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Liberty Cap (Psilocybe semilanceata)

The liberty cap is a small psychoactive mushroom that contains both psilocybin and baeocystin. It is one of the most widespread “magic mushrooms” in the world and one of the most sought after by magic mushroom hunters.

Psilocybe semilanceata gets its common name because its cap resembles a felt hat that has been popular with many cultures through history, called the liberty hat.

Liberty Cap Group
Liberty Cap cluster found on Vancouver Island, Canada


P. semilanceata is a relatively small mushroom that has a conic to bell shaped cap that usually has a umbo. The cap is usually between 0.5-2.5 cm broad and has a gelatinous sticky surface.

The gills of this mushroom are attached to the stem and crowded together. The gills are pale brown when young, changing to purple as the mushroom ages.

The stem is typically 4-10 cm long and only between 0.5 – 3mm thick. The slender stem may contain remnants of the veil (annular zone) and can be dusted purple in areas from spores released from the cap.

The liberty cap can vary greatly in color depending on moisture, weather and age. It can be pale to dark brown when young and moist, while older specimens can  be yellow to light tan when dry or sun bleached. Both the cap and the stem may be stained blue from the psilocybin.

The spore print is dark purple. Note that the spore print should be taken at the same temperature that the mushroom was collected in. Spore from this mushroom may not drop, if the spore print is taken at room temperature.

Blueing Psilocybe semilanceata
Older Psilocybe semilanceata, note the bluing and cracked cap


P. semilanceata can grow solitarily or in loose groups during the fall season (usually only after some rain). It grows in pastures, fields, lawns and any other thick grassy area. It especially likes moist, larger clumps of grass in areas that have been fertilized with sheep, horse or cow dung.

Liberty caps can be found in the coastal areas of North America and Europe. It has also been seen in South America, New Zealand and India. In North America it is most abundant in the Pacific Northwest area of the US and the in coastal areas of British Columbia, Canada. It has also been found in the coastal areas of eastern states of the US and eastern provinces of Canada, having been sighted in New York, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland.


As mentioned, Psilocybe semilanceata is psychoactive and will cause intoxication if eaten. Even though it’s one of the smallest “magic mushrooms”, studies have shown it to be one of the most potent, containing up 2.4% psilocybin.

The chemicals psilocybin and psilocin produced by psychoactive mushrooms like P. semilanceata or the whole mushroom itself are considered illegal in many countries. These include all of Europe, the USA and Canada. Please review your local laws BEFORE collecting any of these mushrooms.

Psilocybe Semilanceata

More Liberty Cap images in my Liberty Cap gallery



#4 rowanGuest 2013-12-17 16:10
they are not called magic for no reason,they are truly magic and god given!
#3 End of the rainbow!Guest 2013-10-20 20:57
I should add that we found them in a gentle valley east of Wicklow mountains, about 150-200m above sea level. Cattle and sheep around, by a narrow stream in between two paddocks. Very gentle slope ( not sure but presumably north facing? ). It's been about 10c-15c the past week with some occluded fronts and breaks of glorious 53 degree north sunshine! I've only ever had liberty caps once before, took about 15 dried and "cow chewed" them until they disappeared, repeated all evening (60 total ) and had an amazing gentle experience.

Sure, how did it take so long for me to discover this?
#2 happiestLeprech aunGuest 2013-10-20 20:38
Epic day picking! Wicklow, Ireland ! My friends farm , tea and joints too! About 600 between 3 of us! All in about 2 hours! Any advice on drying these beauty's? And thanks a million for the info here, we're very inexperienced with mushrooms! But apparently we live in the best place on Mother Earth for them!
#1 liberty capsGuest 2013-07-30 13:38
After living in Tillamook County Oregon for ten plus years I am highly aware of the traits of this little shroom.

I now live in the foot hill of NC and we have had more rain in the past month than in the last 2 years. I happened to use horse the feed my lawn . This morning I walked out my door to see thousands of these wonders of nature. So please add the foot hill of NC with the perfect conditions. It has been 36 years and I long ago gave up any magical experience but maybe some others will discover this wonder of nature. Are these illegal in NC Anyone