We Almost Forgot About This Insanely Powerful Australian Mushroom
Some people believe that Psilocybe subaeruginosa, which is also referred to as "P subs"—is an unusual animal and a peculiarity that originates from "Down Under." " Nevertheless, this species is not in the least bit uncommon. The tropical and subtropical Psilocybe cubensis and the temperate Psilocybe subaeruginosa, which prefers eucalyptus, are the two primary species of Psilocybe that are found in Australia. The former is a species that was brought into Australia by humans, while the latter is a species that has always been there.
Psilocybe subaeruginosa is a species that is very common in Australia, and in some cases it has the potential to become a weed. You can find this species in forests, parks, playgrounds, and scattered around universities. The species can be found as far south as Maatsuyker Island, which is a rugged island off the south coast of Tasmania, and as far north as Southeast Queensland; this represents a considerable distribution as well as a dynamic range of habitats and substrates. Even the central business district (also known as the CBD) of Melbourne has been documented as having experienced this phenomenon.
It is also very potent, ranking among the most powerful of the psilocybes, and at 1 mg/kg, it has the potential to be the most naturally potent of any mushroom. 93% psilocybin by dry weight, in contrast to the 1% found in regular mushrooms The majority of Psilocybe azurescens, 78% It is essential, however, to keep in mind that the collection of Psilocybe subaeruginosa is a potentially illegal activity that is enforced by the law enforcement agencies in the area. The cultivation of Psilocybe subaeruginosa is considered "manufacture" and is therefore prohibited in a number of countries. ”
Psilocybe subaeruginosa was first found in Australia many years before it gained widespread attention. The species was first collected in June of 1915 in New South Wales, which is the earliest date on record for the collection. Mycologists made additional collections in the state of Victoria as well as in the state of South Australia. John Burton Cleland, an Australian naturalist, microbiologist, mycologist, and ornithologist, gave the species its name and published a description of it in 1927. Cleland was a leading figure in the development of mycology in Australia. In the years 1934 and 1935, he published a two-volume monograph titled "Toadstools and Mushrooms and Other Larger Fungi of South Australia." This book is recognized as being one of the most comprehensive reviews of Australian fungi that has ever been written.
However, it took an additional 35 years before P. subs to enter the public consciousness; we have surfers to thank for igniting an interest in psychoactive fungi and for bringing it to our attention. In the 1960s, the eastern coast of Australia developed a reputation as a premier destination for surfers. The Gold Coast's barrel waves attracted a large number of visitors from the United States, and these visitors did not travel empty-handed. They brought with them a healthy dose of psychedelic culture from the West Coast, as well as a few compounds that were quite interesting and the knowledge of which mushrooms might be worth picking.
In 1969, the Sydney Sunday Telegraph and the Canberra Times published articles on the newly fashionable activity of foraging for P. cubensis can be found in the southern part of Queensland as well as the northern part of New South Wales. Picker and Rickards made the decision to look into P after reading the reports contained in these newspapers. subaeruginosa 1970 saw the publication of a paper by these researchers reporting that the species had 0 Psilocybin content at a dry weight concentration of 45 percent The information regarding this species was disseminated rapidly, and periodic newspaper reports on the perils of gathering hallucinogenic mushrooms were published at the same time. The locals in Australia rediscovered their indigenous enchanted mushrooms.
Take a look at this article: Where Do Magic Mushrooms Grow?
P subaeruginosa is known to be successful in a wide variety of environments and substrates, but the fungi are most frequently discovered growing on debris from Eucalyptus trees. It is a wood-loving mushroom that thrives in temperate climates and is thought to be endemic to Australia. It is most common in Tasmania, Victoria, South Australia, and New South Wales, which are all located in the southern parts of the continent. Additionally, it can be found in a secluded area of southeast Queensland. It is a species that was not native to the southwest region of Western Australia and was first discovered growing close to the town of Balingup, which is the focus of the documentary film "Fungimentary: the Magic Mushrooms of Balingup." The mushroom has adjusted very well to its more recent environment; P It would appear that the range of subs in Western Australia is expanding. P subaeruginosa is another species that can be found in New Zealand.
P, like its relatives in the United States, subaeruginosa favors an oceanic climate In the southeastern part of Australia, the "P After a prolonged period of temperatures at or below 8 degrees Celsius (46 degrees Fahrenheit) and heavy dews, "subs" will begin to bear fruit anywhere from the end of March to the middle of April. Additionally, this species is tolerant of a Mediterranean climate; however, precipitation is necessary in order to adequately moisten substrates prior to the onset of fruiting. Late April or the beginning of May marks the beginning of the season, which lasts until either July or September. In exceptional cases, they may bear fruit at other times of the year; summer snowfalls or cold snaps in mountainous regions are sufficient to cause fruiting to begin at the appropriate time.
Growing singly or in groups, Psilocybe subaeruginosa can frequently be discovered on the edges of forests, in disturbed areas, or at the trailheads of hiking trails. Their primary environment is a wet or dry sclerophyll forest, where they can be found growing among eucalyptus debris and clumps of grass, but are not limited to these environments. In addition, they have the potential to grow on the decaying remains of bracken fern (various species of Pteridium). ), man fern (Dicksonia spp ), and tea tree (various species of the genus Leptospermum) ) They are also able to be found in pine plantations (Pinus radiata), where they can be found growing on pine mulch that has been properly decomposed, buried woody fragments, and the occasional pinecone.
The appearance of Psilocybe subaeruginosa can vary incredibly, which contributes significantly to the overall confusion surrounding this species. The caps can come in a variety of shapes and colors, most commonly shades of brown and yellow and occasionally cream. The stem can be variable in both its thickness and its length, and it can sometimes grow in a straight direction while at other times it will twist. Because of all of these factors, P subaeruginosa is easily confused with a number of other toxic genera because they all have a comparable appearance and thrive in the same environment.
The diameter of the cap, which is called the pilus, ranges from one to six centimeters, but it has the potential to become even larger under favorable conditions. The mushroom caps begin with a conical shape, but over time they become convex and eventually upturned. Sometimes the cap undulates, appearing very much like the letter P. cyanescens In the middle of the cap, they frequently have something called an umbo, which is a pointed tip. Sometimes the umbo is able to be heard quite clearly. Psilocybe subaeruginosa has a cap that is hygrophanous, which means that as the cap loses moisture, its color will change. The caps have a tacky feel to them and range in color from a very dark caramel brown to a very light caramel brown. When the cap dries out, it turns a light brown or golden brown color, and occasionally a pale yellow or cream color.
When the mushroom is still young, the edge of the cap will typically be inturned and striated (slightly transparent, so you can see where the gill joins the cap). The cap is initially protected by a white partial veil that resembles a spiderweb when it is young. This partial veil can occasionally be seen leaving faint traces of a white ring around the cap's edge. The fact that the cap has a gelatinous layer that covers the exterior of the cap and can be peeled off serves as an important distinguishing characteristic. This layer is known as the pellicle, and it can be removed.
It's possible for the stem, also known as the stipe, of Psilocybe subaeruginosa to be fibrous, and it's typically hollow. Its length can be anywhere between five and ten centimeters, and its width is approximately five millimeters. Despite the fact that this is not a precise measurement, they are capable of becoming quite chunky. Additionally, the color of the stem may alter over the course of time. When it is young, it is frequently a brilliant white, but as it gets older, it turns a grayish brown. The stem will turn a brownish-gray color if it becomes waterlogged. The base of the stem is enlarged, and there is frequently thick white rhizomorphic mycelium that extends into the substrate.
The gills, also known as lamellae, of P subaeruginosa range from being adnate, which means they are attached to the stalk slightly above the base of the gill, to being broadly adnexed, which means they reach the stem but are not attached to it. They are also not too far apart from one another. When the cap is opened, they are white, but over time they turn a pale, smoky brown, and eventually they become brown-gray. Psilocybe subaeruginosa has a purple-black spore print Because of a mutation that inhibits the purple pigments in the spores, spore prints can sometimes be brown in extremely unusual circumstances.
As is the case with a large number of other types of mushrooms that contain psilocybin, P. subaeruginosa will turn a blue bruise in areas where it has been damaged. The bruising does not occur instantly; however, certain parts of the mushroom bruise more quickly than others. For example, the gills bruise easily, whereas the stem may take up to a couple of hours. The bruising is a result of the psilocin in the mushroom being oxidized. Psilocybin, which is the precursor to psilocin, cannot be oxidized directly; however, psilocin can be converted to psilocin at injury sites through the action of enzymes, and psilocin can then be oxidized. Entheogenesis Australia has compiled an identification guide in the form of a downloadable PDF document, which can be accessed in order to acquire additional information about this species.
To make a spore print, read How to Make a Spore Print.
Although it is against the law to cultivate Psilocybe subaeruginosa in most countries, certain cities in North America have made an exception to this rule. Despite this, Psilocybe subaeruginosa can be found happily growing in garden beds that have been mulched. Wood chips that contain phosphorus could be accidentally spread by landscape gardeners. spreads its spores through public green spaces, including parks, gardens, university grounds, and urban plant displays Because of this, they have the potential to become weeds due to the fact that they readily myceliate wood chip piles. The thick, white, rhizomatic mycelium that "runs" through the substrate and can spread large distances is a distinctive feature of this species when it is growing among decomposing wood and is one of the defining characteristics of its growth environment.
Instructions On How To Cultivate Psilocybe subaeruginosa Outside
Similar species P cyanescens, as well as P Additionally, it is well known that azurescens thrive in urban environments. As with P azurescens, P subaeruginosa is able to cultivate easily on a wide variety of lignin-based substrates, such as cardboard, burlap, alder chips (Alnus rubra), or a number of other types of wood mulch. Those in decriminalized areas who are interested in cultivating Psilocybe subaeruginosa outside may find this piece of information to be encouraging.
Paul Stamets explains how cultivators can get P. chrysogenum off the ground in his book "Mycelium Running." azurescens, as well as P cyanescens in low quantities, and then gradually increase At some point in time, farmers will use the seedlings to construct garden beds. In addition, according to what Stamets writes in his book, the methods that are used to cultivate mushrooms such as Stropharia rugosoannulata or Lepista nuda can be adapted to cultivate a variety of species that live in and around wood.
“P "subs" can be emotionally taxing, highly visual, and possibly even hyperdimensional. Due to the fact that only a small quantity is required to produce the desired results when using them in microdosing, they have become a well-liked option in recent years. It is essential to keep in mind, however, that the possession of psilocybin mushrooms is considered a criminal offense in many countries. One dried gram, or even as few as a few dried mushrooms, could be a potent dose; therefore, psychonauts (or psilonauts) should exercise caution when working with these potent fungi. [Citation needed] Keeping an eye on the medium in which this mushroom is growing is another helpful tip. Their efficacy can be vastly different depending on the medium in which they were grown. When gathered from wood chip beds, it is generally agreed that they may be particularly potent—even overpowering—in their effects.
Psilocybe species that thrive in woody environments, including P. subaeruginosa contains high levels of psilocybin in addition to a variety of other indole alkaloids. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that can only be obtained by the human body through the consumption of food. Indole alkaloids are chemical compounds that are related to tryptophan. Tryptophan and its derivatives are the building blocks for the synthesis of a wide variety of psychoactive chemicals, such as psilocybin and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). Tryptophan is also a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin, and it can be obtained through diet.
Numerous psilocybin mushrooms contain additional indole alkaloids whose effects have not been thoroughly researched. Psilocybe azurescens, for example, can contain 0 35% of the alkaloid baeocystin based on its dry weight P cyanescens have the potential to contain a wide variety of indole alkaloids, some of which are psilocybin, psilocin, baeocystin, aeruginascin, as well as monoamine oxidase inhibitors. It is to be anticipated that P will occur given how closely the two are related. subaeruginosa would be the same in this respect as any other strain. Despite this, chemical analysis is required nonetheless.
The conversation concerning efficacy is evolving to include more nuances. Psilocybe cubensis, the species that is grown in closets and under beds all over the world, has been the focus of a significant amount of research that has been conducted underground. The increased potency of cultivated strains can be attributed to the introduction of novel strains as well as advancements in cultivation techniques. Notable are competitions like the Oakland Hyphae Psilocybin Cup, which bring attention to the psychoactive potential of Psilocybe cubensis that has been cultivated.
Read the article titled "Mushroom Dosage: What is the Right Amount of Shrooms?" for more information.
The condition known as woodlover paralysis (WLP) is brought on by eating mushrooms belonging to the genus Psilocybe that grow on wood. People suffer a loss of muscle strength and motor control, which may last into the following day in some cases. It is common knowledge that the effect is fleeting, typically disappearing after a period of twenty-four hours. It is possible for those who have not adequately prepared themselves to have a stressful experience. Because this paralysis can occur at relatively low levels of psychedelic intensity, it should not be confused with the overwhelming effects of a strong dose. The WLP is an individually identifiable physiologic effect
There are ongoing conversations about WLP in online communities like The Shroomery and groups on Facebook that are solely devoted to the identification of Psilocybe. The majority of the species that are responsible for WLP are classified under the Psilocybe section known as Cyanescens. subaeruginosa, P azurescens, P cyanescens, as well as P weraroa There is a possibility that the syndrome is not unique to this group and could be caused by other species. A case involving P is discussed in detail in a Japanese report from 1973. subcaerulipes, with the symptoms of the "poisonings" being identical to those of the syndrome.
The Australian Psychedelic Society (APS) conducted a survey on the syndrome in the year 2020, and the results were presented in a webcast given by Entheogenesis Australis in the month of July 2021. The survey inquired about individuals' past experiences and considered both environmental and personal factors that might play a role in the occurrence of the syndrome. The survey found that the habitats and substrates involved, as well as the preparation methods, were fairly equally represented among those who reported having had WLP.
There is currently no explanation that can be considered satisfactory. There are a few hypotheses floating around, but the two chemical compounds aeruginascin and a related trimethylammonium compound are being discussed as potential offenders. Nevertheless, there is a need for additional study. "If we have an understanding of this rare syndrome and the risks that are associated with it," stated Dr. "We can take steps towards minimizing the potential for harm and provide appropriate care to those experiencing it," said Simon Beck, who led the project. When placed in the context of an ever-increasing interest in these mushrooms, harm reduction strategies like these take on an even greater level of significance. ”
When looking for P, foragers should exercise extreme caution. subaeruginosa To begin, the accumulation of P In certain areas, the use of subs can result in criminal penalties. Second, there are many species that have appearances that are strikingly similar to the Psilocybe, and each one should be handled with extreme caution. The most likely to cause concern are species from the genus Galerina, which are capable of causing death due to the presence of amatoxins in their bodies. The term "amatoxin" refers to a group of poisonous compounds that can be found in certain types of poisonous mushrooms.
Some people may experience symptoms of illness within a couple of hours of ingesting amatoxins, followed by a deceptive and momentary sense of recovery from the effects of the toxin. Some people might not even experience any symptoms at all. At this point, the amatoxins have already started to cause damage to the liver and kidneys. However, without treatment, approximately two days after being poisoned, individuals begin to feel weak, then very ill, and shortly after that, they experience organ failure. This continues until the individual dies.
Galerina patagonica | Photo by JJ Harrison via Wikimedia Commons
Galerina spp resemble more immature examples of P. subaeruginosa Galerina spp feature a caramel-brown cap like subaeruginosa does, but the latter also features a brown stem with an annulus while the former does not. It is possible to identify species belonging to this genus by the rust-brown spore print. They are potentially lethal due to the presence of amatoxins, which are the same toxins that can be found in the Death Cap, which is also known as Amanita phalloides.
Cortinarius spp are also reported to be similar in appearance. Some species of the genus Cortinarius have a blue coloring that resembles blue bruising, but it fades over time and becomes less noticeable. Some of them have brown caps that are similar in appearance to Psilocybe species. Cortinarius spp In addition to this, the spores are a rusty brown color, and the mold can be extremely toxic, causing damage to the kidneys and liver. One species worth mentioning is the Cortinarius rotundisporus.Photograph of a Cortinarius rotundisporus was contributed by Leoboudv and can be found on Wikimedia Commons.
Hypholoma fasciculare, which can look similar to Psilocybe spp. and is notable despite its lower toxicity, is also of interest. The fact that Hypholoma fasciculare grows in dense clusters, which is not typical of Psilocybe, is the most notable distinction between the two. The caps are typically brown, while the stems are white, and the spore print is typically a purple-black color. There are some of these mushrooms that are known to be toxic. The cap of the Leratiomyces ceres fungus, also known as the Woodchip cherry, is orange-red. These mushrooms still have remnants of their veil on the surface as well as along their margins. They have gills that are a grayish color, and the stems of their bodies are either orange-red or pale yellow. They have a spore print that is purple-black in color and are toxic.
Before consuming any wild mushrooms, it is essential to have them correctly identified. The question "does it bruise blue " is a useful clue for determining the species of Psilocybe. All Psilocybe will bruise blue, although some specimens may take longer than others to turn blue after being bruised. In addition, certain species hardly ever sustain a bruise, whereas others, such as P subaeruginosa bruise readilyHypholoma fasciculare | Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Examining the spores is another step that must be taken in order to correctly identify mushrooms. A question that needs to be answered is "what color are the spores?" " can be useful in this situation Psilocybe spores should have a dark purple to almost black color. The creation of a spore print can assist in identifying your species and help you avoid making a fatal error. Psilocybe mushrooms can be correctly identified by blue bruising and a spore print; however, these two characteristics alone are not sufficient. It is also essential to search for typical Psilocybe characteristics, such as a pellicle that can be removed and stems that are tough and fibrous. For identification purposes, posting photos to Shroomery or local Psilocybe groups on Facebook is helpful. This is especially true for novice mushroom hunters.
Last but not least, "when in doubt, throw it out." " It is important to familiarize yourself not only with the species you are trying to identify but also with any possible alternatives. Call your regional emergency number immediately if you suspect that you may have been poisoned. Calling your community's poisons hotline will put you in contact with information regarding poisoning.
Psilocybe subaeruginosa is one of those fungi that can either be a taxonomist's worst nightmare or one of the most memorable career highlights. The primary question that needs to be answered is whether or not this species has more than one individual. Mycologists have spent decades debating the specific characteristics that define this type of mushroom. What exactly is it that makes P subaeruginosa a subaeruginosa Recent discoveries in DNA science have rendered obsolete a number of previously held hypotheses.
Until the advent of DNA sequencing and barcoding in the late 1970s, the classification of fungi was determined solely by the characteristics of mushrooms. These characteristics included macroscopic characteristics such as the cap, gills, and stem of the organism. Microscopic features come next Mycologists investigate the cheilocystidia, basidia, and pleurocystidia of a fungus to determine its identity. They look at the size and color of the spores as well as a few other distinguishing features. The structures known as basidia are the sites where the spores develop. The function of the latter two features, on the other hand, is not entirely clear. They are thought to play a part in the process of basidium occupying the space between one another. Cheilocystidia can be found along the margin of gills. On the face are small bumps called pleurocystidia.
Gaston Guzman published his monograph titled "The Genus Psilocybe" in 1983. This work is an in-depth analysis of the entire genus using both macroscopic and microscopic characteristics. Guzman came up with the concept of "Sections" in order to better categorize the connections that exist between the various categories of species. Because the cheilocystidia and pleurocystidia of Psilocybe subaeruginosa are a chocolate brown color, this species of Psilocybe was assigned to the section of Psilocybe known as Subaeruginosae. P Australiena and the letter P it was believed that P and eucalypta were closely related to one another. cyanescens They were assigned to the Section Cyanescens as a result of the fact that their cheilocystidia and pleurocystidia were hyaline, which means that they were clear and transparent. Since the year 1995, members of the Psilocybe Section Cyanescens have been considered interchangeable with those of the Psilocybe Section Semilanceatae.
In the course of their more in-depth research on the fungi of the Strophariaceae family, Chang and Mills used a variety of methods to compare and contrast the four species; P. subaeruginosa, P australiana, P eucalyptus, as well as P tasmaniana They focused specifically on morphology, isozyme analysis, and mating compatibility. They disseminated the results of their study in 1992. In the end, they came to the conclusion that they were the same species. As a result, the name P was given to collectively refer to all four species. subaeruginosa P due to the fact that subs had been the first to be described, they assumed their place of taxonomic precedence. In 1995, Johnston and Buchanan were responsible for the removal of P. tasmaniana from this grouping but maintained this synonymy in all other respects.
Although it is official, the synonymous grouping has never really taken hold, and its validity has been called into question by many people, including Paul Stamets. In his book titled Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World, which was published in 1996, he describes each of the three species individually. Stamets reports that Chang and Mills acknowledge that they did not discover any pigmented pleurocystidia with a "chocolate brown" hue in any of the collections that they analyzed. In online communities such as The Shroomery, Mycotopia, and The Corroboree, there are numerous conversations taking place regarding this subject.
Recent DNA analysis of these mushrooms reveals a few unexpected genetic characteristics, possibly leading to more questions than were previously answered. It was discovered through a method of DNA sequencing known as ITS barcoding that Psilocybe subaeruginosa is closely related to Psilocybe. cyanescens, P allenii, P azurescens, as well as the species native to New Zealand, P weraroa They are very similar to P in their outward appearance. cyanescens, as well as P azurescens
In light of the numerous questions surrounding P calls are coming in to examine the species, and they are coming from both the academic community and the underground community. Psilocybe subaeruginosa is considered by many mycologists to be a species complex, which is an umbrella term for a number of different species that are grouped together. A study that was conducted in 2013 by Virginia Ramrez-Cruz, Gastón Guzmán, and others found that the majority of the Psilocybe Sections that were based on morphological features were not supported by the genetic analysis. This lends credence to the previous statement.
In addition to this, Ramrez-Cruz and Guzmán suggest that P cyanescens, as well as P subaeruginosa belong to the same species due to the high degree of genetic similarity between them. In a commentary published in 2017, P cyanescens, Alexander Giessler put forth the hypothesis that the progenitor of P cyanescens have the potential to be found in a P. subaeruginosa population in Australia Additionally, Giessler brings up the fact that populations of P cyanescens are characterized by low genetic diversity in both the United States of America and the United Kingdom, which is further evidence that maybe this species is a long way from home.
Recent findings from research conducted in Australia on Psilocybe subaeruginosa
Due to the negative connotations associated with psychedelic substances and psilocybin, research on psychoactive mushrooms in Australia has been lamentably underfunded. As a result, our knowledge of the ecology and diversity of Australian Psilocybe is limited, and the majority of taxonomic expertise can be found in the underground community. The study on Psilocybe conducted by Chang and Mills in 1992 was the most recent piece of scientific research on Psilocybe to be published in Australia. subaeruginosa, which is a study that has been criticized by a large number of people, as was just mentioned above.
P in the context of our knowledge subaeruginosa is anticipated to undergo transformation in light of the recent announcement made by the University of Queensland. Professor Dr. Mycologist and Dr. Evolutionary Biologist Dr. The native "magic mushrooms" of Australia can be legally collected thanks to the efforts of Alistair McTaggart. ” Dr McTaggart has embarked on an expedition to explore the range of indigenous'magic mushrooms' in Australia, particularly P. subaeruginosa He has high hopes of figuring out how P's population is structured. subaeruginosa, which is information that is required to aid in the clarification of the taxonomy of the species, including the synonymized species P. australiana, in addition to P eucalypta
In addition to this, there is the issue of how P subaeruginosa has ties to P. aeruginosa. azurescens, P cyanescens, in addition to the other species that can be found in Section Cyanescens Psilocybe subaeruginosa is thought to be an indigenous species; the new project that we are working on will investigate whether or not it has become widespread across the world. McTaggart It is hoped that the work of McTaggart will provide answers to questions that have been brought about as a result of previous technological limitations. For instance, it is known that using the ITS region as a fungal barcode, which is a specific DNA sequence used to identify bacteria and fungi, can lead to problems with closely related species of Psilocybe. Therefore, a better understanding of the various populations and how they evolved is anticipated to emerge as a result of the sequencing of the entire genome and the analysis of the data.
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