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Weraroa novae-zelandiae

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Weraroa novae-zelandiae, is a hallucinogenic pouch fungus[1] of New Zealand, it may have been used by the indigenous Tohunga "shaman" of the Iwi (tribe) of New Zealand, though it has not been documented, nor has the use of any psychoactive substances by these people for shamanic purposes.[2]. Recent phylogenetic analysis by Moncalvo (2002)[3] and Bridge et al. (2008)[4] has demonstrated the close relationship between the type species W. novae-zelandiae to the hallucinogenic blue-staining group of Psilocybe, particularly Psilocybe subaeruginosa. W. novae-zelandiae now appears to be only distantly related to other species of Weraroa.

Description

  • Peridium: (1)3 — 5 cm tall, 1.5 — 3 cm wide, irregularly roundish to ovate, elliptical or even depressed-globose, margin folded, light brown when young becoming pale blue-grey, often showing blue or blue-green stains with age, at first finely fibrillose becoming smooth, glabrous, slightly viscid, bruising blue when injured, slowly. Drying dingy brown.
  • Gleba: Chocolate or sepia-brown, sparse, chambered, contorted gill-like structures.
  • Spores: 11 — 15(17) x 5 — 8 µm in size, smooth, sepia-coloured, elliptic-ovate or elliptical in shape, rounded at one end with a thin epispore.
  • Stipe: Up to 4 cm tall, 6 mm thick, equal, cartilaginous, whitish to blue-grey, yellowish-brown at the base, hollow, bruising blue when injured.
  • Taste: Bitter-sweet, earthy flavor, released upon chewing of the raw fruit, probably not a taste sought after for culinary purposes.
  • Odor: Organic, similar to ferns, undertone of rubber.
  • Microscopic features: Oval Spores

Weraroa virescens is often mistaken for W. novae-zelandiae since they are both naturally pale bluish, unlike W. novae-zelandiae, W. virescens does not stain blue. The sepia color of the gleba also serves to separate W. novae-zelandiae from other species in this genus.

Habitat and distribution

Weraroa novae-zelandiae is found growing solitary to gregarious on decaying wood buried in forest leaf litter, often on the rotting branches of Melicytus ramiflorus. It has also been found fruiting on rotted cabbage tree and is often associated with decaying fern fronds, native to the forests of New Zealand, typically South of Wanganui in the North Island. It is fairly abundant in the early winter and spring months in lowland mixed rain-forest near Wellington, they are also found on the south island. The mushroom is sometimes hard to see because its usually hidden under dried leaves. It is often eaten by slugs and sometimes hard to find specimens that haven't been nibbled on.

Psychoactivity

Weraroa novae-zelandiae is psychoactive. Psilocin and Psilocybin are the chemical components considered to be responsible for it's effects, as with other blue-staining fungus of the Psilocybe species.

Dosage is dependent on many factors, including size and age of the fruit. Usually two mature mushrooms are required to produce effects, though threshold dosage, and individual preference and tolerance is a factor. The experience is similar to an LSD trip, though typically more intense, and duration of the effects is approximately six hours, half the duration of a typical LSD trip.

Sometimes called "Blue Meanies", or specifically "Wellington Blue Meanies" - since they differ from cow-dung inhabiting species referred to as "Blue Meanies" also - the mushrooms are picked and eaten fresh, for stronger and more predictable effects, or dried. Active components are water soluble, and degrade in the air, hence drying reduces potency, a "tea" made from a boiled broth may be preferred. The texture and taste of the fruit are considered unpleasant.

References

Cuuningham, G.H. (19240. A critical revision of the Australian and New Zealand species of the genus Secotioum. Proceedings of theLinnean Society of New South Wales 49(2): 97-119.

  1. Shroomery (2005). "Very active Non-Psilocybe from New Zealand". Mind Media. http://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/4556457/page/0/fpart/2/vc/1. Retrieved 09/06/05. 
  2. Mycotopia (2007). "Weraroa novea-zelandiae (pouch fungus)". Zen Media Services. http://forums.mycotopia.net/fungi-growing-edible-medicinal-magic-mushrooms/29658-weraroa-novea-zelandiae-pouch-fungus-2.html. Retrieved 12-04-07. 
  3. Moncalvo JM, Vilgalys R, Redhead SA, Johnson JE, James TY, Catherine Aime M, Hofstetter V, Verduin SJ, Larsson E, Baroni TJ, Greg Thorn R, Jacobsson S, Clémençon H, Miller OK (June 2002). "One hundred and seventeen clades of euagarics". Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 23 (3): 357–400. 
  4. Bridge PD, Spooner BM, Beever RE, Park DC. (2008). Taxonomy of the fungus commonly known as Stropharia aurantiacea, with new combinations inLeratiomyces. Mycotaxon 103:109-121.

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This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Weraroa novae-zelandiae. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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