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Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World: An Identification Guide (Anglais) Broché – 1 octobre 1996

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Présentation de l'éditeur

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.

Biographie de l'auteur

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.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 41 commentaires
166 internautes sur 172 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Outstanding guide by one of the world's leading mycologists 4 mars 2005
Par Jaundiced Eye - Publié sur
Format: Broché
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.

One extemely curious phenomenon which Stamets describes are cases in which people have "tripped" on mushrooms which are generally considered non-poisonous and which were from species which are not supposed to contain *any* psychoactive chemicals; Stamets speculates that if these cases are genuine, they may represent instances in which the biochemistry of one individual reacted in a completely unpredictable and near-unique way to a "normal" mushroom. (I have heard of some people whose bodies can *naturally* manufacture ethanol from the ordinary sugars in food in sufficient quantites to become drunk without ever having consumed liquid alcohol; these freak instances of people tripping on non-pyshoactive mushrooms may represent something similar -- rare individuals whose bodies can convert innocuous chemicals into psychoactive ones; since the reported cases have been people who didn't intend to eat a magic mushroom in the first place, and who have probably sworn off mushroom eating forever as a result of their experience, the likelihood of a repeat occurence with a given individual is probably close to zero. Still, the fact that such an unexpected event has occurred at all underscores a couple of points which Stamets makes again and again: don't eat any wild mushroom which you have not positively identified, and don't gorge yourself on a species which you *have* identified until you have taken a small sample to see how your own body reacts to them.)

One interesting feature of the book is an estimate of the relative potency of psilocybin-containing mushrooms and an explanation of why some cultivated mushrooms differ widely in potency even though they belong to the same species. Some members of the species Psilocybe actually don't contain any psilocybin at all, but apparently all members of the species either taste bad or are too chewy to be used for food, even the non-psychoactive ones.

The only weakness of the book is that it does not contain a section describing the numerous cultivated varieties of P. cubensis, which vary greatly in appearance and growing requirements (and, according to the vendors, at least) in potency. Many of these varieties have doubtless "gone wild" (Stamets says that the grounds of universities and the outside of courthouses are two of the best places to hunt "wild" psilocybin mushrooms!), but there is only one listing for the species with photos of what are presumably wild varities not derived from artificial selection by growers.

Stamets is a true fan of mushrooms and his commercial website (he doesn't sell psilocybin mushrooms, by the way) gives examples of how mushrooms can be used in bioremediation of polluted lands and used to improve the yields of crops. Stamets points out that one of the best places to look for wild muchrooms is on land which has just been hit by a storm or where humans have just ravaged it to put up or tear down a building. Although Stamets has not gone as far off the deep end as did Terrence McKenna and his brother (writing under their own names or as "Ott and Osric"), it is apparent that he, like many other partakers of magic mushrooms, believes them to be a vital part of Gaia and their spread by humans to be part of planetary evolution. As a simple example, those hunting for "magic" mushrooms will (whether deliberately or not) carry magic mushroom spores back from where they are found, but they will also carry the spores of other species which grow nearby and are, in their turn, vital ecological components even if they aren't psychoactive: just growing *near* a psychoactive mushroom gives other mushrooms an evolutionary advantage as their spores are dispersed by primates anxious to go tripping but whose hair or fur or clothes brush against other species of mushroom and carry their spores to another location. It becomes easy to see why some people believe that psychoactive mushrooms (especially the Psilocybe species) have co-evolved with humans as a means to enhance the biosphere of Gaia.

I give this book five well-deserved stars. I know of know other book which contains so much information about magic mushroom history and mycology and provides such clear-cut and easy to follow steps for identifying the psilocybin-containg species. If nothing else it is beautiful to look at. *****
88 internautes sur 95 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
None better! 4 septembre 2004
Par LVX - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
"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. Stamets uses very scientific terminology in describing each psilocybe-- considering the consequences of a false identification, it's important for the author to be as precise in his descriptions as possible-- but there are also several helpful pages of charts at the end of the book which explain what all of this technical jargon means.

This is far and away the best field guide to psilocybe mushrooms that I've seen so far. I can truly recommend this work without reservation!
50 internautes sur 54 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Great book for psilocybin mushroom identification 5 août 1998
Par Un client - Publié sur
Format: Broché
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.
26 internautes sur 27 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Best single resource for information on Psilocybin Mushrooms 19 mai 1997
Par Un client - Publié sur
Format: Broché
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
36 internautes sur 39 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Photos and descriptions are great for identification. 18 septembre 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur
Format: Broché
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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