A brief reference guide for magic mushroom hunting

By Anne Onymous

There are quite a few psilocybin containing shrooms around, but the most common you’ll find here is the hardy wood-loving Psilocybe subaeruginosa. You should know, in New Zealand it is illegal to cultivate or prepare (meaning to collect, or to dry out in an oven on the lowest fan-forced setting with the door ajar until cracker dry, or to seal in a container with desiccant in a cool, dark place for long term storage) any mushroom containing psilocybin. In fact, psilocybin is a Class A controlled substance, in that Parliament believes it poses “a very high risk of harm” to individuals and society in it’s misuse. The Government officially regards psilocybin to be: highly dangerous, highly addictive, and of very little or no therapeutic benefit. Of course, that’s all bollocks. Psilocybin is one of the safest, non-addictive psychoactive substances on the planet, with a great potential to be used therapeutically to treat PTSD, depression, cluster headaches, and death-anxiety.

Anyway, mother nature’s government-subverting mycological Class A fruiting-bodies are recognisable by a few key features:

  1. golden, sombrero shaped cap
  2. white, fibrous, moderately thick stem
  3. distinctive blue bruising of the white stem (and cap)

There are other psilocybes which have similar – but not identical – features to the sub (which all also bruise blue), and there are shrooms which bruise blue, but which look nothing like a psilocybe. So, while bruising is not sufficient for an ID, there are no blue-bruising shrooms which look like psilocybes. When you have an ensemble of positive features plus the blue bruising you probably have the goods, though getting a second opinion from someone more experienced is always important.

Some mushroom mantras for you…

All mushrooms are edible; some are edible only once.
Googling “poisonous mushrooms NZ” is not a waste of time.
A positive ID leads to a positive trip.
Don’t pick pins; let them open and drop spores.
Don’t pull out mycelium if you can help it.
Shrooms are for sharing.
Don’t trip alone for your first trip.
Subaeruginosa are potent, so you will not need very much.
Plan comfort and pleasantness, but don’t be afraid to face your demons.

Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to go spray some p. sub spores around the campus woodchips.