Psychedelic Magic Mushrooms That Grow in Washington
Now, before we begin, please refrain from using this guide to natural Washington growing
psychedelic mushrooms, to do anything illegal. It is perfectly legal to study them as a hobby, and
I am more than happy to share what I know about them, for fellow myco studiers!
Washington state is home to some of the most interesting and amazing natural substances
around. Most of this was due to the tectonic plates rubbing together just the right way several
thousand years ago. It has given our state the largest variety of forest types, mountains,
meadows, crystals, plant life and Mushrooms.
Psychedelic mushrooms are even more fun to hunt for, not because of their psychedelic
properties, but because they are harder to find and recognize. It takes a lot of patience to
recognize several hundred species of poisonous and eatable mushrooms, to be able to uncover
the mystery that is psychedelic mushrooms. The hunt and hobby of finding them in nature, is
enough of a spiritual experience for most.
So with the spirit of the hunt, let’s go over some awesome psychedelic breeds that you can find
naturally in Washington state. Be careful, and make sure to dress appropriately for the wet
weather. If you can, always bring a friend with you, as it is much more fun, and easier not to get
lost when you have a companion.
This social species is often found in the fall and winter, layered throughout deciduous mulch. It’s
cap is usually brown or carmel covered with a dark blue or black area at the tip of the cap. The
cap is has a broad umbo, which usually gives it the strong appearance of an umbrella. It is
smooth to the touch, and often feels very thick or viscous when it’s still wet. The psilocybe
azurescen caps tend to flatten out as they age and lose some of their color, so you’ll often see
what looks like somewhat different mushrooms together in the same patch. You’ll notice that the
cap rarely is smaller then one inch, or larger then four inches. The gills of the azurescens rise up
in an ascending way, and are usually brown or black where injured, and they tend to have a white
outer area where the gills met the cap. The spore prints should be purple or black in color, as
with most psilocybe species. The stem of this species tends to be around three to six inches long,
white for most of the stem, while often having a brown around the base of the stem. As with
most psilocybe’s, the stem bruises blue. The browning covers more of the stem as the mushroom
ages. The stem has a moist and silky feel to it, and when the stem is mature, it’s hollow.
Azurescens tend to have some rather hardy mycelium around it’s base, often appearing like
roots, holding debris together. This species does not usually have a very apparent smell when
fresh, though many say it tastes very bitter. The psilocybe azurescens is a dead wood loving sort
of mushroom, and can often be found habitating wood chips and fallen trees. They especially
love loose sandy soils that contain lots of wood chips and splinters, making those areas prime
targets for finding these mushrooms. You will most often find these mushrooms in beachy areas,
especially along the coast of Washington and Oregon. They especially love the dune grasses
along coast, where rotting wood can be found.
This conifer loving mushroom, is one of the few psychedelics you will find under our great
evergreen trees. Most other psychedelic mushrooms have a sweet tooth for deciduous trees,
though the Baeos prefer the bitter-sweet content of soils rich in conifer mulch. They are also
often found cohabitating with rhododendrons or rose bushes. Sometimes, you might even find a
few fruiting on douglas fir cones, or growing through peat moss. Though there is often
coniferous mulch underneath. They can occassionally be found on lawns, pastures or in conifer
forests. The caps are usually between a half inch and three inches around, and can vary between
being convex (umbrella like) shaped to conical (cone like) shaped. Interestingly, Baeos have
inward turning caps when they are little, which spread out through maturity, and they tend to
smell a bit like cooking flour. When you find a baeocsystis, you’ll notice that they usually have
rippled caps. Baeos often get the name “olive mushroom” for their dark olive brown color.
Though they can also be a buff brown color, and once in a blue moon, you might even see one in
a steel blue tone. When a baeo ages, it turns to a chalky or milky white color. This species
bruises very easily in a blue-ish color, as it has very thin flesh. Cinnamon brown to grayish is the
coloring you’ll often sight on the gills. The gills can take on an adnate shape, though sometimes
they are sinuate instead. Spore prints from a baeo are going to be more purple brown and mango
shaped. The stems are pale or brown, and usually have little lengths of white in them. Root like
mycelium can also be found around the base of these mushrooms. Remember to be careful, as
the loose fibers that make up the steam are easy to break. You will sometimes find a veil ring
around the stem, The veil disappears as the mushroom ages, so you often won’t find a ring if the
mushrooms have had time to mature. Baeos are often easier to notice, as they are commonly
found near other psychedelics such as the Stuntzii or Cyanescen. This also means they can be
found near several strains of Galerina, so do be careful. The season for Baeos is usually between
August and December. They prefer the cooler days, though often sprout in warmer temperatures
then other psychedelic varieties.
This is a tricky species to hunt down, due to it’s close resemblance with many poisonous species.
Be careful, and make sure you know your posionous species as well as you know the
psychedelics, to avoid any mistakes. You’ll find that the smithii can be convex or conic, and as it
matures it spreads out more. The caps are usually light yellow brown, golden brown or
cinnamon-brown. They get lighter as they age, and as they dry. The smithii cap is usually wet
enough that it glistens even in lower light. The gills can be brownish with white edges, or a pale
yellow-greyish color. The stems are usually between a half inch and two inches long. Be careful
with the stem, it is fragile and quickly bruises blue even with gentle handling. The base of the
stem will often turn a bluish-green color with age, while the rest of the stem is usually white, and
you won’t often find a ring around the stem. You’ll find that the spores are often cinnamon
brown, which still makes them difficult to distinguish from poisonous breeds, so make sure you
know exactly what you have picked. If you are looking in swampy areas, bogs or ditches, then
you are looking in the right place to find a smithii. They really prefer peat moss as well, which
makes mossy areas a prime suspect for housing smithii’s.
This is one of the most commonly hunted variety of psychedelics in the pacific northwest. It is
often known as the “golden teacher”, and is a rather potent mushroom when picked in the wild.
Even though it is a very common mushroom in this area, it is still very difficult to find. Mostly
through a change in mulches used in the area, though also because they can be tough to
distinguish from several galerina species that are very poisonous. Cyanescens love
rhododenrons, roses, ivy, strawberry plants, sawdust, dune grass, maple leaves, straw, rotten
wood and especially alder wood chips and bark mulch. Because of this, they are more common
in urban areas than most other psychedelic mushrooms, and are rarely found in the wild. You’ll
never find them under conifer or evergreen trees unless the ground is protected from the needles.
They don’t mind huddling close together on the edges of lawns that have wood chips on them, or
growing around twigs. Cyanescens are a very social strain, and this is one of the characteristics
that tends to set it apart from “most” poisonous strains. Cyanescens growing stongly and
numerously. If it was a poor fruiting season, there might only be a few in an area, though this is
rare enough that it’s better to leave those, instead of risking a mistake for a galerina. Cyanescens
are very picky, as they prefer to only fruit when the temperature is right. They can stand it being
too cold or too warm, and are often found when it’s very foggy around, and the ground is
releasing a lot of heat. The average temperature is around 50* F. The caps are usually chestnut
brown to carmel colored, and not orange. They will pale as they mature and sometimes become
slightly yellowish. They bruise an obvious blue-green or cyan color when handled, and is
between a half inch to two inches around. It is very commonly known as the “wavy cap”, and it
has a clear give away when in it’s prime, for having very wavy caps. The gills are can be light
brown or purple-ish brown, and the spores are brown-purplish. These mushrooms also smell like
cooking flour, which is another great way to identify them. The stems of the cyanescens are
usually white, and always hollow. The stems are usually slightly wavy and are usually a half inch
to an inch long. Cyanescens are often only found in October between the first and third frosts.
Sometimes they can be found as early as september, or as late as December, though it depends
on the temperature. They are also picky about the mulch beds they use, as they will move on
once the nutrients in one area are all eaten up. This usually takes between two and three years.
This mushroom is often known as the “rhododendron psilocybe” because it has a great
relationship with rhododendrons, especially in coastal areas. It can also be found near bush
lupines, though this is not as common in Washington. The cyanofibrillosa bruises blue and it’s
hairs also turn blue with age. These mushrooms are often mistaken for cyanescens, though there
are some clear distinctions to be noticed. The caps are somewhat wavy, though not as much as
cyanescens. The caps become flater with age, andend to turn whitish in color. When fresh they
are usually a deep chestnut or carmel brown. They are thick when wet, and often have a mucus
membrane that can be seen when the cap is slowly separated. The gills are light greyish when
they are young, become more purplish-brown with age, and have a white edge to them. The
spores are purple-brown as well. The stems are white, and between one inch to four inches long.
Root like mycelium will be attached at the base of the stem, so make sure to pull them up from
the dirt and not pick them half way up the stem. The base of the stem is usually thicker then the
rest of it, and there is often a little bit of a veil ring left around the stem. This interesting
mushroom usually grows between September and December, and prefers soils rich in deciduous
wood debris. It enjoys alder mulch, willow, fir sawdust and obviously, rhododendron mulch. It is
also commonly found in floud plains and really likes wet mushy areas.
There are thousands of interesting mycologist specimin in the pacific northwest, which means
that any good hobby hunteould spend a lot of time doing their research. Being able to identify
psychedelic and poisonous mushrooms, is a must have for any hunter seeking eatable
mushrooms to add color to their meals.