Revised February 22, 2006; October 4, 2007; April 5, 2013; and September 21, 2016.
Copyright 1998-2016 by John W. Allen.

Psilocybe azurescens

Psilocybe azurescens Stamets and Gartz.



Cap: 3-10 cm broad. Conic to convex, expanding to broadly quickly. Flat with age with a pronounced umbo, surface smooth, viscid when moist, with a separate pellicle. Chestnut to caramel in color, bruising blue to blue black when damaged.

Gills: Ascending, sinuate to adnate, brown. mottled, edges white.

Stem: 90-200 mm long x 3-6 mm thick, silky white, fibrous. Base of stem thickening downwards, often curved.

Spores: 12-13.5 x 6.8.

Sporeprint: Dark purplish black.

Habitat: Caespitose to gregarious. Fruiting abundantly on deciduous woodchips, sandy soils rich in lignicolous debris. Prefers alder chips and/or bark mulch. Found in Gardens in parks and around homes and office buildings.

Distribution: Along the northern coast of Oregon in dune grasses (Epicenter is located between Hammond/Astoria, Oregon. Grows inland towards the I-5 Corridor between Eugene, Oregon up into the region of Puget Sound between the Olympic Range in the west to the Cascades in the East. Then it appears sporadically in areas of Seattle, Washington up to and including the Southern regions of Lower British Columbia in the Vancouver Island area.
The species loves the Dune Grassy habitat of the Northeastern region of Hammond/Astoria, Oregon and is also common in the late fall in mulched gardens with mixed alder and other hard woods in parks, public gardens, and new mulched in areas in the PNW.
in mid-late November and December through January-February in

Season: September to December and into January. A cold weather species that fruits in the Seattle area of the Puget Sound until late December or first snow, frost or freeze that last 1-3 days or extreme cold. In the San Francisco Bay area to the Oregon borner it appears to fruit from late November until January-February.

Dosage: Extremely potent. 1 to 2 large mushrooms or 2 to 4 small specimens.

Comment: This species has been successfully transplanted into other mulched areas with similar environments. In 1990, Jochen Gartz, after two years of attempts to grow them outdoors in Leipzig, Germany, was finally able to successfully cultivate a small patch of Psilocybe azurescens (syn.=Psilocybe astoriensis) in his Leipzig home's back garden. They did not return the following year, nor did they spread into other areas in or around his home in Leipzig, Germany, so nothing evolved from his patches and after a few years, they eventually disappeared.

An annual addition of fresh similar wood chips could have kept those patches growing for years. Eventually he even had numerous such patches planted at friends homes in their gardens as well as several in public areas where other shrooms appear annually. Other cosmopolitan outdoor habitats where chunks of Psilocybe azurescens mycelia had permeated jars of rye berry seed incubated alder chip mulch bags from mycelia grown indoors and then transferred into similar outdoor environments.

Patches were appearing in such major cities and countries, including small patches in Rome, Italy; Vienna, Austria; Zurich and Bern, Switzerland; and in several patches transferred from the garden mulch beds in the PNW in the United States into fall and winter gardens in New Mexico, Ohio, Wisconsin, New York and Vermont.

Further experimental patches were also discussed on many online mushroom cultivation websites. While this is a good mushroom to transplant, after a few years the patches fruiting bodies began to vanish, eventually completely dissipating until they fade away into obscurity as they slowly vanish from the Earth and die off because all the nutrients in the soil and woodchips have been eaten up by the mycelia as it feeds off the dying and decayed matter of the dead wood products consisting of twigs, stems, branches, chips, sawdust and bark mulches.

Generally speaking, a normal patch if not re fertilized each season or month will only fruit from one to three years. If perpetual lawn care is not too overtly costly for a business, then certain species will return every month and year in the PNW. Some species such as those in the 'blue ringer' family complex of the genus Psilocybe which includes such species as Psilocybe stuntzii, Psilocybe ovoideocystidiata, Psilocybe fimetaria, and Psilocybe sierrae may fruit all year long depending on the fall/winter/spring weather in the Pacific Northwest and along the West Coast of California.

While in the South to Southeastern and Central Eastern States such as Texas to Florida and North to South Carolina, Psilocybe cubensis and several species of Copelandia (a most potent tropical and subtropical) species with several binomials (8), thrives in the manure of most four-legged ruminants. They too may grow all year long depending on warm weather and warm rainfalls. However, for some reason or other in regards to natural outdoor transplanted patches of Psilocybe azurescens, no other outdoor natural patches ever spread or expanded or even have occurred as a result from the transplanting of such patches with mycelia from their natural Oregon coastal area habitats into newer regions. In fact, it has been noted that those transplants of Psilocybe azurescens no longer grow in the locations noted in Paul Stamet's, "Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World."

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