When identifying magic mushrooms, there are several ways to go about it. One of the most common ways would be to do a visual inspection. There are several magic mushroom species out there. Each has its unique physical characteristics. You can determine what kind of shroom by identifying its particular characteristics.
Another way you can go about it would be to look at the magic mushrooms spore print. Shrooms have their unique spore print. This is like how each kind of shroom has its physical characteristics. Think of it as the mushroom’s fingerprint. By taking a closer look with a microscope, you can identify what spore print species it is.
But, it is worth noting that you cannot identify a mushroom only using the spore print. The spore print can only help supplement your information. This is to help you better identify the specimen you are examining.
However, a spore print also has uses other than for identification. As spores are a mushroom’s way of reproduction, they’re pretty hardy little things. This is because mushrooms spew their spores out into the environment. So it only makes sense that the spores are built to resist the conditions of the outside. So with a spore print, you essentially have a storable supply of a mushroom’s “seeds.”
But, to get your spore print, you have to follow a particular method of collection. By collecting these the right way, you can preserve that unique print of the mushrooms. You also get to collect the spores in a way that doesn’t taint or contaminate the sample.
So, how does one go about collecting these prints?
How Do I Make a Spore Print?
A spore print is what you get when you “capture” a mushroom’s spores with a piece of paper or similar material. Making these prints is a relatively straightforward process. However, there are still many ways to go about it.
This typically entails putting the spore-ejecting surface of the mushroom against another surface. This applies to whatever method is used. Usually, the surface you place the mushroom on would be a sheet of light or dark paper or a transparent plastic sheet. The type of surface you print the mushrooms on is essential. The surface needs to contrast nicely with the spores as well. This can help with easier identification.
Aside from the surface, some methods require you to have an airtight enclosure. This must be resistant to moisture. You’ll have to leave your shrooms to lay their print for an extended period. The moisture-free enclosure can help preserve the print and the spores.
Removing the shroom from the printing surface will reveal your print after some time. This applies to whatever setup. Ideally, the print should already show you the color of the spores. This can then be ready for you to examine or store!
What is a Psilocybe Cubensis Spore?
Psilocybe cubensis is one of the most common psychedelic mushroom species. This is also the one you can most frequently find. This species of mushroom is a good starting point. This is good, especially if you want to study and learn more about psychedelic mushrooms.
One way you can get to know more about this mushroom would be through its spores. In general, Psilocybe mushrooms have a rather distinct spore print. Typically, their spores are a combination of black and purple. Unfortunately, they do share similar spore print characteristics with some poisonous mushrooms too. Despite this, Psilocybe cubensis can still be an excellent shroom to start with.
You already have enough, with a spore print and other information. This can help identify what shroom you have. All you need to do is cross-reference this with any shroom identification manual. These contain the information available to you.
You can also use the spore print to store your Psilocybe Cubensis spores. This is to whatever use you have for them in the future. For example, you can use these spores to get a culture going. You can also go back to the spore print should you feel the need to study them again.
Spore Print Materials
To make a spore print, you first need to have the appropriate materials. Having the appropriate materials doesn’t only mean you have a complete setup. But it ensures that you carry out the spore print collection properly.
So, if you intend to make your own Psilocybe spore print, you’ll need the following:
- Magic mushroom of your choosing
- Sheet of aluminum foil
- Craft knife or scalpel
- Straight edge (e.g., Ruler)
- Flat tray
- Sanitizing spray
- Rubbing alcohol (for hand rub)
- Oven-safe glass jar (e.g., Mason jar)
- One drinking glass (per print)
- One resealable plastic bag (per print)
Step by Step Process for Preparing Mushroom Spore Prints
When the time comes that you’re ready to make a spore print, the first thing you should do is find the ideal area to do it. A small space in your house should suffice when you’ve picked your workstation, adequately cleaned and sanitized it. If you’re fortunate enough to have an airflow hood or a glove box, then you can use that too.
Aside from sanitizing your shroom print workstation, it’s also essential that you’re clean. So, that means you should shower, have your hair tied or covered in a hairnet, and then have clean hands. You can use your rubbing alcohol and perform a thorough hand rub.
Once the sanitation’s done, it’s time to cut your aluminum foil into 10cm by 10cm squares. You’ll need two of those squares for one print. Place both foil squares into your glass jar, and then close the jar with foil. Next, you need to sterilize them. You can do this by putting the jars in the oven at 250°C for one hour. Allow them to cool afterward.
While waiting for your jars to cool, you can go about disinfecting your equipment. You can use your sanitizing spray for any surfaces you’ll be using, the tray, the tweezers, and the glasses. As for your craft knife or scalpel, you can sanitize these with your alcohol.
After all the sanitizing, you can now remove half of the foil square with your tweezers. Remove them one by one, placing them on your tray with the glossy side facing up. Then, place the mouth-side of the glass on top of the foil square. When you’re done, make sure to close the jar with foil.
Using the knife or scalpel, cut the stem off of the mushroom cap. Try to cut as close to the gills as possible, avoiding any damage. Then remove the glass from the foil and place the cap with the gill-side on the foil. Then place the glass back to cover the mushroom cap.
Now, all you have to do is wait for 36 hours. Make sure to leave the tray in a place where it will not be disturbed, as this is essential for a good spore print.
After 36 hours have passed, it’s time to check on your print. Again, make sure that you’ve sanitized yourself, hands included. To check on your print, you’ll have to poke into the mushroom cap gently. It would be best if you avoided the following: moving the cap in any way and piercing the foil it’s on. Lift the cap and set it aside. After removing the cap, place the glass on top of the foil.
Once again, you’ll have to set the tray aside to dry it for another 24 hours. As for your shroom cap, these are still good for more magic mushroom spore prints!
After you’ve left your print to dry, it’s time to check on it again. Again, make sure you’ve sterilized your utensils, straightedge, surfaces, and your hands. Next, remove the second foil square from your jar and place it on top of your surface with the glossy side facing up. Then, using your straightedge, make a crease and fold one side of the foil up.
Cutaway any excess foil from the shroom print and put this on your folded piece of foil. Make sure it’s placed up against the crease. Then, fold the crease in such a way that the print is secured in place. Cutaway any more excess foil from the print and then fold the other piece of foil over it. Now, you’ve successfully secured your print!
You can then place it in your resealable bag for storage! Just make sure to appropriately label that bag before you store it in a cool, dark place.
Spore prints are one way to help better identify any magic mushroom. With its other characteristics, you can cross-reference your information with any shroom guide. This is to help determine what shroom you have. These spores can also help store spores for any other purposes in mind.
Fortunately, getting a spore prints magic mushrooms is a relatively straightforward process. It would be best if you had suitable materials and the proper adherence to the printing method. With all these in hand, then you’ll be good to go!