Location: South-Eastern Suburbs, Melbourne, Victoria (Australia)
Date: 24th April 2003
Time: Afternoon (1:00 PM onwards)
Weather: Relatively warm (19 degrees Celsius) and dry

It’s mushroom season! :) Autumn is here! This afternoon was a warm
19 degrees and there was rain a couple of days ago. Rain followed by
warm weather is reported to provide the best growing conditions for
mushrooms. I went mushroom hunting this afternoon with Mushroom Hunter
(not his real name) during a break from our assignments. Mushroom
Hunter (MH) has past experience with identifying some magic mushrooms
and knows the hotspots around our area. I brought my digicam and
backpack along, met up with MH and off we went.


Mushroom #1
Habitat: Wood chips with dry leaves and a plant
Growth pattern: Single
My guess: Toadstool

We walked a long circuitous route around our area to check out every
magic mushroom hotspot that MH has harvested from in the previous year.
I took photos of every species we came across. There were several
promising ones which could be psychoactive, but none which could be
positively identified with 100% certainty, so I’m going to post the
photos later at The Shroomery
[shroomery.org] for help. I can’t give more information about the
location except that it’s somewhere in the South East suburbs of
Melbourne, Australia.


Mushroom #2
Habitat: Wood chips
Growth pattern: Single
My guess: Panaeolus subbalteatus – magic mushroom based on this picture [erowid.org].

Well, most of the previous year’s hotspots that we went to were
either filled with possibly poisonous mushrooms or non-magical
mushrooms. There were some spots which had dried out as well, but it
was a great learning experience. I discovered that mushrooms can grow
in the strangest places and with MH’s help I learned how to spot for
mushrooms. It became easy after a while and I was surprised at the
amount of wild mushrooms growing around our area. I had never noticed
them before!


Mushroom #3
Habitat: Wood chips
Growth pattern: Clumps
My guess: Toadstool

I harvested three different species, which have since been disposed.
I had neglected to bring plastic bags, so I could only take samples of
three specimens to avoid cross-contamination. One of them somehow
disintegrated during the journey (Mushroom #7) and I was left with two
- one which is probably not magical and one which has a higher chance
of being magical. The purpose of taking samples is solely for
photography in a controlled environment. The specimens have all been
disposed of after the photography session. I do not have mushrooms in
my possession!


Mushroom #4
Habitat: Wood chips
Growth pattern: Smattering
My guess: Gymnopilus purpuratus – magic mushroom based on this picture [erowid.org].

Anyway, even though we did not find mushrooms that could be
identified with absolute certainty as magic mushrooms, there were
several hotspots which MH foresees would spring forth groups of
potentially psychoactive fungi to be collected from future mushroom
hunting trips. I saw a place where there were heaps of what I think is psilocybe cubensis. This would warrant a return visit if it’s positively identified as such.


Mushroom #5
Habitat: Wood chips
Growth pattern: Single
My guess: Unknown

I do not have experience with mushroom identification, so I wouldn’t
want to risk death by misidentifying a potentially poisonous mushroom.
We did not find the species that MH knows is safe from previous
experience. However, we came across several species which appeared to
be psychoactive to my untrained eye. I’ve taken photos of all the
mushrooms we encountered and compared them to known psychoactive fungi
pictures on the net and some bear a remarkable resemblance.


Mushroom #6
Habitat: Wood chips
Growth pattern: Single
My guess: Looks promising – magic mushroom?

The possibility of encountering poisonous look-alikes is high, so
I’ll like to be absolutely certain that they are hallucinogenic. I’ll
post every picture up, and if anyone can help in identifying the ones
containing psilocybin and psilocin (magic mushrooms) I’ll be very
appreciative. Mycologists and seasoned mushroom pickers in Victoria, I
need your help and experience. I can post larger and higher resolution
pictures if extra detail is needed for identification purposes. Thanks!


Mushroom #7
Habitat: Wood chips
Growth pattern: Single
My guess: Panaeolina foenisecii – not psychoactive based on this picture [erowid.org].


Mushroom #7
This is another view of Mushroom #7. It has black/brown gills but it’s not very visible in the picture.


Mushroom #8
Habitat: Wood chips
Growth pattern: Clumps
My guess: Gymnopilus purpuratus – magic mushroom based on this picture [erowid.org].


Mushroom #8
This is another photo of Mushroom #8 at a different spot. Can anyone
confirm this as Gymnopilus purpuratus? This looks promising and there’s
a lot of them.


Mushroom #9
Habitat: Grass
Growth pattern: Single
My guess: Psilocybe cubensis – magic mushroom based on this picture [erowid.org].


Mushroom #9
This is another view of Mushroom #9. It has brownish white gills.


Mushroom #10
Habitat: Grass
Growth pattern: Single
My guess: Psilocybe australiana – magic mushroom based on this picture [erowid.org].


Mushroom #10
This is another view of Mushroom #10. This shows the gills.


Mushroom #11
Habitat: Grass
Growth pattern: Single
My guess: Unknown


Mushroom #11
This is another picture of Mushroom #11 at a different place. I’m not sure if they’re similar, it looks similar to me.


Mushroom #11
This is another view of Mushroom #11 (second one). This shows the gills.


Mushroom #12
Habitat: Grass
Growth pattern: Single
My guess: Psilocybe cubensis – magic mushroom based on this picture [erowid.org].


Mushroom #13
Habitat: Wood chips
Growth pattern: Scattered
My guess: Psilocybe cubensis – magic mushroom based on this picture [erowid.org]. Possible for Psilocybe cubensis stem to be this slim?


Mushroom #14
Habitat: Grass
Growth pattern: Single
My guess: Psilocybe aucklandii – magic mushroom based on this picture [erowid.org]. Possible for Auckland, NZ species to be in Victoria, Australia?


Mushroom #14
This is another view of Mushroom #14. It shows the brown gills.


Mushroom #15
Habitat: Grass
Growth pattern: Single
My guess: Toadstool – it’s a single large (about the size of two golf balls) growth.


Mushroom #16
Habitat: Wood chips
Growth pattern: Clump
My guess: Toadstool


Mushroom #17
Habitat: Grass
Growth pattern: Single
My guess: Toadstool? It’s very interesting – the size is
unusually large and long and it’s squishy when pressure is applied. It
feels like there’s some sort of fluid or air pocket inside.


Mushroom #17
This is another view of Mushroom #17.


Mushroom #10 – Sample Mushroom #1
Habitat: Grass
Growth pattern: Spread out over a small area (picked from a different place but seems similar to Mushroom #10)
My guess: Psilocybe australiana – magic mushroom based on this picture
[erowid.org]. These mushrooms did not ‘bleed’ when the stalk was
snapped. The gill is brownish. This sample has since been disposed.


Mushroom #17 – Sample Mushroom #2
Habitat: Grass
Growth pattern: Single
My guess: Toadstool? The outer ‘flakes’ rubbed off with normal contact friction. This sample has since been disposed.

Added on 25th April 2003 (01:43 AM): Here’s the very informative replies from The Shroomery forum members! [shroomery.org].

Good magic mushroom references:
John W. Allen’s Magic Mushrooms of Australia & New Zealand [erowid.org].
The Shroomery [shroomery.org].

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