Panaeolus antillarum: Identification and Information

Panaeolus antillarum is a small-medium sized mushroom with a bell-shaped cap on a long and relatively thin stem. Although it is edible, common and has a widespread distribution it is not usually eaten as does not have a pleasant taste. Panaeolus antillarum gained notoriety as the ‘Hysteria fungus’ in Australia in the 1940s due to being associated with hallucinations following consumption, further clarification identified a different species Panaeolus cyanescens that although macroscopically similar they are different mushrooms. Panaeolus antillarum does not have psychedelic properties.

Panaeolus antillarum can be found growing in North America, Mexico and South America. United Kingdom and some other European countries, and South Africa. Also observed in Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Indonesia and Cambodia. It is partial to rain and will be found growing on or in the dung of four-legged animals.

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Panaeolus Antillarum Identification and Description

Cap: 4-10cm in diameter. Hemispherical in shape and very convex – giving a bell shape appearance. White when young, gradually turning off white to grey in colour.
Gills: On the underside of fruiting body, turning black with age.
Stem: Long central stipe, up to 22cm tall and 2cm wide. The stem is bare.
Smell: Fungal.
Taste: Bitter, fungal and unpleasant.
Spores: Ellipsoid in shape. Each basidium supports four spores.
Spore color: Black.
Edibility: Edible but not recommended.
Habitat: Pasture, grasslands and Mountains with North West inclination where it can be found growing on a variety of manures.
Season: Typically grows Spring to Autumn and is particularly partial to rainy seasons.
Division: Basidiomycota; Class: Agaricomycetes; Order: Agaricales; Family: Bolbitiaceae; Genus: Panaeolus & Species: Panaelous antillarum.
Ecology: Saprotrophic.

Panaeolus Antillarum Look-Alikes

It may be mistaken for Panaeolus semiovatus var. phalaenarum or Panaeolus cyanescens. Panaeolus cyanescens can be distinguished by the thinner cap which is also greyer in colour and the mushroom will bruise blue. It is essential the correct mushroom is identified before eating as biologically active psilocin is found in or Panaeolus cyanescens which can cause psychedelic experiences.

Panaeolus Antillarum Benefits

As Panaeolus Antillarum is not usually eaten or consumed, it has no known benefits at this time.

Panaeolus Antillarum Dosage

There are no recommended dosage instructions for Panaeolus antillarum, this may be due to the fact that it is not commonly eaten due to its bitter taste.

Panaeolus Antillarum Toxicity, Safety & Side Effects

Some of the Panaeolus genus have been known to cause gastric upset.

References:

  1. Panaeolus antillarum (Basidiomycota, Psathyrellaceae) from wild elephant dung in Thailand

 

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