Cubes, Golden Tops, Gold Caps, Purple Ring, Psilocybe subcubensis Guzmán.

Psilocybe subcubensis is a moderately active magic mushroom that was found by Mexican mycologist Gaston Guzmán and was not described until 1978. It is macroscopically undistinguishable to P.cubensis, the species collected in Cuba in 1904, also commonly known as Golden Tops.

Psilocybe subcubensis is a pan-tropical subtropical psychotropic specie naturally growing on water buffalo dung or in rich pastures. Like its close relative P. cubensis, P. subcubensis is easily cultivated in sterile or semi-sterile conditions.

Traditionally called by the Thai natives as “hed keequai translating to “mushroom which appears after water buffalo defecates”, these magic fungi have been around for decades.
Cultivated by cattle owners and foreigners, the sale of psychoactive fungi to tourists or resort restaurants for use of edible food items such as omelettes and soups was common in the seventies and eighties.
Unfortunately, some were adulterated with artificial hallucinogenics such as LSD and sent a few tourists on traumatizing mind-bending trips. One story relates a young Austrian that ended at the psychiatric hospital for months. In reaction, in 1988, a Thai law prohibited the promotion and consumption of recreational neurotropic mushrooms.

In Central America, the Mazatecs call Psilocybe subcubensis “di-xi-tjo-le-rra-Ja” translating to “divine mushroom of manure”, and “nti-xi-tjo-le-ncha-ja” which means “dear little thing pertaining to the steer”.
Interesting fact: in the region of Oaxaca, because Psilocybe cubensis and P. subcubensis are associated with manure, many shamanic healers (including the late Maria Sabina) consider them to be inferior and prefer not to use them, favouring moss-loving species such as P. mexicana and P. aztecorum instead.
Nonetheless, in the world of magic mushrooms, this dung-loving specie is loved by both consumers and growers.

Visual Description

• Cap: 1.5-8 cm broad. Convex-campanulate to subumbonate to plano-convex with an obtuse umbo. Coloration cream or buff when young, ochraceous towards the umbo, then brown-red with white spots. Margin paler and with whitish veil remnants. Flesh bruising bluish. • Gills: close, slightly crowded, thinner on the sides and larger in the center, around the stem. Adnate to adnexed, coloration ochraceous in young age, soon greyish violet, turning dark violet brown or deep purplish gray to nearly black in maturity, often mottled. Paler at edges. • Stipe: 40-150mm long by 5-15mm wide. Often thicker at base, hollow. Color is whitish but may discolor yellowish. Bruising bluish when injured. Surface is smooth, dry and may be striated on the upper area. Veil leaving a well-developed, persistent, white membrane ring that can get colored pruple by spores. • Spore print: dark yellowish brown. • Microscopic features: 9.5–11.535.5–7.0 mm • Taste and odor: said to have no smell. Taste farinaceous.


MODERATE 0.25% - 0.75% Similar to Psilocybe cubensis though much lower psilocin levels, therefore around: 0.50% psilocybin, 0.25% psilocin (Heim and Hofmann 1958) The content of psilocin is reported within the range of 0.11–0.42% per dry mass Studies shows that potency varies according to substrate composition.

Habitat Origin

Often appearing in decomposed manure of domesticated ruminant dung like water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) and at least three different species of cattle (Bos indicus, B. guarus, and B. sundaicus). It grows worldwide in both hemispheres and on every continent in tropical and subtropical regions (the type of dung it will fruit on varies by country). Fruits in late spring to early summer (earlier than other tropical Psilocybes). Reported in southern and south Thailand, believed to be widely distributed throughout Asia. Reported in Mexico.


In Palenque, it is referred to locally as the "San Isidro" mushroom, named after the Spanish patron saint of the fields, an epithet that is most probably a heritage of the Spanish conquistadores and the only Spanish epithet used by the local tribes. The Spanish, observing the natives, referred to the mushroom as the "maddening mushroom", undeniably, it is psychoactive and perhaps euphoria was seen as craziness. Effects are said to be: intense euphoria, feelings of connectiveness and unity, introspective and philosophical thoughts, synaesthesia, visual stimulation, and a less ego-influenced perspective.