Psilocybe Azurescens are the world’s most potent magic mushrooms. Their psychedelic properties were first discovered by a group of boy scouts on the Columbia River’s mouth. This article explores its key features, distribution, and lookalikes.
Psilocybe Azurescens was first discovered by a group of boy scouts in 1979, along the Columbia River. They discovered the mind-altering effects of the mushrooms and decided to cultivate them. Later on, Paul Stamets, a psilocybe expert, classified the Psilocybe Azurescens as part of the psilocybin mushroom family.
Psilocybe Azurescens are also commonly referred to as azure, flying saucers, azzies, blue runners, Indigo Psilocybe, or blue angels.
The Psilocybe Azurescens caps start as conic, and as the mushroom grows, they spread out to a convex shape and then flatten out completely. They have a nipple-like tip throughout their lifetime.
The caps grow to 30-100mm in diameter. The surface of the cap is smooth, with a viscous appearance and sticky texture when wet. The cap is covered by a gelatinous layer that can peel back and be seen when you break the cap.
These mushrooms are hygrophanous. The color of the Psilocybe Azurescens cap starts as chestnut brown when the mushroom young. As the mushroom grows older, the cap’s color changes to orange-brown and then to caramel at maturity. When the Psilocybe Azurescens dry up, their caps turn pale. The caps tend to become bluish-green when bruised.
The cap’s margin is thin and striate, which makes it possible to see the point that the gills join the cap. Unlike the P.Cyanescens, the cap of the Azurescens does not turn upwards.
The Psilocybe Azurescens mushrooms have a temporary cobweb-like white veil that falls off as the cap becomes bigger. In some cases, the margin retains a white edge that is annular looking on the upper part of the stem where the veil was attached.
Psilocybe Azurescens gills are brown in color with whitish edges. They are ascending and two-tiered. When bruised, they become black.
Psilocybe Azurescens have a dark purplish-brown spore print. The spores are ellipsoidal shaped.
The stems of Psilocybe Azurescens mushrooms grow between 90-200mm long and 2-6mm thick. They are silky whitish with a brown tint at the base. As they age, they become hollow or turn color to a dirty grey or brown. They are made up of thick cartilage-like fibrous mycelium tissue. The base of the Psilocybe Azurescens stem is thick and curved with some tufts of azure-colored mycelium.
Taste and Odor
Psilocybe Azurescens mushrooms are rather odorless but have a very bitter taste.
The Psilocybe Azurescens is a rather uncommon species of magic mushrooms. They are native to the US but also grow in some parts of Europe. In the US, they are prevalent along the West Coast including in Oregon, California, along the mouth of the Columbia River, Ohio, New Mexico, Vermont, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and in parts of Washington. Some have been identified in Stuttgart, Germany, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
These mushrooms grow on wood in tight but separated clusters. They also grow well on sandy soils that have wood debris and coastal dune grasses. Their mycelium accumulates on the wood, causing the wood that they grow on to whiten. They have also been found growing mulched gardens, on rose bushes, and in blackberry thickets.
They mainly fruit in late September up until the end of December and, in some cases, early January.
Psilocybe Azurescens Potency
According to mycologist Paul Stamets, these are the most potent of all psilocybin mushrooms. On average, they contain 1.8% psilocybin, 0.4% baeocystin, and 0.5 psilocin per weight of dried mushroom. Psilocybe Azurescens can have up to 3 times more psilocybin than other popular magic mushrooms such as Psilocybe Cubensis and Psilocybe Cyanescens.
Psilocybe Azurescens can be grown indoors or outdoors as long as favorable conditions for their growth are met. Since they are wood lovers, their substrate has to be wood-derived. Some options for preparing Psilocybe Azurescens substrate include cardboard, burlap, or alder chips.
Since Psilocybe Azurescens and other psilocybin mushrooms are illegal in most US states and European countries, collecting them for personal use or sale is a potential felony. This is a good reason to know how to identify these mushrooms — if only to avoid picking them. Be sure to check the laws in your area.
Effects of Consuming Psilocybe Azurescens
Psilocybe Azurescens are reported to produce intense effects when consumed. These can be linked to the high potency of psychoactive components in the mushrooms. Some of the most common effects of consuming Psilocybe Azurescens include severe hallucinations, temporary paralysis, emotional dissociation, numbness or heaviness in the limbs, and anxiety attacks, among others. Those who have had “good trips” reported having a profound journey into the subconscious.
Psilocybe Azurescens and Wood Lover Paralysis
Psilocybe Azurescens have been linked to an effect referred to as wood lover paralysis. When consumed, some users experienced muscle weakness several hours after ingesting. There have been numerous anecdotal reports about wood lover paralysis on various platforms, including Erowid and Bluelight, but no controlled research has been carried out.
Wood lover paralysis is characterized by symptoms such as loss of motor control in the limbs and loss of motor function on the face and eyes. Other reported symptoms include speech difficulty, blurred vision, trembling in the legs and hands, and generally feeling weak. The paralysis usually sets in between 4-6 hours of consuming the psilocybin mushrooms and resolves within 24 hours.
While there is no consensus on a treatment method for the wood lover paralysis, some users indicated that treating the paralysis like you would a histamine allergic reaction worked for them, Benadryl being the solution.
It is believed that psilocybin mushrooms that grow on wood have this effect when consumed. The wood lover paralysis is also linked to other types of magic mushrooms, including Psilocybe cyanescens, Psilocybe allenni, psilocybe stunzii, and psilocybe pelliculosa.
Comparison Between Psilocybe Cyanescens, Psilocybe Azurescens, and Psilocybe Cubensis
While the Azurescens grow well in dune grass and deciduous wood, the Psilocybe Cyanescens mainly grow on coniferous wood. The Psilocybe Cyanescens are generally smaller than Psilocybe Azurescens. Of the three, the Azurescens have the highest potency. In terms of color, while all the three species are hygrophanous, the brownish color of the Psilocybe Cubensis is darker than that of the Azurescens.
P.Cubensis fruit in September through November. On the other hand, the season for Azurescens is longer, and it starts in late September until early January. The P.Cubenesis can be grown throughout the year in warm, tropical weather.
Psilocybe Subaeruginosa: Psilocybe Azurescens Lookalike
One way that the Psilocybe Subaeruginosa is similar to the azures is that they both grow on wood and woody surfaces. The Psilocybe Subaeruginosa are native to Australia and New Zealand, while Psilocybe Azurescens are indigenous to the US. Unlike the Psilocybe Azurescens, Psilocybe Subaeruginosa tends to curve inwards as the shrooms mature. In addition, their caps are golden brown.
Wrapping It Up
The main unique features of the Psilocybe Azurescens include high psilocybin potency, large caps that start conic, and then flatten out, a temporary cob-web like veil, brown gills with white edges, silky-whitish hollow stems that are brown at the stem.
These mushrooms should be approached with caution, as they have been linked to wood lover paralysis, among other severe psychedelic effects.