Psilocybe cyanescens

Psilocybe cyanescens Wakefield



We had the opportunity to visit Washington State and see some beautiful mushrooms in the wild. It was a very interesting adventure and very rewarding as well as educational. We had a great tour guide, John Allen a.k.a. mjshroomer, who has been picking mushrooms in WA for over 20 years. On the first day of hunting, our first stop was a church, where the sacred mushroom was growing on sacred grounds, I knew it was going to be a good day and a nice mushroom vibe after that. We found these growing amongts the alder mulch around the church. These pics can give you some idea of the surrounding these mushrooms grow in. Amongts all the alder mulch, leaves, twigs, etc. a nice little patch growing amongts some leaves, alder mulch and rhododendron bushes.

The next patch we found was growing amongts some large shrubs in the alder mulch. I doubt anybody would have known these were there if it had not been for John's resourcefullness of walking for hours a day looking in places ppl wouln't think of. We literally had to walk amongts some waste high bushes and move them aside to see them growing down underneith the bushes. These were the largest in size that we found of all the patches, they ranged from 4" to 6" in height, and had caps about 2-3" in diameter.

Well.. here is where the disappointment begins. Many of the patches we went to after this, during all the excitement I forgot to take pictures and even bring my camera. Yep.. I dropped the ball on that one. Thats ok.. gives me an excuse to go back to WA :)
One of the most interesting things I found, was that the deadly poisonous Galerina mushroom was growing right next to the Psilocybe cyanescens in almost every place we found them. What is even more frightening is they look pretty similiar. But dont let that scare you off from hunting them, you can tell them apart. And very distinctly upon a close inspection and taking your time to pick them. The Psilocybe cyanescens have a more caramel color cap, darker in color, and the stem of the Psilocybe cyanescens is always white, except around the base where the dirt is. Also the gills are much lighter and whiter in color then the galerinas. The galerina's always had a orangeish/brown color stem and veils, and the cap was orangeish brown as well. Once your out there picking them its easy to tell them apart if you have good eyesight and know what your looking for. If ever in doubt, also you can do a spore sample as the spores of the deadly galerina will be rusty as where the Psilocybe cyanescens will be purplish brown to black. Please be carefull and dont pick anything your unsure of, its just not worth dying over.

Ok... time to test yourself on some identification.
Below are some close ups of a Psilocybe cyanescens growing right next to the deadly galerina and some inky caps. There is only ONE Psilocybe cyanescens in these pictures.
The first 2 pictures will show top views, the 3rd pic will show the gills and stems of the mushrooms.
Then, the answer will be given in the following pics with a red arrow pointing out the Psilocybe cyanescens.
Can you tell the difference?

ANSWER

Well.. how did you do? This picture was staged. Sorry.. once again during all the excitement I should have tooken some better pictures. But none the less... in alder mulch, grass.. everywhere the galerinas were very close by.
A few last notes on the Psilocybe cyanescens.
One thing we found depressing is the psilocybe mushrooms are on a big decline in the Seattle area. Most landscaping is no longer being done with alder mulch, but there using some kind of red ceder mulch instead, and the psilo's dont thrive in that.
The places you want to look are anywhere that looks like fresh alder mulch has been planted in the last year or two. We found them right around ppl houses and buildings, in road dividers, in grass near alder mulch, around school campuses.. all sorts of places. The largest patches were about 8X the size of that little patch by the church, but I forgot my camera in the car...DOH!!!!

Plenty of spore prints were taken on wax paper. They are from the wild so they would probably require the use of agar to get them started. From there, I've had Psilocybe cyanescens grow on finche seed, you can use that as spawn to inoculate some alder wood chips and or sawdust. You can mix that in with some compost or straw even as shown in TMC, and case them with some good fertile soil. Planted in the spring or summer, given lots of water, in the fall when the rains come and the temps drop down to around 50-60f they should start fruiting for you. Its rare this mushroom can be grown indoors, but it has been done in a fridge from some pics I've seen of mj's. But your best bet is putting a patch outdoors.
As for the high.. well.. its very very potent, but tends to be a "speedy" high and gives me intense restlessness. I have a real hard time coming down and trying to sleep comfortably on this mushroom, and my muscles always ache from it. Its very visual when taken at least 3 dried grams, and at that dose.. hold on... because you'll be flying. I've talked with others that do not get this speeded out feeling from them,, and I've tripped with some friends that felt the same effects as me. Your milage may very. Many ppl really love this mushroom. It was certainly very beautiful to see in nature, and its a very tough, strong mushroom. The stems are very thick and hold up quite well while picking them. And from what I understand its pretty easy to grow outdoors if you live in the right environment.
A hugh thanks to John Allen for being our tour guide in Seattle WA, and showing us some beautiful pathces of Psilocybe cyanescens.

Growing tips for P. cyanescens
You dont need to make syringes from ps cyanescens, or inoculate grain as spawn. Prepare your alder wood, sterilize it. Preferable 4:1 alder sawdust to alder wood chips, small chips. Only use a small amount to start with, say about 6 to 8 cups worth of alder wood. Just scrape the spores directly on the the sterilized, moist wood. Incubate it, indoors at around 70f -75F. It will take a good 6-8 weeks for that wood to fully colonize.
Use that as more spawn to slowly start inoculating more larger volumes of wood for anther 2 months. Then plant your patch outdoors with more fresh alder wood. If you can get it planted outdoors by the end of April, you'll have good chances for it to fruit by fall. If not, they may not fruit until the following spring or fall.
Psilocybe cyanescens are slow growing. If you dont see germination, then lower the temps to about 55F for about 2 weeks. They are a temperate species so sometimes even to germinate they like the cold weather to begin with. After they start germinating and growing, you can bring the temps back up to around 70-75F to speed up the spawn run. But they still will only fruit outdoors when the climate is right, lots of rain and low temps between 45-60F.

source - www.thehawkseye.com

Pictures at www.mushroomobserver.org

Growth parameters:

Substrate:
Wood chips.
Temperature:
colonisation/fruiting: 16-24°C / 10-15°C
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