The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants: Ethnopharmacology and Its Applications

Pluteus spp.


Pluteus Species




Pluteaceae (Pluteus Mushrooms)


The small- to medium-size pluteus mushrooms have more or less plane to convex caps. They are well represented in Europe (Singer 1956). Many species are considered edible. Some have been found to contain psilocybin and baeocystin (Allen et al. 1992**; Gartz 1986; Stamets 1996**).

Pluteus cervinus (Schaeff.) P. Kumm.


This species, the fawn pluteus, is now seen as synonymous with Pluteus atricapillus Singer. In Europe, the fawn pluteus is regarded as edible. It is doubtful whether the fruiting bodies of Pluteus cervinuscontain psychoactive substances. According to Allen et al. (1992, 93**), the species does contain psilocybin.

Pluteus cyanopus Quélet


This small species is found throughout central Europe. It develops a greenish blue color at the base of its stem. The mushroom is regarded as “somewhat poisonous” because it contains psilocybin.

Pluteus nigriviridis Babos


This pluteus species has been found to contain psilocybin (Stijve and Bonnard 1986).

Pluteus salicinus (Persoon ex Fries) Kummer—willow pluteus


This somewhat uncommon grayish mushroom, which usually appears alone, has a convex cap that later becomes plane. The center of the cap is scaly. In Europe, it grows from early summer to fall on deciduous wood. It contains the psychoactive substances psilocybin and baeocystin (Gartz 1987). North American samples have yielded psilocybin and psilocin (Saupe 1981).

A nonblueing variety is known by the name Pluteus salicinus var. achloes Sing. (Saupe 1981, 783).

Pluteus villosus Bull. [syn. Pluteus ephebeus (Fr.: Fr.) Gillet, Pluteus murinus Bres., Pluteus lepiotoides A. Pearson, Pluteus pearsonii P.D. Orton]


In central Europe, this species thrives on decaying deciduous wood from early summer to fall. It purportedly contains psilocybin.


The fawn pluteus (Pluteus cervinus). (From Winkler, 2000 Pilze selber bestimmen, 1996**)




Christansen, A. L., K. E. Rasmussen, and K. Høiland. 1984. Detection of psilocybin and psilocin in Norwegian species of Pluteus and ConocybePlanta Medica 45:341–43.


Gartz, Jochen. 1987. Vorkommen von Psilocybin und Baeocystin in Fruchtkörpern von Pluteus salicinusPlanta Medica (1987), no. 3: 290–91.


Saupe, Stephen G. 1981. Occurrence of psilocybin/psilocin in Pluteus salicinus (Pluteaceae). Mycologia 73 (4): 781–84.


Singer, R. 1956. Contributions towards a monograph of the genus PluteusTransactions of the British Mycological Society 39:145–232.


Stivje, T., and J. Bonnard. 1986. Psilocybine et urée dans le genre PluteusMycologia Helvetica 2:123–30.