[sixties-l] Magic Mushrooms Thrive As Weeds Wane

From: radman (resist@best.com)
Date: 01/12/01

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           Hippies Would Have Thought They Were Hallucinating.  Geoffrey Kibb
           Was Amazed, But Stone Cold Sober, And Knew A Scientific Phenomenon
           When He Saw One.
           Mr Kibb Had Discovered The Holy Grail Of 60s Hippie Culture, The Most
           Potent Magic Mushrooms Known To Science, Growing In A Vast Carpet On
           A Racetrack In The South Of England.  He Estimated There Were 
    100,000 Of
           Them, Enough To Blow The Mind Of An Entire Town.
           He Reported His Findings To Fellow-researcher Peter Shaw, An Expert On
           Fungi.  To Him The Field Of Wavy-capped Magic Mushroom ( Psilocybe
           Cyanescens ) Was Confirmation Of An Astonishing Colonisation Of Britain
           By Exotic Species Of Mushroom, An Invasion Caused By Gardeners Trying
           To Keep Weeds At Bay.
           Dr Shaw's Theory Is That Suppliers Keep Vast Heaps Of Woodchips In
           Nurseries, Allowing Aggressive Fungi To Colonise.  By Spreading
           Woodchips Over The Ground, Gardeners Then Create The Perfect Habitat
           For Fungi Of All Sorts.  The Wavy-capped Magic Mushroom, "A
           Particularly Aggressive Species" And A Native Of The Northwest Of The
           United States, Is Now Firmly Established In British Gardens, Parks 
    And Any
           Other Place Where Woodchips Are Used For Weed Control.
           Woodchips And Bark Chips Make A Better Habitat Than The Original
           Decaying Wood On Which The Fungi Grow.  This Is Because The Root
           Structure Does Not Have To Force Its Way Through A Hard Surface, But
           Glides Between The Chips.
           About 10 Species Of Mushroom Are Eaten For Their Hallucinogenic
           Qualities.  P Cyanescens Is Identified By Its Wavy Cap, Purple Brown 
           Print And Rapid Blueing Of Stem And Cap When It Is Bruised - Although
           Be Warned, There Are Poisonous Species Of Similar Appearance. The
           Blueing Reflects The High Psilocin/Psilocybin Content Of The Fungus (
           Which, As Any Old Hippie Will Tell You, Is The Bit That Makes You 
    Fly ).
           On His Way To Work At The University Of Surrey Dr Shaw Passes A
           Roundabout In Leatherhead.  "The Roundabout Was Mulched In 1999, And
           In May 2000 A Flush Of Creamy-yellow Fungi Came Up," He Said.
           They Turned Out To Be Four Different Exotic Varieties Growing In The
           Wood Chips - One Of Which, Agrocybe Putaminium, Had Been Recorded
           Only Once Before In Britain, At Kew Gardens In London.  "The Woodchips
           Were Bought From A Commercial Supplier In Essex, But How They
           Acquired Their Strange Fungal Flora Is Still Unclear," Dr Shaw Said.
           Cultivation Of Magic Mushrooms For Use Is Illegal In Britain, But
           Possession Is Not.  The Bad News For Magic Mushroom Hunters Is That
           This Is Not The Time Of Year For Fruiting.  But Out Of Sight The Roots
           From Which They Grow Are Spreading Rapidly.
           Because Of His Leatherhead Experience And Other Discoveries, Dr Shaw
           Says There Are Bound To Be Exotic Species Growing Happily In Gardens,
           And He Believes That Some Have Already Transferred To The Wild. Magic
           Mushrooms Have Been Found Growing On Trees In Burnham Beeches,

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