well-drained soil.[13]


The species has a worldwide, almost cosmopolitan distribution and has been reported from a variety of regions in a wide range of climates, including:

They have also been reported growing in Chemnitz, Germany, on vegetation-covered flat roofs.[26]


  1. ^ Singer, R. (1975). The Agaricales in Modern Taxonomy. J. Cramer, Vaduz. 912 p.
  2. ^ a b Salazar, F.; Marcano, V.; Castellano, F.; Martinez, L.; Morales, A. (1994). "Chemical and microstructural study of the genus Psilocybe (Agaricales) in the Venezuelan Andes: Part I. Psilocybe montana (Pers. ex Fr.) Kummer". Ernstia 4 (1–2): 11–19. 
  3. ^ a b Marcano, V., Morales Méndez, A., Castellano, F., Salazar, F. J., Martinez, L. (July 1994). "Occurrence of psilocybin and psilocin in Psilocybe pseudobullacea (Petch) Pegler from the Venezuelan Andes". Journal of Ethnopharmacology 43 (2): 157–9. doi:10.1016/0378-8741(94)90013-2. PMID 7967656. 
  4. ^ Moncalvo JM, Vilgalys R, Redhead SA, et al. (2002). "One hundred and seventeen clades of euagarics". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 23 (3): 357–400. doi:10.1016/S1055-7903(02)00027-1. PMID 12099793. 
  5. ^ Nugent KG, Saville BJ. (2004). "Forensic analysis of hallucinogenic fungi: a DNA-based approach". Forensic Science International 140 (2–3): 147–57. doi:10.1016/j.forsciint.2003.11.022. PMID 15036436. 
  6. ^ Matheny PB, Curtis JM, Hofstetter V, et al. (2006). "Major clades of Agaricales: a multilocus phylogenetic overview" (PDF). Mycologia 98 (6): 982–95. doi:10.3852/mycologia.98.6.982. PMID 17486974. 
  7. ^ Redhead SA, Moncalvo J-M, Vilgalys R, Matheny PB, Guzmán-Dávalos L, Guzmán G. (2005). "(1757) Proposal to conserve the name Psilocybe (Basidiomycota) with a conserved type" (PDF). Taxon 56 (1): 255–57. 
  8. ^ Norvell L. (2009). "Report of the Nomenclature Committee for Fungi: 15" (PDF). Mycotaxon 110: 487–92. doi:10.5248/110.487. 
  9. ^ a b c Miller, O. K. Jr.; Laursen, G. A.; Farr, D. F. (1982). "Notes on Agaricales from Arctic Tundra in Alaska". Mycologia 74 (4): 576–591. doi:10.2307/3792745. JSTOR 3792745. 
  10. ^ Bas, Cornelis (1988). Flora agaricina Neerlandica: critical monographs on families of agarics and boleti occurring in the Netherlands. Rotterdam: A.A. Balkema. ISBN 90-5410-492-9. 
  11. ^ Gastón Guzmán (1983). The genus Psilocybe: a systematic revision of the known species including the history, distribution and chemistry of the hallucinogenic species. Berlin: J. Cramer. ISBN 3-7682-5474-7. 
  12. ^ Lamoure, D. (1977). "Agaricales de la zone alpine. Psilocybe chionophila, sp. nov". Bull. Soc. Linn. Lyon 46: 213–217. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ Parker-Rhodes, A. F. (1953). "The Basidiomycetes of Thetford Chase. I. Correlation with age of plantation". New Phytologist 52 (1): 65–70. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8137.1953.tb05206.x. 
  15. ^ Wood, M.; Stevens, F. "California Fungi - Psilocybe". 
  16. ^ Guzmán, G.; Tapia, F.; Ramírez-Guillén, F.; Baroni, T. J.; Lodge, D. J; Cantrell, S. A.; Nieves-Rivera, A. M. (2003). "New species of Psilocybe in the Caribbean, with an emendation of P. guilartensis". Mycologia 95 (6): 1171–1180. doi:10.2307/3761918. JSTOR 3761918. PMID 21149019. 
  17. ^ Zang, M.; Xia, Y. (1989). "Notes on the fungi from Western Kunlun Mountains China". Acta Botanica Yunnanica 11 (4): 397–406. 
  18. ^ Nieves-Rivera, A. M.; Flores, Santos; Betancourt, C. (1997). "Notes on the Agaricales of the high plains of Guasca, Cundinamarca Department, Colombia". Caldasia 19 (1–2): 349–51. 
  19. ^ Lange, M. (1955). Macromycetes Part II, Greenland Agaricales. Meddel. Grønland. 147:1–69.
  20. ^ Guzman, G.; Varela, L.; Ortiz, J. P. (1977). "The known non-hallucinogenic species of Psilocybe in Mexico" (PDF). Boletin de la Sociedad Mexicana de Micologia 11: 23–24. 
  21. ^ Guzman, G.; Kasuya, T. (2004). "The known species of Psilocybe (Basidiomycotina, Agaricales, Strophariaceae) in Nepal". Mycoscience 45 (4): 295–297. doi:10.1007/s10267-004-0186-8. 
  22. ^ Hoiland, K. (1978). "The genus Psilocybe in Norway". Nordic Journal of Botany 25 (2): 111–122. 
  23. ^ Favre, J. (1955). Les champignons supérieurs de la zone alpine du Parc National Suisse. Vol. 5. Druck Ludin AG. Liestal, Switzerland. pp. 1–212.
  24. ^ Favre, J. (1960). Catalogue descriptif des champignons supérieurs de la zone subalpine du Parc National Suisse. Vol. 6. Druck Ludin AG. Liestal, Switzerland. pp. 323–610.
  25. ^ Urbonas, V. A. (1978). "The taxonomy and range of fungi of the family Strophariaceae in the USSR. Part 3. The genus Psilocybe". Lietuvos TSR Mokslu Akademijos Darbai Serija C Biologijos Mokslai 1: 9–18. 
  26. ^ Berthold, S.; Otto, P. (2005). "Studies of diversity and habitat preference of fungi and lichens on vegetation-covered flat roofs in Chemnitz (Saxony)". Boletus 28 (1): 37–47. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Stamets, P. (1996). Psilocybin mushrooms of the world. Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, CA, USA. 245 pp. (p. 132)
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