Psilocybe cyanescens is an invasive but understudied synanthrope in Germany.
The ecological and social problems connected to this potently psychoactive member of the Strophariaceae required a comprehensive study describing its current distribution,
specific characteristics and taxonomical position as fundament for the prospective handling.
This thesis covers diverse biological aspects by field investigations, cultivation experiments, microscopical studies, mating experiments and genetic fingerprintings.
The results revealed a genetically depauperated, but, through anthropogenous promotion fast spreading, saprobe. Its lack of allopatric differentiation in Europe as well as
North America indicates a relatively recent population explosion outside of the unknown natural habitat by globalization and urban mulch usage.
Furthermore, the taxonomical classification appears to be unfinished.
A species delimitation to the American relatives P. azurescens and P. allenii proved to be difficult.
All three taxa probably originated from P. subaeruginosa populations in Australia and represent variations of the same species.
An ongoing spreading of P. cyanescens in Germany may be expected.
Sooner or later it will also enter the local forest ecosystems, if not yet done. Psilocybe Cyanescens
Psilocybe Cyanescens is the sister species to the psilocybe azurescens and is also native to the Pacific NW USA and is now spread through many countries in Europe. It’s nick name is “wavy caps” as you can see by it’s wavy looking caps, very cool! It’s a cold weather wood loving species and thrives in the Seattle area due the alder mulch used in landscaping. The Psilocybe Cyanescens does not just thrive in Washington state though, as so many mushroom pickers have spread the spores along the western states and Canada. This species has really adapted to change and tends to be one of the most popular species of psilocybin mushrooms to find in Oregon and Washington. In Paul Stamet’s book “Psilocybe Mushrooms of the World”, Paul points out how so many mushroom pickers were being arrested for trespassing in the 70’s and the people were carriers for spores to the police station and courthouses. Paul writes this area became one is his favorite areas for picking Psilocybe Cyanescens mushrooms! How ironic and funny.
I once took a mushroom hunting vacation to Seattle to visit John Allen and he gave me the city tour to find and identify magic mushrooms native to the state of Washington for that time of year. We found quite a few different magic mushroom species but the ps. cyanescens were pretty much everywhere we searched and just confirmed that this species of psilocybe’s thrives and grows quite easily. And almost everywhere we found the cyanescens we also found the deadly galerina mushrooms next to them. Although they are easy to tell apart, they do look similar and can easily be confused by someone uneducated and to excited to pick shrooms.
This cool weather mushroom thrives in sawdust and small wood chips of fast decomposing hardwoods. In the Pacific NW USA it’s quite commonly found on alder mulch. This cool weather mushroom grows in temperature ranges around 40-70F. Even for spores to germinate, the temps need to be down around the 45F-55F range to start the life cycle in nature. However spawn runs have been noted as high as 75F but spore germination and fruiting temperatures are always much lower, below 40F. This is typical of MOST wood loving cool weather psilocybe mushrooms.
The psilocybe cyanescens are very powerful medicine and command respect and caution. How ever they are quite beautiful with their wavy caps dancing in the air calling out for attention. It’s also quite interesting this species thrives in mulched landscapes in urban areas where people are. You could say it’s a social mushroom