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Psychedelic mushrooms are commonly known as psilocybin mushrooms, magic mushrooms, booms, and shrooms. They belong to the polyphyletic group of mushrooms which are enriched with various psychedelic compounds like psilocybin, psilocin, and baeocystin. Almost different types of mushrooms exist and vary due to their composition. The amount of psilocybin — the psychedelic effect causing component — is the main differentiating factor between certain types of psychedelic mushrooms.
This species originates from around Astoria Oregon where it grows from driftwood among beach grasses in the sand dunes around the mouth of the Columbia River. It is easily cultivated in outdoor chip beds and has been introduced into the Lower Mainland of BC. It is considered very potent and exhibits very strong blue staining where bruised or in age.
This was a very common urban weed mushroom in residential and institutional landscaping, where it was especially associated with conifer bark chips used as mulches. It still occurs in the interface areas of suburban developments with adjacent forested or agricultural lands. Psilocybe baeocyst is very potent and stains darkly blue.
Psilocybe baeocystis. Photos by Stan Czolowski.
The major magic mushroom species you should know about
Fairly long term and stable populations may grow in disused clearings that have grown in with alder trees, broom and Rubus plants such as Blackberries and other brambles. Psilocybe cyanescens.
Photos by Paul Kroeger and Stan Czolowski. This mushroom is found rarely growing in tangled roots of shrubs and trees along flood zones of wild mountain rivers.
How many different types of psychedelic mushrooms are there?
It has also been found in landscaped areas in woodchip mulches. Psilocybe cyanofibrillosa. Photos by Paul Kroeger. This European mushroom has appeared occasionally in grassy fields and grazed pastures in the Lower Mainland.
How magic mushrooms work
It resembles the common weed mushroom Psilocybe stuntzii in having a membranous ring on its stem. Psilocybe fimetaria. These are little brown mushrooms or LBMs that grow in conifer debris and litter along trails and logging ro in second growth forest lands.
They may also be found in landscaped areas in conifer mulch. It is a low potency species that resembles many other LBMs of the forest, including some potentially poisonous Galerina species. Eating this mushroom is not recommended. Psilocybe pelliculosa.
It grows from dead grass roots and is especially common in wet pastures where the grass roots form a heavy thatch. It can thrive in grazed fields but is not associated with animal dung.
List of psilocybin mushroom species
It can also grow in lawns and playing fields in wet coastal areas. Psilocybe semilanceata. Photos by Chris Ashurst and Stan Czolowski. This is a common weed species of urban and suburban landscapes sometimes growing in large quantities in recently established lawns and plantings in woodchip mulch or where the soils contain woody materials.
Types of psychedelic mushrooms
This mushroom is very low in potency and closely resembles some deadly Galerina species which often grow in the same habitat. This species closely resembles the Liberty Cap but lacks the exaggerated pointy nipple typical of Psilocybe semilanceata and has a heavy zone of veil fibrils around the stem.
Psilocybe subfimetaria was first discovered in Vancouver in and also grows in Washington and Oregon. It may be the same as Psilocybe sierra which is found in Chile or merely a distinct form of Psilocybe semilanceata.
Psilocybe subfimetaria. Photo by Stan Czolowski.
Selected psychedelic species
These delicate and tiny mushrooms grow in wet mossy lawns during wet summers and warm early fall. Because some related Conocybe mushrooms contain deadly toxins, eating these is not recommended.
Gymnopilus aeruginosus spore print is reddish brown. This mushroom grows in very rich manured soils of newly laid lawns and landscaping. Panaeolus subbalteatus. A club for mushrooms and mushroom appreciators. Psilocybe azurescens.
Photo by Paul Kroeger. Psilocybe stuntzii. Conocybe cyanopus.