Revised January 8, 2005; October 15, 2007; April 4, 2013; September 21, 2016.
Copyright 1998-2016 by John W. Allen.


Psilocybe aztecorum R. Heim emend. Guzmán var. aztecorum


Cap: (5-) 15-20 (-35) mm in diameter, obtuse or convex to campanulate, becoming expanded, striate, hygrophanous, yellowish-brown or yellow-gold in some young button forms not strongly browning. Only the Margin stains slightly blue-green when injured.

Gills: Adnate or adnexed, light violet-gray to dark violet-brown or chocolate-violet.

Stem: (25-) 55-75 (-95) x (1.5) 3-4 (-5) mm, equal and thicker at the base, straight, staining blue-green when touched or with aging, with rhizomorphs at the base of the stipe.

Spores: (10.4) 12-14 (-17) x (6-) 6.7-7.7 (-8.8) x 6-7.5µ. elongate-ellipsoid in face view.

Sporeprint: Blackish-violate.

Habitat: Gregarious in groups of fruiting bodies of 5-20 specimens, growing on soil with wood debris or on twigs or very rotten logs, rarely on pine cones, in open woods of Pinus hartwegii with abundant grasses at the 3200-4000 m of elevation.

Distribution: Known only from the high mountains of Central Mexico, such as Sierra Nevada (Rio Frio, Popocatépetl and Paso de Cortés), Nevado de Toluca and La Malinche, in the States of Mexico, Puebla and Tlaxcala.

Season: This fungus fruits from August through October.

Dosage: Unavailable

Comment: This fungus is employed by the Mexican Indians of the Popocatépetl region, e.g. in the town San Pedro Nexapa. The younger generation of Indian children sell this mushroom to tourists along the wayside road to Popocatépetl and also in Huautla de Jiménez. Two popular Náhuatl names for this species are "niños" and "niñitos." The name Psilocybe astecorum was given to the species by Roger Heim and it historically bestows a place of honor as it refers the Aztec priests and their people who employ them ceremoniously. They were known to have used this species long before the Spanish and Portuguese came to the New World. The Language of the Mazatec is Náhuatl, the language of their ancestors; the Olmec's, the Toltec's and their conqueror's, the ancient Aztecs and their vast uncharted Empire. The names "niños" and "niñitos" are used by shaman's and others who participate in all night vigils and veladas, meaning little boys and little girls. When consumed in a healing and curing ceremony, certain rituals are performed and depending on one's illness or misfortune, the fungi are always eaten in pairs of two. The two pairs are always considered to be male and/or female representing the Saint Children as they are known. What species are employed in these healing and curing ceremonies depends on what species are available during different times of the year and what illnesses one is seeking a cure for. Also various species contain different amounts of psilocine and/or psilocybine or both.

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