The discovery of Psilocybe germanica

A: Psilocybe azurescens. B: Psilocybe cyanescens. C: Psilocybe germanica.

What truly sets Psilocybe germanica aside from its relatives in the Psilocybe genus, however, is its psychoactive content. The new strain is comprised of high amounts of both psilocybin, the primary hallucinogenic compound of psychedelic mushrooms, and baeocystin, a psilocybin mushroom alkaloid and analog of psilocybin. This is fascinating as most of the psychoactive mushroom species that possess this amount of psilocybin are more often correlated with high amounts of psilocyn, a substituted tryptamine alkaloid, rather than baocystin. Little is known about baocystin other than that it may cause temporary respiratory depression, something that could be problematic for an individual with chronic breathing issues.

Although it was just recently discovered, mycologists believe that Psilocybe germanica will have no issue spreading to the surrounding regions of Europe (if it hasn’t already). Its desired habitats are moist piles of mulch and wood chip, much like the ones found throughout European gardens and parks.

It goes to show that there is always more to be learned about our home planet. For anyone interested in the details of the new mushroom, the paper documenting its discovery can be found here.