Psilocybe cyanescens is as wavy caps or as the potent Psilocybe a species of potent psychedelic mushroom. The mushroom is not generally regarded as being physically dangerous to adults. Since all the psychoactive compounds in Psilocybe cyanescens are water-soluble, the fruiting bodies can be rendered non-psychoactive through parboiling, allowing their culinary use.
It belongs to the family Hymenogastraceae. A formal description of the species was published by Elsie Wakefield in 1946 in the Transactions of the British Mycological Society, based on a specimen she had recently collected at Kew Gardens. She had begun collecting the species as early as 1910.
Psilocybe cyanescens, commonly known in the UK as the Blueleg Brownie and in the USA as Wavy Caps, is usually found growing on rotting woodchip mulch. Psilocybe cyanescens can sometimes fruit in colossal quantity; more than 100,000 mushrooms were found growing in a single patch at a racetrack in England.
Psilocybe cyanescens has a hygrophanous pileus (cap) that is caramel to chestnut-brown when moist, fading to pale buff or slightly yellowish when dried. Caps generally measure from 1.5–5 cm (½” to 2″) across, and are normally distinctly wavy in maturity. The color of the pileus is rarely seen in mushrooms outside of the P. cyanescens species complex. Most parts of the mushroom, including the cap and Lamellae (gills, underneath the cap) can stain blue when touched or otherwise disturbed, probably due to the oxidation of psilocin. The lamellae are adnate, and light brown to dark purple brown in maturity, with lighter gill edges. There is no distinct annulus, but immature P. cyanescens specimens do have a cobwebby veil which may leave an annular zone in maturity. Both the odor and taste are farinaceous.
- cyanescenshas smooth, elliptical spores which measure 9 – 12 x 5 – 8 µm. According to some authors, the holotype collection of the species from Kew Gardens featured no pleurocystidia, but North American collections are characterized by common clavate-mucronate pleurocystidia. However, pleurocystidia are present in the holotype collection (but not easily to observe since hymenium is collapsed). In European collections of P. cyanescens, pleurocystidia are common and their shape is identical to those known from the United States. In 2012, an epitype from Hamburg, Germany was designated.
Fresh sporocarps and mycelia of P. cyanescens generally bruise blueish or blue-green where damaged, and the staining remains visible after drying. This staining is most noticeable on the stem (which is white when undisturbed) but can also occur on other parts of the mushroom, including the gills, cap, and mycelium. This staining is due primarily to the oxidation of psilocin. (Psilocybin cannot be oxidized directly, but is quickly converted via enzymatic action to psilocin at injury sites which can then be oxidized, so even specimens with little psilocin still generally blue.)
Where to find Psilocybe Cyanescens
Psilocybe cyanescens grows today primarily on wood chips, especially in and along the perimeter of mulched plant beds in urban areas, but can also grow on other lignin-rich substrates. P. cyanescens does not grow on substrate that is not lignin-rich. Fruitings have been reported in natural settings previously (although most appear to be migrations from mulched plant beds.) The species does not typically grow on mulch that is made from bark.
In the United States, P. cyanescens occurs mainly in the Pacific Northwest, south to the San Francisco Bay Area. It can also be found in areas such as Western Europe, Central Europe, New Zealand and parts of west Asia (Iran). The range in which P. cyanescens occurs is rapidly expanding, especially in areas where it is not native as the use of mulch to control weeds has been popularized.This rapid expansion of range may be due in part to the simple expedient of P. cyanescens mycelium having colonized the distribution network of woodchip suppliers and thus being distributed on a large scale with commercial mulch. It has been documented to fruit in Spring on the East Coast of the United States.
How to find Psilocybe Cyanescens
Although it has been speculated that P. cyanescens’ native habitat is the coniferous woodlands of the north-western United States or coastal dunes in the PNW, the type specimen was described from mulch beds in Kew Gardens, and there is no widely accepted explanation of P. cyanescens original habitat.
Fruiting is dependent on a drop in temperature. In the San Francisco Bay Area, this means that fruiting typically occurs between late October and February, and fruiting in other areas generally occurs in fall, when temperatures are between 10-18 °C (50-65 °F).
Psilocybe cyanescens often fruits gregariously or in cespitose clusters, sometimes in great numbers. 100,000 P. cyanescens fruits were once found growing on a racetrack in the south of England. Solitary fruits are sometimes also found.
The fruits of P. cyanescens have been shown to contain many different indole alkaloids including psilocybin, psilocin, and baeocystin. It has also been shown that P. cyanescens mycelium will contain detectable levels of psilocin and psilocybin, but only after the formation of primordia.
Indole content has been shown to be higher in North American specimens of P. cyanescens than in European ones.This was, however, caused by the fact that Gartz did not analyze the genuine P. cyanescens but P. serbica.
North American fruiting bodies of P. cyanescens have been shown to contain between 0.66% and 1.96% total indole content by dry weight. European fruiting bodies have been shown to have between 0.39% and 0.75% total indole content by dry weight.
North American specimens of P. cyanescens are among the most potent of psychedelic mushrooms. Its potency means that it is widely sought after by users of recreational drugs in those areas where it grows naturally.
Psilocybe Cyanescens look alikes
Other related species may include P. weraroa, and these relatives are collectively referred to as the “Psilocybe cyanescens complex” or as the “caramel-capped psilocybe complex,” due to their extremely similar appearance and habit. There is phylogenetic evidence that there are two distinct clades in the complex, one consisting of P. cyanescens and P. azurescens and allies, and the other consisting of P. serbica and allies (European taxa).It has also been shown that Psilocybe weraroa (previously known as Weraroa novae-zelandiae) is very closely related to P. cyanescens despite its vastly dissimilar appearance.
A very close relative of P. cyanescens is Psilocybe allenii (described in 2012), formerly known as Psilocybe cyanofriscosa, a mushroom found in California and Washington It can be distinguished by macromorphological features and/or sequencing of rDNA ITS molecular marker.
It is often difficult or impossible to distinguish between members of the P. cyanescens complex except by range without resorting to microscopic or molecular characters.
Although not closely related, Psilocybe cyanescens has been at least occasionally confused with Galerina marginata with fatal results. The two mushrooms have generally similar habits and appearances, and bear a superficial resemblance to each other such that inexperienced mushroom-seekers may confuse the two. The two species can grow side-by-side, which may add to the chance of confusion.
How to grow Psilocybe Cyanescens
Due to the fruiting requirements of the species, it is challenging but possible to get P. cyanescens to produce fruits indoors. Outdoor cultivation in an appropriate climate is relatively easy. Yield per pound of substrate is low when compared to other psilocybin containing mushrooms for both indoor and outdoor cultivation. The combination of poor yield and difficulty may explain why P. cyanescens is grown less frequently than some other psilocybin containing mushrooms.
Psilocybe cyanescens mycelium is much easier to grow than actual fruits are, can be grown indoors, and is robust enough that it can be transplanted in order to start new patches. Mycelium can also be propagated via stem butt transplantation.
Many of the cultivation techniques used with other members of the genus Psilocybe can be used to grow P. cyanescens as well.
Cultivated P. cyanescens contain approximately the same concentration of psilocin and psilocybin as natural examples do.
The procedure Of growing Psilocybe Cyanescens And Other Mushrooms
Step 1 – STERILIZE EVERYTHING!
Before the BRF tek is started, sterilization procedures need to be taken. The surface working on should be as sterile as possible as well as the equipment and tools.
Windows should be kept open if possible, as this will help with the air staying sterile.
An antiseptic cleaning spray should be sprayed in the area that will be worked in every so often to ensure no dust or germs infect the jars. It’s vital that sterilization procedures are taken as it’s very easy for the jars to become contaminated.
Step 2 – MAKING THE CAKES
To know how much vermiculite, water, and brown rice flour is needed, a bit of math is required (but nothing too complicated).
The following ingredients are needed to fill a 240ml jar:
- 140ml Vermiculite.
- 40ml Brown rice flour.
- 20-30ml water.
To work out how much of these ingredients will be needed, it will depend on the number of jars and how much the jar can contain. For example, if we wanted to use six 240ml jars, each ingredient would need to be multiplied by 6.
Once the amount of each ingredient is figured out, the vermiculite and water need to be mixed until the water starts to pool when the bowl is tilted to the side.
Afterward, the brown rice flour is added. The mix then needs to be put into the jars, leaving about half an inch left at the top, and then filled with dry vermiculite.
2 Layers of foil need to be put on top of the jars tightly, so they won’t come off. Then put a 3rd layer of foil on very loosely.
The jars need to be sterilized further, so they need to be put in a pressure cooker for about 20-30 minutes. The lids of the jars can be put at the bottom of the pressure cooker to ensure that the jars at the bottom of the pressure cooker do not get too hot.
Step 3 – INOCULATION
After the jars have cooled down, the jars then need to be inoculated with the spores. A syringe is used to do this, and it needs to be sterile. The spore print should be scraped off with a scalpel very lightly into a sterile jar or cup, and then 10ml of water should be added.
Using the syringe, the water, and spore mixture should be sucked into the syringe. If the spores stick to the bottom of the jar, empty and refill the syringe a few times. This also helps to ensure that the spores are properly mixed into the water.
The 3rd layer of foil on top of the jars should be taken off then pierce four sides of the 2nd layer of foil with the syringe. The number of spores put into the jar does not really matter too much, but more usually is better to ensure the jars do get inoculated. Once all the jars are inoculated, the 3rd layer of foil needs to be put back on the jars tightly.
Step 4 – INCUBATION!
One of the tubs should have an aquarium heater placed on the bottom of the tub and then filled 1/3 of the way up with water. The aquarium heater should be set to 27 degrees C. Then the second tub should be placed inside, using the spare jars to hold up the second tub, so that the aquarium heater is not touching the bottom of the top tub. The jars should be then placed inside the tub. If the jars need to be stacked, a piece of card should be used to separate them as the bottom of the jars should not be resting on top of the foil as this could make the foil become loose and then will be prone to contamination. A clean towel should then be placed on top of the box to keep in the heat.
Step 5 – COLONIZATION
After 3-5 days, signs of colonization should appear. The jars should have little specks of a white growing inside of them; this is the mycelium that will eventually colonize the whole jar. If any other color other than white (and the brown vermiculite) is seen in the jars, it means that the jars have been contaminated and has mold growing on them. More sterile procedures need to be taken the next time this is done.
If the jars have started to colonize properly, then full colonization should take from 2 to 6 weeks. Depending on certain things, colonization can vary from just a couple of days to a month or two.
Things that will affect the speed of the colonization are:
- Temperature of the room
- Air humidity
- The strain of spore
- Patience is needed for this step, but if signs of colonization are shown, most likely the whole jar will eventually be colonized.
Step 6 – PINNING
When the jar has completely colonized, they should be taken out of the incubator and placed in direct sunlight at room temperature. Pins should start to be seen in the jars after 5 days, but sometimes pinning can occur during step 8. (Pinning is the name given to the mushrooms when they are first seen, as they are very, very small and thin.)
Step 7 – DUNK & ROLL
After 5 days are over, the cakes should be taken out of the jars and washed under a tap, to get any excess vermiculite off. The cakes should then be submerged (dunked) in a big pot of water for 24 hours. After the 24 hours, the cakes then need to be taken out of the water and rolled in dry vermiculite, helping to keep in the moisture. (Cakes are the name given to the mixture of vermiculite and mycelium once they have left the jars.)
A fruiting chamber is needed and is made by drilling multiple holes on all 4 sides of the tub and on the lid (this helps with the air flow in the tub). The perlite should be poured into a colander and soaked in water thoroughly. After the perlite has been soaked, it should be placed into the fruiting chamber (about 5-7 liters is needed, but depending on the size of the tub the level of perlite should be about 2-4 inches high).
The cakes should be then placed in the fruiting chamber on top of a small square piece of foil to ensure that the mycelium does not grow in the perlite, But I am not entirely sure if that is a bad thing or not (yet)… Then when the cakes are all placed inside, the tub should be sprayed with water AT LEAST three times a day.
If pinning didn’t occur during step 6, they should start to pin during this step, but again patience is needed as pinning can sometimes take a while.
Step 9 – PICKING
You should see progress within a week or two, possibly less than that. Picking them is usually best to do, just after the veil is broken (the veil is the thin piece that attaches the stem to the cap). If you see some pins on the cakes that have turned black, these are called aborts. They are still okay to eat. They just didn’t manage to grow quickly enough, but they’ll still have psilocybin in them 😉
Dosage, onset and duration
- Threshold: 0.25 g
- Light: 0.25 – 2.5 g
- Moderate: 2.5 – 5 g
- Strong: 5 + g Onset : 10 – 40 minutes
- Onset: 20 – 60 minutes (when swallowed on an empty stomach)
- Duration: 2 – 6 hours
- Normal after effects: up to 8 hours
Preparation Psilocybe Cyanescens And Other Mushrooms
The easiest method of preparation for eliminating nausea and taste is having the mushrooms prepared into a chocolate bar. This can be done by melting a small standard size chocolate bar. While the chocolate melts, the dried mushrooms need to be blended into a fine powder. The powdered mushrooms would then be mixed into the melted chocolate, and the mixture should then be left to set in a mold and placed into the fridge so that the chocolate can settle. Once the chocolate has settled, the tasty psychedelic treat can be consumed.
A quicker technique is putting blended mushroom powder into a chocolate spread or jam sandwich as this disguises the taste completely and reduces nausea in leaps and bounds.
Psilocybe cyanescens specimens do not fall under the Convention on Psychotropic Substances because the convention does not cover naturally occurring plants that incidentally contain a scheduled drug. However, many countries choose to prohibit possession of psilocybin containing mushrooms, including P. cyanescens, under their domestic laws.
Countries that have banned or severely regulated the possession of P. cyanescens include the United States, Germany, New Zealand, and many others. Although this is difficult to enforce since no species of Psilocybe mushroom has spores containing psilocybin or psilocin. Because of this, Psilocybe cyanescens spores are not illegal to possess in many US states. (It is illegal to possess spores in Georgia and Idaho, and illegal to possess them with the intent to produce mushrooms in California.