The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants: Ethnopharmacology and Its Applications

Inocybe spp.


Inocybe Mushrooms






These small- to medium-size mushrooms form first conic and later slightly convex caps with a slightly incurved margin. Their German name, risspilze, means “ripped or cracked fungi,” referring to their typically fissured surface. They grow from summer to fall in forests, on pastures and moors, and in alpine settings. Of the approximately 160 species, several are feared as poisonous. The brick red Inocybe erubescens Blytt. [syn. Inocybe patouillardii Bres.] contains muscarine and can produce serious and even deadly poisonings. The few species that color blue-green (I. aeruginascensI. corydalinaI. haemacta) contain psilocybin and baeocystin (Stivje et al. 1985). These are nonpoisonous and occur in central Europe (Germany, Switzerland) (Gartz and Drewitz 1985). They have no traditional use.

Inocybe aeruginascens Babos


This mushroom was first found in 1965 in Hungary, spread from there, and suddenly appeared in 1975 in Berlin. In 1980, it came to Holland, and in 1984 it even made it to the Rhône valley of Switzerland. It can be assumed that this species is a new one that arose only a few years ago (Gartz 1992).

The cap is only 2 to 3 cm across; the stem colors heavily bluish green all the way to the swelling base. This mushroom grows from spring to fall near deciduous trees in the grassy areas of parks. It contains psilocybin and has unequivocal psychoactive effects (Gartz 1986a). To produce visions, 2.4 g of dry weight suffice (Gartz 1995). None of the samples tested has yielded the toxic muscarine, which does appear elsewhere in the genus (Gartz 1986b).


The blueing mushroom Inocybe calamistrata is psychoactive and may contain psilocybin.


“The mushrooms [Inocybe aeruginascens] taste like ordinary culinary mushrooms. After some 30 minutes, while lying relaxed with no other somatic effects, there gradually appeared an extremely pleasant neutralization of the sense of weight. Abstract hallucinations in the form of sparkling colors and lights slowly developed. When the sense of weight had completely disappeared, there arose a very lively perception of a flight of the soul with corresponding euphoric feelings.”





The mushroom Inocybe patouillardii on a Cuban stamp


Inocybe coelestium Kuyper


Inocybe corydalina Quélet


This species occurs in two varieties:


Inocybe corydalina var. corydalina Quélet

Inocybe corydalina var. erinaceomorpha (Stangl et Veselsky) Kuyper—brown cap, more than 5 cm across


This mushroom grows from summer to fall, primarily in deciduous forests.

Inocybe haemacta (Berkeley et Cooke) Saccardo


This mushroom grows in the fall in deciduous forests and parks.



See also the entry for psilocybin.


Gartz, Jochen. 1986a. Psilocybin in Mycelkulturen von Inocybe aeruginascensBiochem. Physiol. Pflanzen 181:511–17.


———. 1986b. Untersuchungen zum Vorkommen des Muscarins in Inocybe aeruginascens Babos. Zeitschrift für Mykologie 52 (2): 359–61.


———. 1992. Inocybe aeruginascens, ein ‘neuer’ Pilz Europas mit halluzinogener Wirkung. Yearbook for Ethnomedicine and the Study of Consciousness, 1992 (1): 89–98. Berlin: VWB.


———. 1995. Inocbye aeruginascens Babos. Eleusis 3:31–34. (Additional literature.)


Gartz, J[ochen], and G. Drewitz. 1985. Der erste Nachweis von Psilocybin in Rißpilzen. Zeitschrift für Mykologie 51 (2): 199–203.


Semerdzieva, Marta, M. Wurst, T. Koza, and Jochen Gartz. 1986. Psilocybin in Fruchtkörpern von Inocybe aeruginascensPlanta Medica 47:83–85.


Stijve, T., J. Klan, and Th. Kuyper. 1985. Occurrence of psilocybin and baeocystin in the genus Inocybe (Fr.) Fr. Persoonia 12:469–73.