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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Basidiomycota
Class: Homobasidiomycetes
Order: Agaricales
Family: Bolbitiaceae
Genus: Panaeolus
(Fries) Quél.
Type species
Panaeolus papilionaceus var. papilionaceus

List of Panaeolus species

Panaeolus is a genus of small, black-spored, saprotrophic agarics. The word Panaeolus is Greek for "all variegated", alluding to the spotted gills of the mushrooms produced.



These fungi are mostly dung and grassland species, some of which are quite common in Europe and North America. The gills of Panaeolus do not deliquesce as do the members of the related genus Coprinus. Members of Panaeolus can also be mistaken for Psathyrella, however the later genus are usually found growing on wood.

The gills of these mushrooms are black or grey and have a spotty, speckled or cloudy appearance, caused by the way that the dark spores ripen together in tiny patches on the gill surface; different patches darken at different times. Another character of the genus is that the spores are smooth. [1]

The closely related genus Panaeolina shares the spotted gills but they are dark brown (not black) and the spores are ornamented. This genus is sometimes treated as part of Panaeolus. [2]


No members of Panaeolus are used for food, though some are used as a recreational drug. Thirteen [1] species of Panaeolus contain the hallucinogen psilocybin including Panaeolus cyanescens and Panaeolus subbalteatus. The bluing hallucinogenic members of this genus are sometimes segregated into a separate genus, Copelandia.

Several members of this genus are known to contain psilocin and psilocybin and it is suspected that a number of other members of this genus contain unidentified psychoactive compounds. [2] All members of this genus contain serotonin, urea, and tryptophan. [3]

Notable species


  1. ^ Meinhard Moser, translated by Simon Plant: Keys to Agarics and Boleti (Roger Phillips 1983) ISBN 0-9508486-0-3
  2. ^ See Mushroom expert page on Panaeolus foenisecii, which gives further references using both naming choices.
  3. ^ Paul Stamets (1996). "8", Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World. Ten Speed Press, 245. 
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Panaeolus". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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