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Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World: An Identification Guide [Paperback]

Paul Stamets , Andrew Weil
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 1, 1996 0898158397 978-0898158397 1
From the author of GROWING GOURMET AND MEDICINAL MUSHROOMS comes the only identification guide exclusively devoted to the world's psilocybin-containing mushrooms. Detailed descriptions and color photographs for over 100 species are provided, as well as an exploration of their long-standing (and often religious) use by ancient peoples and their continued significance to modern-day culture. Some of the species included have just been discovered in the past year or two, and still others have never before been photographed in their natural habitats.

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Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World: An Identification Guide + Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms + The Mushroom Cultivator: A Practical Guide to Growing Mushrooms at Home
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

PAUL STAMETS is the founder of Fungi Perfecti and codirector and founder of the Rainforest Mushroom Genome and Mycodiversity Preservation Project. He is the author of two seminal textbooks, The Mushroom Cultivator and GROWING GOURMET AND MEDICINAL MUSHROOMS, has been published in numerous journals, and is presenting more lectures on mycology than he can keep track of. An advisor and consultant to the Program for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona Medical School and the 1998 recipient of the Collective Heritage Institute’s Bioneers Award, Stamets lives in Kamilche Point, Washington with his collection of more than 250 medicinal mushroom cultures.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press; 1 edition (October 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898158397
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898158397
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

"Paul Stamets has been a dedicated mycologist for over twenty years. Over this time, he has discovered and coauthored four new species of mushrooms, and pioneered countless techniques in the field of edible and medicinal mushroom cultivation. He received the 1998 ""Bioneers Award"" from The Collective Heritage Institute, and the 1999 ""Founder of a New Northwest Award"" from the Pacific Rim Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils.

He has written five books on mushroom cultivation, use and identification; his books Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms and The Mushroom Cultivator (coauthor) have long been hailed as the definitive texts of mushroom cultivation. Other works by Paul Stamets include Psilocybe Mushrooms and Their Allies (out of print), Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World, MycoMedicinals: an Informational Treatise on Mushrooms, and many articles and scholarly papers."

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
153 of 156 people found the following review helpful
This lavishly photo-illustrated and smoothly-written book details all of the psilocybin-containing mushrooms generally known up to the date of publication, including those outside of the species Psilocybe and some extremely rare ones known only from a single location or from a single event (sometimes mysterious magic mushrooms crop up after storms but are never seen again unless spores are taken from them and grown under controlled conditions).

Stamets explains the often-conflicting taxonomy of Psilocybe mushrooms (one species, for example, received two different names because two writing teams who had travelled together wrote it up separately -- one published first and *their* name has "priority," even though some people use the name given by the other team; despite the name difference the mushroom described is the same species).

Stamets is no prude. He writes quite bluntly about psilocybin-containing mushrooms (including his own tripping on them), and he is EXTREMELY (and justly) critical of other mycologists who not only refuse to describe such mushrooms, but, in one case Stamets cites, have said that it is better for people to die from eating poisonous mushrooms than for people to be able to safely identify psilocybin-containing mushrooms! Stamets gives descriptions and photos of poisonous look-alike mushrooms and gives a step-by-step identification procedure for the psilocybin 'shrooms. In most cases identification is straightforward and can be done within a few minutes; in other cases look-alikes can be lethal and suspect mushrooms have to be carefully gone over to avoid poisoning.
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for psilocybin mushroom identification August 5, 1998
By A Customer
The first 5 chapters of this book had me glued to the pages. The book starts off with some fascinating history and personal information about psilocybin mushrooms. The rest of the book gives some very detailed information for hunting them. Some of the pictures are rather small, but for the most part identification is very helpfull with this book, but I would get at least one other field guide to go with it.
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79 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars None better! September 4, 2004
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World" is a first-rate reference on psilocybes, and one that I would enthusiastically recommend to anybody with an interest. That said, however, I'd like to weigh in with a bit of personal advice on the subject:


Even for experienced mycologists, mushroom identification can be a difficult process. Would you be willing to stake your life on whether a mushroom's spores are rust-brown, as opposed to a rusty purplish-brown? That's a pretty subjective call, and the only way to be 100% certain is to throw spore and tissue samples on the microscope. Many edible mushrooms have deadly look-alikes, and to make matters worse, every known mushroom has variant strains. By following the guidelines in this book, an inexperienced enthusiast can be reasonably certain that he or she has correctly identified a field specimen, but even the best field guide is no substitute for experience and good judgment (as Stamets himself states repeatedly in this book!). This is a great reference work for anybody with an interest in mycology, but it shouldn't be mistaken for a "green light" to pick wild mushrooms for personal consumption.

That said, this book is a real gem, with detailed summary descriptions of several dozen known and suspected psilocybes. Each description is accompanied by at least one color photograph.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This book is the best single resource for information about Psilocybin mushrooms. The book starts out with a brief history of the use of these mushrooms, and then moves on to a
general review on their nature and habitat. There is an extensive section listing many different kinds of Psilocybes and similar mushrooms with a thorough description and photograph on most of them.

If there is a single flaw in this book, it would be that the pictures are small, and therefore difficult to scan for details. Also, some of the pictures aren't very good in general, making it difficult to see how the mushrooms in the pictures match the descriptions in the book. I would suggest more and bigger photographs for the second edition of this book.
I highly recommend this book to anyone with any kind of interest in Psilocybe mushrooms
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Photos and descriptions are great for identification. September 17, 1999
By A Customer
This book is a must for any enthusiest of Magic Mushrooms. The Photographs and detailed descriptions of the various species make this book a definite must for anyone wanting to identify Magic mushrooms, including deadly look alikes. The book is a complete guide, from history, experiences and all relative information that you could want. Paul Stamet's is "The Man" of mushrooms and a lot of his time and effort has gone into making this book factual and interesting. Hope you enjoy this book a much a I have.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book its Worth the Payment
Great book for sure, exactly what i needed to learn the basics.
I found a 3+ patches of Galerina in Michigan, :O
Hoping to find some interesting ones after weather fully... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Caleb
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Very detailed book. Great pictures, lots of info. Quite an interesting read too, I couldn't put it down for days.
Published 7 months ago by Kate
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Information encapsulated in one place.
To the copy write date, this book has a very thorough and a decent field-guide of all psilocybin mushrooms known to science. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Trevahr Hughes-EntheoRadio
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Psilocybin Book out there
If you're a psilocybin guru like me, or even just a mycology enthusiast. Then this book will have you addicted with all the wonderful information about psilocybin everywhere in the... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Stephen D
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting read
This is by far the most thorough review on the subject that I have ever seen. Very informative and interesting read.
Published 20 months ago by Cash Peters
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book..
This book is very thorough and descriptive. This is the ultimate guide for identification of Psilocybins, especially for the amateur mycologist. Read more
Published on June 18, 2012 by Dr.Worm
5.0 out of 5 stars certainly psilocybin
Without a doubt the most thorough field guide for psilocybin I've ever found. Excellent color photographs make identification easier, and tons of incidental information help you... Read more
Published on May 22, 2012 by R. J. Schweizer
5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty great book
For obvious reasons, this book is great. Good descriptions, quality photos. A handy companion for the curious mycophile. Read more
Published on February 9, 2012 by Mico
5.0 out of 5 stars Yeah, I know...
Oh, he bought a Psilocybin Mushroom book, he must be a trippy hippy! Not even. I am an amateur mycologist and my library was severely lacking in information about the Psilocybin... Read more
Published on February 3, 2011 by D. Udell
5.0 out of 5 stars best psilocybin resource out there
this book is an absolute must for anyone looking to obtain the ever elusive "magic mushroom".
filled with pictures, habitat info, and much more. Read more
Published on November 27, 2010 by E. Bailey
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