How to Look For Magic Mushrooms in the Wild

Magic mushrooms are all over the world. They grow in moist and sterile environments, which can be almost anywhere! The tricky part is recognizing whether a mushroom is psilocybin – containing or another kind. For all you know, they could be poisonous.

To the untrained eye, mushrooms look all the same. Even people who have amateur knowledge about mushrooms still have high risks of misidentifying them. This poses a great potential danger especially for people who pick mushrooms in the wild for personal consumption.

The first thing that you need to do in your pursuit of hunting magic mushrooms is to know as much as you can about them: their physical characteristics, their distinguishing attributes, and how to tell them apart from other varieties of mushrooms — those that are non-psychedelic.

Mushrooms under the Psilocybe genus have a few things in common: they are gilled; they have a purplish – brown spore print, and their flesh turns bluish when bruised. If you need more help, there are mushroom guidebooks that can offer supplemental information about the nature of shrooms.

Another thing you need to learn is where these mushrooms typically grow. Some mushrooms grow in decomposing logs, others in roadside trails, forest grasslands, meadows, and even cow manure. When you know where they grow, you’ll know where to look and your hunting trips can be more centered.

Magic mushrooms grow all year round but different species sprout at different times of the year. They are most plentiful though, during autumn and after rainy periods. Shrooms thrive in damp and cool environments.

When going hunting trips, always bring a paper for spore printing with you. Simply basing on the physical aspects of the mushroom is not enough to ensure that they are safe. Taking a spore print involves cutting the cap part of a mushroom, placing it on a sheet of paper, and waiting for visible markings to show. Psylocybin mushroom has purple-brown spore prints.

You can also take photos of the mushroom in its natural environment and some more up – close shots for upload on Internet forums, so people who have more expertise and experience can help you identify them.

Here are some of the most common magic mushrooms species you can find in the wild and how to recognize them.

Psilocybe Cubensis

These are the most popular and one of the most common species of mushrooms. They are often called the “Golden Teacher,” and grow in abundance across Central America, the southeastern parts of the U.S, the northern parts of South America, and in Southeast Asia. They have conic caps that flatten as they mature.  The caps have a diameter of anywhere around 20 – 80mm and have black-ish gills. They can be found growing in cow dungs and are most abundant right before the hottest periods of the year.

Psilocybe Mexicana

They are brownish or beige in color and are natives of Central and South America thus, the name. Their caps are bell-shaped and measure somewhere between 10 – 20mm. They can grow alone or in groups and are usually seen on mossy trails and roadsides, or grassy forest areas. You can mostly find them in elevated areas between May and October.

Psilocybe Semilanceate

These are considered to be one of the most potent kinds of magic mushrooms. More popularly known as “liberty caps,” they can measure around 5 – 22mm in diameter and 6 – 22mm in length. The color of their cap is usually a shade of dark brown. They sprout in pastures and meadows and are ample in the European and North American continents.

Psilocybe Cyanescens

Commonly dubbed as “wavy caps” because of the way they look, these species are likely to grow nearby wood chips and insulated plant beds. They are mostly spotted in European areas and in North America. They are of the lighter shades of brown with gills that can be in light brown or dark purple. They have caps that measure somewhere around 15 – 50mm.

Psilocybe Azurescens

Because of their caps that measure 30 – 100mm in diameter, they are given the name “flying saucer” mushrooms. Their color ranges from chestnut to caramel brown, with dark gills and white stems. They can be found growing in groups, along coastal areas and in grassy dunes around the months of September to January. They are cultivated in many parts of the world because of their extremely high potency.

Psilocybe Baeocycstis

This species is known for a variety of names: “bottle caps,” “knobby tops,” “olive tops,” and “bluebells.” They are common in the Pacific Northwest part of the U.S. Their cone-shaped caps are medium-sized, from 15 –  55mm in diameter. There are of dark, olive-brown color with steel – blue tinges. They pop up in mulched areas of gardens and lawns, and in wood chips.

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