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The genus Conocybe is a genus of mushrooms consisting of Conocybe tenera and at least 243 other species, with at least 50 species in North America.

Most have a long, thin fragile stem and are delicate, growing in grasslands on dead moss, dead grass, sand dunes, decayed wood, and dung. Conocybe species generally prefer fertile soils in lawns and pastures and are found worldwide. Conocybes are sometimes called dunce caps or cone heads due to their conical or bell-shaped caps. Species of Conocybe which have a well-developed partial veil are placed in the subgenus Pholiotina. [1] Similar to Galerina, a Conocybe species can be distinguished microscopically by its cellular cap cuticle which is filamentous (thread-like) in Galerina. It is easy to confuse Conocybe species for Galerina unless the microscopic nature of the cap cuticle is examined. Conocybes have cap cuticles resembling cobblestones. Conocybes can also be mistaken for species of Bolbitius.

Four species of Conocybe that are known to contain psilocin and psilocybin are Conocybe kuehneriana, Conocybe siligineoides, Conocybe cyanopus, and Conocybe smithii. Conocybe siligineoides was used for shamanic purposes by the Mazatecs of Oaxaca. [2]

Conocybe filaris is a common lawn mushroom which contains the same deadly toxins as the death cap.

Conocybe comes from the Greek cono meaning cone and cybe meaning head.

Written on February 14th, 2012 , Botany, Mycology Tags:

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