When you hear the word “psilocybin,” chances are you immediately think about magic mushrooms. While it isn’t necessarily wrong to think so, psilocybin is more than that. Think of it like lettuce.
When you think about lettuce, you know it’s a leafy green vegetable. But you also know there are different varieties of lettuce, such as romaine and iceberg. The same goes with magic mushrooms.
Psilocybin is the component found in magic mushrooms, and this has several subtypes under it. One of the subtypes, Psilocybe cyanensis, is one of the more potent kinds of magic mushrooms.
Also known as wavy caps, this mushroom contains the highest concentration of psilocybin, which gives magic mushrooms their psychedelic effects. In this article, we’ll be taking a better look at the wavy cap mushroom.
How do I identify wavy cap shrooms?
Psilocybe cyanensis got its “wavy cap mushroom” nickname from the wavy appearance of its cap. Usually ranging from an inch to two inches in diameter, the cap starts out convex in the middle and then flattens as you go outward. As they mature, the caps then take on their hallmark wavy appearance.
The wavy caps’ color changes slightly, depending on whether it’s wet or dry. When wet, the cap takes on a color shade similar to caramel, then becomes a little paler to yellowish when dry.
As it ages, the cap can take on a dark blue tint. It can also become blue to green-blue on the cap if it is bruised. The wavy cap’s preference for the color blue could explain why it got the cyanensis species name.
The underside of the cap is gilled, and these are usually crowded together. The gills connect loosely to the stem and can sometimes be notched. For younger mushrooms, the gills take on a paler color. These then become darker, taking a darker shade of purple as the more mature it gets. Just like the cap, these gills can bruise blue if they get damaged.
As for the stalk of the cyans mushroom, it’s nearly three-fourths of an inch in width. It can grow to a length of an inch and a half to three inches. The stalk is typically cylindrical in shape, is wider at the top, and thinner in the middle. Just like the cap and gills, the stalk can bruise blue if damaged.
In terms of spores, the wavy cap mushroom has spores that are smooth and round or egg-shaped. In addition, the spores of this mushroom take on a brownish or dark purple color.
Where do wavy caps grow?
The wavy cap mushroom prefers to grow in places where there is a lot of woody material. So, places with lots of fallen leaves, sawdust, or mulch would be the perfect place for growing cyanescens.
Also, lower temperatures are conducive to their growth, which is why you can find them in coniferous woods. This temperature preference can also explain their proliferation in these types of places during autumn.
Are wavy caps poisonous?
While the wavy caps do contain a lot of psilocybin, they are not poisonous. However, these mushrooms do bear a close resemblance to an incredibly toxic mushroom.
The Galerina marginata contains a life-threatening toxin, specifically amatoxins. Amatoxins are a particularly fatal toxin that can cause liver and kidney damage and even death.
You must distinguish the two to avoid making this fatal mistake, mainly because they both grow in similar areas and conditions. Fortunately, some characteristics differentiate the Galerina mushroom from the wavy cap.
The galerina lacks two key characteristics that are present in the cyans mushroom. While the wavy cap has hints of blue present on the stem and the cap, the galerina does not.
The galerina turns black in the stem as it gets more mature, not blue. Aside from this, the galerina mushroom does not usually have a wavy cap. The spores of the galerina mushroom are the color of rust or cinnamon brown, unlike the cyanescens’ dark purple spores.
As long as you keep these things in mind, you can avoid making the mistake of picking a galerina mushroom instead of a cyanescens mushroom.
Ready to Hunt for Wavy Caps?
Now that you know what a wavy cap mushroom looks like, as well as its specific characteristics, you’re one step closer to hunting these mushrooms. But, there’s also so much more to learn about these mushrooms.
That’s why if you can supplement all this information with a guide, you’ll be more well-equipped to go hunting for this mushroom.
But before you do decide to go hunting, be sure to know the laws and regulations regarding picking these kinds of mushrooms.
Remember, picking psilocybin mushrooms are not legal in all states of the USA. So, be sure to make yourself familiar with your state’s laws regarding the legality of psilocybin.
One more thing to remember: if you aren’t sure if it’s a Psilocybe cyanescens or a Galerina marginata, don’t pick it!