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Hay dung: what it looks like and where it grows

Hay dung beetle is a small lamellar mushroom belonging to the class Agaricomycetes, the Psatirellaceae family, the Paneolin genus. Another name is paneolus hay. It is classified as a hallucinogen. Appears in May and bears fruit before frost. It grows especially actively in September and October.

Where hay dung grows

Hay dung beetle loves fertile soils. It can be found in pastures, fields, forest edges, lawns, in river valleys. Grows in low grass singly or in small groups. Sometimes fruiting bodies grow together like mushrooms.

What does a hay dung look like?

Paneolus hay is small in size. The diameter of its cap is from 8 to 25 mm, its height is from 8 to 16 mm. In a young specimen, it is semicircular, gradually acquiring the shape of a wide cone. In mature, it looks like an umbrella or a bell, it is never flat. In humid weather, its surface is soft, grooves are visible. When dry, it scales and becomes torn, especially in older specimens. Color - from yellowish beige to cinnamon. The dry cap is smooth, light brown, wet, it darkens and changes color to reddish brown.

The leg of the hay dung beetle is even, straight, sometimes slightly flat. It is fragile, hollow inside. The surface is smooth, there is no ring. Its height is from 20 to 80 mm, diameter is about 3.5 mm. In dry weather, it is light, slightly reddish, in high humidity it is brown. Its color is always lighter than that of the cap (especially at the top and in young specimens), it is brownish at the base.

Plates of hay dung beetle are wide, frequent, adherent to the stem. They are brownish in color, pale, spotted, with white edges. After maturation and loss of spores, black specks appear on them.

Is it possible to eat hay dung

Paneolus hay has a hallucinogenic effect, it is inedible. You cannot eat it.

Hay dung properties

Dung beetle contains the alkaloid psilocybin, which is a psychedelic, mild hallucinogen. The activity of the fungus ranges from low to medium.

If paneolus enters the intestines, psilocybin is converted to psilocin, which is weaker and causes mild to moderate visual and auditory hallucinations. Its effect begins approximately 20 minutes after consumption. A person can become violent or, conversely, fall into a state of euphoria. Dizziness, tremors of the legs and arms often appear, attacks of fear and paranoia develop.

Attention! From the regular use of hay dung, the psyche suffers, a personality change occurs, internal organs are affected: intestines, stomach, kidneys, heart, a person may need the help of a psychotherapist.

Similar species

Hay dung beetle has several similar species, which have significant differences.

Paneolus moth. Refers to inedible, contains psilocybin, has a moderate hallucinogenic effect. Some sources classify it as poisonous. It grows on rotten grass, cow or horse dung, so it can often be found in pastures and meadows. In most cases, it grows in colonies, single specimens are rare. The fruiting season is spring-autumn.

Paneolus moth, despite its resemblance to a hay dung beetle, is easy to distinguish by its size: it is the largest representative of dung beetles. Another sign is more gray shades in the color of the fruit body.

The leg is 6-12 cm long, it reaches 2-4 cm in diameter, it is hollow and fragile. In a young mushroom, you can notice a whitish coating on it. Its color is greyish-brownish; it becomes darker when pressed. In some places, it contains white fibers in the form of a film.

The diameter of the cap is only 1.5-4 cm. It has a conical shape, slightly blunt. With the growth of the fungus, it becomes bell-shaped, at first the edges are bent inward, when ripe they straighten. On its surface there are white scaly fragments of fibers, the same as on the legs.

Spore plates are frequent, wide adherent to the pedicle, sometimes free. Their color is grayish with a marble spot, in old mushrooms they are blackened. Spores are black.

In addition to its size, it stands out among related species with its regular shape and an even, straight leg.

  • The dung beetle is snow-white. Refers to inedible species. Grows on horse manure, in wet grass. Fruiting from June to September. Its cap is first ovoid, then bell-shaped, and finally almost flat. Its color is white, the surface is mealy, washed off by rain, the size is 1-3 cm in diameter. The leg is white, 5-8 cm high, 1-3 mm in diameter. Spore powder and plates are black.
  • Blue Paneolus is a strong hallucinogen containing psychotropics: psilocybin, psilocin, beocystin, tryptamine, serotonin. Unsuitable for human consumption. In some sources, it is listed as conditionally edible, requiring careful heat treatment. Found in Central Europe, Primorye, the Far East. It grows in the tropics and equatorial zones of the Northern and Southern Hemisphere. Fruiting time is June-September. It grows in grass, on manure, likes to settle in meadows, in grazing areas.

    In young specimens, the cap is in the form of a hemisphere with the edges turned up; in the process of growth, it becomes wide, outstretched-bell-shaped. At first they are light brown, after ripening they become discolored, grayish or white, sometimes a yellowish or brownish tint remains. The plates are frequent, in young ones they are grayish, in mature ones they are almost black, covered with spots, with light edges. The pulp is whitish, thin, with a powdery odor.


Hay dung is a small, toxic mushroom with a psychotropic effect. It is distributed all over the world and outwardly is well known to mushroom pickers, for whom it is not of interest, since it cannot be eaten.

Watch the video: Growing on a Budget Using Horse Manure (May 2021).