Created Winter 1998. Revised December 15, 2004; September 30, 2007; April 7, 2013; September 26, 2016; and March 14, 2017.
Copyright 1999-2017 by John W. Allen.



Psilocybe cyanescens Wakefield.

Cap: 2-4 (5) cm broad. Conic to conic convex, eventually expanding to broadly convex. Plain in age with wavy margin. Chestnut to caramel with age. Hygrophanous, changing color in age and drying. Yellowish-brown or ochraceous in drying. Viscid when moist. Bruising bluish and sometimes greenish with age and/or natural damages.

Gills: Adnate to subdecurrent. Broad. Cinnamon brown to deep smoky brown. Edges paler.

Stem: 20-80 mm long x 2.3-5.5 mm thick. Curved and enlarged at base. White with fine fibrils. Often staining blue when damaged. Somewhat with a slightly hollowed stipe.

Spores: 9-12 x 5.8.

Sporeprint: Dark purple brown.

Habitat: Scattered to gregarious in humus enriched in woody debris among leaves and twigs, alder wood chips and alder bark mulch; often mixed with other local hardwoods. Never in Cedar or red shaggy mulch. Loves black berry brambles. Often glowing solitary to clusters and clumps in heavily mulched areas with rhododendrons or rose bushes, ivy and strawberry plants.

Distribution: San Francisco, California to British Columbia, Canada. Rare in the wild but abundant in man made environments throughout the Pacific Northwest. Sometimes more than 20 to 50 pounds may appear in a single location.

Season: September through December.

Dosage: 1 large specimen or from 2 to 3 small specimens. 1/2 gram dried. Single locations appear to fruit for three years and then disappear.

Comment: I once found 18 specimens in the wild alongside a logging road by a clear cut in Kingston, Washington (see wood-chip variety). Was once common for three years in every bed box of the Freeway Park in downtown Seattle until the nutrients in the mulched beds were used up and different mulches replaced the original 'Steer-Co" alder chips and bark once common in the Puget Sound. Other similar species, both cold-weather and spring-summer species such as Psilocybe azurescens, Psilocybe allenii, Psilocybe baeocystis, Psilocybe cyanofibrillosa, Psilocybe ovoideocystidiata, Psilocybe pelliculosa, Psilocybe stuntzii and Panaeolus subbalteatus, are but of a few of the 25 species known to occur in the Pacific Northwest during the fall months.

They appear in woodchips, and some of these same species have varieties that also grow in new richly fertilized lawns appearing in new sod, open fields, playground ball fields, soccer fields, and in manure or in manured soil and grassy areas and fields, even growing into grassy areas next to mulched beds of alder where Psilocybe cyanescens grows in the mulched garden beds next to grassy lawn areas and the lawn mower landscaper scrapes the edges of the mulched areas, thus spreading the species growth into the surrounding grass, such as mulched tree areas in traffic island dividers as well.

Click on each image below to enlarge

Left: Psilocybe cyanescens Wakefield. - Right: Psilocybe azurescens Stamets and Gartz.

A close up of the above Psilocybe cyanescens and Psilocybe azurescens image.

Gallery of Psilocybe cyanescens Photographs

Lawn Varieties of Psilocybe cyanescens
Wood Chip Varieties of Psilocybe cyanescens
Bluing in Psilocybe cyanescens
Greening in Psilocybe cyanescens
Picked or Hand-Held Psilocybe cyanescens

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