Common Names: Dunkelrandiger dŁngerling, gezoneerde vlek plaat (Dutch), gezonter dŁngerling, magusotake (Japanese, "horse pasture mushroom")
Panaeolus subbalteatus is most commonly found in Europe but also grows throughout the Americas and Asia, especially in the subtropics and tropical regions. It features a 2 to 6 cm, slightly convex cap that tends to be a deep brown in the center, but fades to lighter shades further out as the cap gets drier. And indeed, the German term dunkelrandiger dŁngerling translates to "dark-banded dung mushroom". The "dung mushroom" part of this name refers to the fact that Panaeolus subbalteatus thrives in a dung-rich environment. The fungus does particularly well in horse pastures, although it can also feed from the dung of other animals and is sometimes spotted in grassy soil. These mushrooms can be found from April through September.
Commonly confused with Kuehneromyces mutabilis (or the changing pholiota), Panaeolus subbalteatus' lamellae are reddish brown in color, although the mushroom's spores cause them to turn black eventually.
TRADITIONAL USE: There is some anecdotal evidence to suggest that Germanic peoples combined Panaeolus subbalteatus with alcoholic beverages like mead or beer. Most of this evidence centers around its connection to Wotan, the Germanic god of ecstasy, as this fungus obviously has developed a mutualistic and symbiotic relationship to the horse, Wotan's sacred animal.
TRADITIONAL PREPARATION: There is no recorded shamanistic use of Panaeolus subbalteatus. However, it has been documented that at least 1.5 grams are needed for a psychoactive dose, while 2.7 grams provides a true psychedelic dose. The mushroom's psychoactive properties were observed after several were accidentally ingested.
MEDICINAL USE: There is no known medicinal use of this fungus.
TRADITIONAL EFFECTS: Panaeolus subbalteatus differs from other mushrooms that contain psilocybin (approximately 0.7%) in that it does not also consist of psilocin, and it has a considerable quantity of serotonin and 5-hydroxy-tryptophan. Although pharmacologists have experimentally verified that serotonin is not orally effective, users of this mushroom report that compared to psilocybin-only mushrooms, Panaeolus subbalteatus delivers a psychedelic experience with a kinder, gentler edge. Hallucinations are less fleeting and therefore can be contemplated more naturally and comprehensively. In addition to the pharmacological components listed above, this fungus also consists of baeocystin (0.46%).