An Eye for Shrooms
Out of thousands of species of mushrooms, some have gained popularity because of their hallucinogenic properties. There are over 180 types of magic mushrooms in the world. Every specie has a different amount of psilocybin, a substance that produces a psychedelic effect comparable to LSD.
Without the right knowledge about mushrooms, anyone can mistake a poisonous mushroom for a magic mushroom. Before you choose which mushroom to take, here are some of the most common varieties.
This is one of the most popular magic mushroom varieties. P. cubensis grows throughout the United States, parts of Central and Southern America, Southeast Asia, and regions of Australia. They’re known throughout the world under different names: Golden Tops, Cubies, San Isidros, and Hongos Kentesh. Its signature cinnamon-brown cap can grow to a diameter of 2-8cm. The cap starts out as conic but becomes flat with age.
Depending on how you take magic mushrooms, P. cubensis can affect the body after 20-60 minutes. This can last from 4–10 hours depending on the dose. Common effects include visual distortions, enhancement of colors, seeing walls that “seem to breathe,” and the animation of organic shapes.
P. semilanceata are commonly scattered in grassy pastures in Northern Europe, South African grasslands, Chile, and parts of India. They usually make their home in damp fields. Their conical to bell-shaped caps are their signature. These caps can grow from 5-25mm in diameter. They boast a nipple-shaped structure which doesn’t change with age. People know them as “Witch’s Hat” or “Liberty Bell.”
Eating P. semilanceata causes color distortions which progress to visual hallucinations, pupil dilation, overresponsive reflexes, and increased heart rate. These effects are similar to LSD but milder.
This type of magic mushroom can be found in rice paddies in Thailand particularly in the Ranong Province where it’s known as hed keequai. P. samuiensis’ cap is rhomboid and 7-15mm in diameter which takes on a reddish brown hue when moist. It’s an inconspicuous fungus, not more than 2-3 inches in height and is easy to overlook. Its effects are similar to the larger P. cubensis.
A coastal species, P. cyanofibrillosa are common on flood plains and on river estuaries across Northern California and British Columbia. They make their home in soil rich in wood debris. Caps vary in diameter from 1.4–3.5cm and become flat with age. The deep chestnut brown tint fades to yellowish brown or grayish white when dry. “Rhododendron psilocybe” and “Blue-Haired psilocybe” are their common names and they are known to have effects slightly less potent that the P. cubensis.
As its name suggests, p. Mexicana is found in Mexico and parts of Central America. Aztecs and Mayans have used them for thousands of years in religious ceremonies and have referred to them as “teonancatl” which means “god’s flesh.”
Its cap is quite narrow ranging from 0.5-2cm in diameter with a conical shape. The brown cap may also appear beige to straw-colored and easily turns blue when injured. It has one of the mildest effects and is a great variety to start with as an aspiring psychonaut.
P. pelliculosa grows in clusters on humus, forest debris, and moss in coniferous forests in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. It’s also widely distributed in British Columbia, Canada. It’s commonly known as the “Conifer psilocybe” because of its cone-shaped cap. As it grows older, the cap becomes broadly bell-shaped and grows to about 0.8-2cm in diameter. In terms of its effects, it’s known to be one of the “relatively weaker” varieties.
This fungus grows from May to December and can be seen in red clay soil enriched with pine needles. It only grows in northern Georgia, USA. Defining traits include its taste and smell similar to cucumber. P. weilii also has white scale-like remnants along the margin of its cap which range from 3-6cm in diameter. Although it’s one of the rarest psilocybin mushrooms, it’s also known to give a shorter but more intense experience.
The wavy cap is a dead giveaway for the P. cyanescens. As such, it was named “Wavy-Capped Psilocybe.” It’s also known as “Cyan” and “Blue Halo.” This specie can be seen growing in the fall to early winter in the Pacific Northwest and is widely spread throughout the United Kingdom. However, the psilocybin concentration seems to be higher in North American specimen than in European ones. Because of its potency, it’s widely south after by users in the United States.
Commonly known as the Flying Saucer, Blue Runner, Blue Angel, Indigo Psilocybe and Astoriensis, this mushroom grows along the northern Oregon Coast near Astoria, Oregon. It favors dune grasses and is an adaptive specie. Its cap is quite wide at 30-100mm in diameter, conic to convex, and expands to eventually flatten with age. This is one of the strongest varieties of shrooms. 1/8 of this mushroom can take effect within 30 minutes and give bad “hangovers” the next day.
As suggested by its name, this specie is found in Spain at an elevation of 2,300 meters. Spanish youth consume it for its mind-altering effects but evidence point to its use in religious rituals as far back as 6,000 years ago. They are very resistant to cold temperatures.
Found on decaying conifer mulch, it’s a common specie in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. People call them “Baeos” or “Knobby Tops.” Its cap margin is turned inward when young. Aside from the usual psychoactive effects, it manifests physical effects such as depressed breathing and skin flushing.
This specie grows on wood chips during fall. Sightings have been reported in Northern Europe, Eastern United States, and Ontario, Canada. It’s closely related to the p. pelliculosa and can be distinguished by the shape of its cap.
Also known as “Stuntz’s Blue Legs,” this is another mushroom that’s common in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. It grows from late July throughout December. Despite its psychoactive effects, it’s best not to consume this variety because of its physical similarity to the poisonous G. marginata.
Technically, this specie doesn’t contain psilocybin. Its psychoactive effect comes from muscimol. A. muscaria or the Fly Agaric mushroom is bright red with white specks. It’s very similar to the shrooms from Alice in Wonderland, Super Mario Brothers, and Fantasia. This shroom is recommended only for advanced psychonauts. Many first-time users report trips with nausea and extreme sweating as initial effects. The positive effects are often built up after taking it up a couple of times.
The effects of magic mushrooms can be divine, hellish or completely absent. By knowing the different varieties out there, you can choose the magic mushroom specie that will best fulfill your psychedelic needs.
Check out the types of magic shrooms available online!