Psychedelic Mushrooms and You

subs

Beautiful cluster of psychedelic mushrooms – picture taken with my trusty Canon S100.

DISCLAIMER - This guide is in no way meant to advocate the use of illegal drugs; it exists solely to spread an important pocket of knowledge that might have the potential to save lives, or at the very least, trips to the hospital. There is currently too high a risk for the uninformed novice to mistake a poisonous mushroom for a psychoactive one, and so it is my hope that this helps illuminate the otherwise dark and mysterious pursuit of magic mushroom identification.

DISCLAIMER #2 -  I don’t have any magic mushrooms (or any other illegal substances) in my possession. I destroy all evidence of this rewarding (but sadly illegal) hobby by means of digestion.

UPDATE (2014) -  I’ve written a second part to this guide, ‘Psychedelic Mushrooms and You, Part Two‘, which details the process of actually tripping on psychedelics, and how best to have a fruitful experience on them.

Every year in Victoria, Australia, between the cold months of April-July, magic happens. This magic reveals itself in the form of psychoactive mushrooms that poke their heads out anywhere they can; they grow wildly in parks, playgrounds, beside creeks, in forests (especially pine and eucalyptus forests) and even on nature strips and garden beds (hint: especially garden beds). They thrive pretty much anywhere with wood chips, tanbark, or mulch that gets a bit of rain and shade. Of course there are a lot of poisonous doppelganger mushrooms out there, so it pays to have a bit of experience in identifying the right ones. This ‘experience’ is something I have acquired over the past four years of picking and eating magic mushrooms, and so this guide is written with the hope of sharing that useful pocket of knowledge with others. Why buy a man a fish when you can give him a fishing rod, right? This post will attempt to explain how to find magic mushrooms on your own or with friends (or how to let them find you?), and also outline some good methods of drying and storing them. I won’t be covering consumption in depth as this is not a recipe book, but I will cover it, I might also outline some pointers on how to conduct a session with psychedelic drugs (both of these will appear in a separate post), and I may even update it to include a trip report at the end, as I plan on having some on a camping trip this weekend. (update: I brought a pen and paper with me on the trip, but I couldn’t find any words to describe it… instead I made a fire, and…. In other words, there will be no trip report!)

Contents

  • Page 1 - This page. (How to identify Psilocybe subaeruginosa mushrooms.)
  • Page 2 - Typical growing locations.
  • Page 3 - List of non-active mushrooms, with pictures.
  • Page 4 - The drying process.
  • Page 5 - The ‘monster’ patch.
  • Page 6 - Some useful links.

Psilocybe Subaeruginosa Hunting Guide

mushroom huntingpsilocybe_subaeruginosa In VIC, the psychoactive species is called psilocybe subaeruginosa, they are called subs for short, or gold tops - feel free to call them whatever you like. The species is characterised by a caramel brown cap, creamy brown gills, and a thick white stem, which bruises blue when handled – they also taste like dirty water, but maybe that’s just me? These mushrooms are very easy to distinguish, maybe not at first, but eventually you will have no trouble spotting them from the crowd. Please understand that I cannot help you out with finding any psychedelic mushroom that isn’t psilocybe subaeruginosa, as my hunting experience is limited to Australia so it is the only active mushroom species I have any knowledge about. If you live elsewhere in the world then you should check out this list of psychedelic mushrooms found in various countries and their states. Once you know what species you are looking for you will have to find it on your own. Seeing as how important your life is it would be a shame to eat a poisonous mushroom and potentially die, so if you’re just starting out it’s best to play it safe. The initial symptoms one may experience after ingesting a poisonous mushroom include severe abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhoea, lasting as long as 9 hours. Toxins also severely affect the liver, which can result in gastrointestinal bleeding, kidney failure, coma, or even death. A lot of cases have been reported in which a person has mistakenly eaten a poisonous mushroom and felt nothing but nausea only to die a few days later. To be 100% sure you have psychedelic mushrooms you will need to make a spore print (this is some CSI shit), which is where you take the cap off the stem and leave it face down on a piece of paper or foil overnight – the cap will drop tiny spores onto the paper, which will be a dark purpley brown colour if the mushrooms are psychedelic. Don’t waste these spores! Collect and pour them into a spray bottle filled with water, then spray it on your patches to see accelerated growth. It is also worth taking a good picture of the mushroom in question, preferably with the entire mushroom in focus, along with the habitat in which you found it – then you can get it identified by professional mycologists over at the mushroom hunting/identification forum at shroomery.org. They’re good people, they only want to help!

spore print

A spore print of a psilocybe subaeruginosa mushroom.

mushroom cap and gills Cap: 1.5-5 cm. Conic to convex expanding to broadly convex with a slight umbo (central bump). Translucent and striate when moist. Hygrophanous and caramel or olive brown fading in drying to a pallid brown to a dingy white. Can sometimes appear wavy, with the gills around the edge of the cap sort of pointing towards the sky.

Gills: Adnate to annexed. Cream coloured when young (think milky tea), smokey-brown when matured (think chocolate Big M).

Stem: 30-125 mm long by 2-5 mm thick. A shiny white, and quite sturdy. Can be uniform and straight but usually with a slight twist. Sometimes long and thin, other times short and fat, depends on the growing conditions. Usually swollen at base. Bruises blue.

Sporeprint: Purple-brown

Habitat: Solitary to gregarious in complex habitats such as soils rich in woody debris, decaying piles of leaves and twigs, sandy woody soils, gardens and amongst bark chips.

Distribution: Australia and New Zealand.

Season: May through August

Potency:  Dried: 8mg psilocybin per gram + 1.5mg of psilocin per gram. Fresh: 0.799mg psilocybin per gram + 0.239mg of psilocin per gram. Magic mushrooms are roughly 90% water weight, so as a general rule 10 grams fresh will equal 1 gram when dried. Some of the psilocin will disappear as a result of the drying process, and so fresh magic mushrooms are usually more potent than dried ones. It’s also worth noting here that subaeruginosa is considered to be one of the most potent species of magic mushroom, second only to psilocybe azurescens.

Dosage: 1 – 3.5 grams dried, 8 – 30 grams fresh. Please see the Dosage Calculator to decide on an adequate dosage for the plateau you want to reach. Note that re dosing with magic mushrooms doesn’t have the same effect as with most drugs, such as ecstacy – taking a second dose after the first one has already kicked in will not ‘double up’ the effects, but only prolong the current effects. It is best to have a set of pocket scales handy to weigh up your doses, but in case you don’t have a set, you can refer to the picture below to get a visual estimate of what a gram of dried mushrooms looks like. Note that the picture contains 3 individual grams – it seems that 3 medium sized mushrooms equals roughly 1 gram. Also note that the mushrooms in this picture are dried, and so they have shrunk considerably in size from what they originally looked like.grams When it comes to picking psychedelic mushrooms it’s helpful to remember that once you pluck them out of the ground they instantly become class A drugs – the same category as heroin, crack and cocaine. So it is quite wise to have a good backup story – if you have a dog, bring it with you; it’s not illegal to walk your dog. If you don’t have a dog but have a camera instead, bring that with you (why not bring both if you have them!?) If you don’t have a dog, but have a cat… It’s always a good idea to bring a camera on your hunts, not only to help get the mushrooms identified, but so if you’re unfortunate enough to get confronted by the fuzz you can say you are testing out your new camera. This will explain why you are on your knees looking at mushrooms, as your camera has a macro function and you need to get up close to use it. Keep all of your mushrooms in a paper bag (not plastic as they will trap all the moisture and will make your mushrooms turn to sludge), or in a tupperware container lined with newspaper, and have it stashed in a backpack at all times, that way you never get caught with anything illegal visibly in your possession, and it is unlikely cops will ever ask to search your bag if you’re simply strolling through a park. Update: I read a humorous news article recently about a man caught with magic mushrooms in Melbourne, VIC. The article can be read here. mushrooms illegal mushrooms If you ever do get caught with mushrooms, just say you are doing a mycology assignment and are examining the various mushrooms growing wildly, or if that’s too lame an excuse for you, say you are simply looking for some non active edibles for tonight’s dinner – basically say anything that comes to mind but never mention that you are specifically looking for magic mushrooms. The cops will doubtfully know what the difference is between them anyway and will not waste their time to take you down to the station. At most they might just ask you to empty your bag (which you should do respectfully) and call it a day. Most people going picking end up taking home nothing but non active mushrooms anyway, so there is no point in being nervous if you actually have nothing illegal on you. I remember when I first went picking I was nervous as shit on the train ride home, thinking about how illegal my backpack was, only to find out later that night from my older brother that everything I found was an utter dud. Keep a childlike ignorance with you at all times and you will be fine – you can apply this to lots of situations, have fun with it! If you are really paranoid about getting caught you probably shouldn’t be fooling around with psychedelics anyway. They will only expand and trap you in your own paranoia, these are meant to be taken with a clear head and in a stress free environment, and with people you know and trust.

Like I said earlier, if you happen to live in Victoria, there is one mushroom you are hunting, and only one. All of the others are not important, so don’t bother picking them. Then again a particularly cautious individual might purposefully pick the wrong ones along with the right ones in case they are confronted by police, as it makes their stash appear a lot less incriminating if it’s an assortment of mushrooms rather than a bag full of class A drugs. It would be far easier to plead ignorance in this case as the appearance of many types of mushrooms is confusing and will surely make it hard for anyone to accuse you of picking a ‘particular’ mushroom. They can still suggest you were picking magic mushrooms but you can just point to the bag and say ‘I picked many mushrooms, which ones are magic?’, a question they will be unable to answer. Police paranoia aside, It is important to develop an eye for spotting the right ones and sorting them from the wrong ones. The pictures scattered throughout this guide display both the mushroom in question and their ideal habitat. They grow on wood chips and bits of twig and are sometimes hiding under patches of grass, but more often than not they are in woody areas. Note, while subs love to grow on and around wood chips, they do not grow on trees, so don’t waste your time checking every one you see. Scan the ground, that’s where they are.

You will get used to walking everywhere you go with your head pointed to the ground (so much so that your neck might start to hurt) and people will no doubt think you look suss as hell. One time I brought a packet of starbursts with me cos I was so bloody hungry and while I was scanning the floor I was also eating starbursts. No one looked at me twice; they likely just assumed I was looking in the bag trying to find the red ones. This breed of mushroom doesn’t like the heat and will generally stick to shaded areas, but they love their rain. If the season is very wet the mushrooms will grow bigger and there will be more of them. Subs start out small, and have little button/knob like caps which connect to the stem. Don’t pick them when they’re small! Let them grow so that not only you get a bigger mushroom, but also so they have a chance to drop spores and spread their goodness. The texture of the cap is similar to a puppies nose – velvety smooth and wet. The stem is thick (not needle thin!) and doesn’t feel hollow to the touch. Sometimes it curves a bit, or a lot. Once the mushroom matures the cap blooms open and exposes the gills, which is the fleshy material under the cap, so it can drop spores onto the ground and grow more of the little guys. The colour of the gills is dependant on the spores inside them, so older specimens will appear browner, and younger ones lighter.

psilocybe_subaeruginosa

I didn’t take this picture, but you can see how the caps can take on some wild shapes.

Sometimes the cap can be flat and symmetric or it can appear wavy and disorganised, and this is O.K; mushrooms, like people, take a variety of different shapes. You will often see psychedelic mushrooms covered with nibble holes, and may even see a caterpillar munching on one. Who knows what effect this has on the little dudes – maybe they turn into butterflies and fly away! The subaeruginosa mushroom sometimes grow in solitary, or with a few placed sporadically around them, or they can grow in huge clusters with mushrooms literally fighting for space, which can look like they’re all growing out of each other. These ones are usually harder to pick out of the ground without unearthing the whole lot, which is looked down upon by the picking community. When picking, you will often see fellow mushroom pickers, always smile politely and don’t be afraid to say hello, or ask for advice. Sometimes they will even share spots with you. Don’t worry, no one is going to beat you up for your mushrooms, they grow everywhere and so your big bag is not going to make anyone burn with jealousy. But then again who knows? Maybe they will beat you up, stranger things have happened. tan gills In the above picture you can see the tan coloured gills of a subaeruginosa mushroom, this is what colour the gills will be in early to mid development. (Notice the slight blueing around the edge) brown gills Now for a comparison picture, here is a mature subaeruginosa mushroom, you can see its much darker brown colour. This has to do with spores; older mushrooms tend to drop more spores and so these collect inside the gills which makes them appear darker than the younger ones. stem Above is the stem of the tan gilled mushroom, and below is the stem of the brown gilled mushroom. Notice how the younger mushroom has a whiter, cleaner looking stem, while the older one has a more greyish white stem – it looks like it’s seen a lot of things in its time. stem You can also see how the stalk is fairly thick. If you squeeze it gently with your thumb and index finger you should feel that it is packing a lot of water weight, and will be firm, but spongy. I should also bruise blue, as this indicates the presence of the psychoactive ingredient psyilocybin, which is the chemical that converts itself into psilocin upon digestion, attaches itself to the serotonin receptors of your brain and eventually makes you trip ballz. The more potent the mushroom, the more aggressive the blueing will be, at least that’s what I like to think – I don’t have a crazy science lab going on in my basement to test this theory out. The psilocybe subaeruginosa mushrooms also have a glossy sheen to the stalk that almost looks like it has a wood grain, sort of like what you see on an electric guitar with a gloss finish. You can notice that on the above two pictures no doubt. psilocybe_subaeruginosa In this picture you can see thejersey caramels caramel coloured cap, which often fades into a paler colour around the ring. It is for this reason that I personally nickname them Jersey Caramels, a name which hasn’t and probably never will catch on. Jersey caramels (pictured right) are the best. So that pretty much covers what they look like. They are pretty unique looking mushrooms, and shouldn’t be hard to spot. There is a toxic mushroom that looks slightly similar, but it is usually much thicker, has a more orange coloured cap and the white stem often has orange on it too. These are bad. The stem should be a silvery white, with bits of grey and blue. No orange. I will cover inactive mushrooms later on in this post. Stick around, kick your feet up. psilocybe subaeruginosa In the above picture, sadly not taken by me (I envy this photographer’s skills!), you can see the stem bruising a mysterious blue – this is the colour of magic. Click on the next page to see some examples of typical growing environments, along with pictures of active and non active mushrooms for you to compare.

Next Page: habitat shots

109 thoughts on “Psychedelic Mushrooms and You

  1. I don’t think I would every try psychedelic ‘shrooms, but I found this article to be really interesting! It would have been pretty cool to see a picture of the blue stuff, psilocybin being squeezed a bit out of the mushroom.

    • You shouldn’t rule it out just yet, who knows what you’ll be willing to try years from now! I believe everyone should try it – with an open mind – at least once in their lifetime. It’s not something that should be feared, because after all it is all in your head, and you shouldn’t be afraid of yourself. Psychedelics give you a chance to swim in your head for a bit, test the waters, and if you have a bad trip it’s a learning experience. It confronts you with what you need to be confronted with. This is the reason so much research was done with psychedelics and psychotherapy in the 1960s, and now these days too http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-06/-magic-mushrooms-return-to-psychology-labs-40-years-after-leary.html

      A few benefits to mushrooms over say LSD is that 1) it’s natural, 2) it’s free, and 3) you can take a little bit at first, put your foot in the water, unlike acid where it’s all or nothing.

      Glad you enjoyed the post! I agree that would’ve made a cool photo, not sure if it’s possible though!

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed your article & observations. Of course when I got to the part about spreading the shroomies out on an album cover, I just happened to be listening to …Yep, BLUES FOR ALLAH!!! I tipped my cap-no pun intended- to Cap’n Jerry for the synchronicity. I live in the North Eastern area of the US, near PA. What are my chances of having a successful search & harvest?
    Thanks for the cool vibes and helpful advice,
    MK-ULTRA

    • Haha, wow! That is one crazy synchronicity! Things like that happen to me all the time, life sometimes feels like one big cosmic joke! I’ve never been picking outside of Australia so I cannot help you much there, but I know people in the North Eastern area of the states who have had success with hunting mushrooms. Your best bet might be to focus your search on a species called Panaeolus Subbalteatus (now called Cinctulus) – they grow wildly during the months of February – September. I dug this up for you, a little field guide to help you out, for that particular species of psychedelic mushroom. http://www.shroomery.org/9608/Subbedhunter420s-Guide-to-Hunting-and-Identifying-Panaeolus-subbalteatus-P-cinctulus Thanks for stopping by

  3. uhhhh, does anyone know what the bad mushroom he is talking about is? The ones with the slightly redder cap and a little orange/red on the stem? I think I ate a few and I want to know how bad I fucked up? Any help would be awesome…

    • The mushrooms I was referring to are called Leratiomyces ceres, look them up on google images and let me know if those are the ones you ate. They won’t kill you thankfully, but depending on how many you ate you will likely get very sick. Don’t eat anything that you’re unsure of, there are a lot of mushrooms that can kill you. Little bright red ones (both cap and stalk) are really bad, I hope you didn’t eat any of those…

    • That mushroom is an amanita muscaria. They are psychoactive but don’t have any psilocybin in them, the effects of the mushroom are more similar to a deliriant/dissociative drug than a psychedelic/hallucinogenic. I go hunting in the SE suburbs usually. I’m not going to tell you any of my spots, you have to find your own. Get up early a day after some good rainfall, whip out your GPS and look for parks with creeks or any other body of water in them. Pine and eucalyptus forests are also a safe bet, hope that helps.

  4. Can I u please help me by pointing me in the right direction, I live in the south east of melbourne and I’m having no luck I’m talking 5 seasons not 1 shroom what am I doing wrong. I love the trip it’s a memory that never fades. Harryk

    • 5 seasons!? Wow, that’s unlucky… I’m guessing you know what mushroom you are looking for, but just don’t know where to find them? They are everywhere man, literally. They grow on woodchips, go to any park that has woodchips in it, and preferably a river or a creek and you will find them. Get on the Glen Waverly line, whip out your GPS and suss out all the parks and reserves. You will find plenty. Good luck!

  5. I live in the SE suburbs and have just started picking mushrooms thanks to the information you have provided, I was just wondering whether the size of the mushroom effects how much psyilocybin it contains, I’v heard that no matter what size they all contain the same amount, more mushroom equals more psyilocybin seems to make more sense though. Also do you eat the stem as well as the cap? Cheers mate.

    • Cool, glad I could help. Obviously the size of the mushroom effects the amount of psilocybin they will contain – a small orange will give you less juice than a big orange, you know? Generally you only want to pick them if the cap has opened up, otherwise they are still babies and won’t give you as much of what you’re after; better to be patient. If you find small ones let them grow and pick them a few days later.

      Yes, you eat both the stem and the cap. If you’re eating them fresh you will want to eat about 27 grams for a good, strong trip, while if you’re drying them you will want 3 – 3.5 grams. If you’re new to this change the dose to maybe 14-20 grams fresh, or 1.5 – 2 grams dried. Most of the mushroom is water weight. Fresh is more potent than dried, but they’ll only last about 5 days before they go bad, while if they’re properly dried and stored they’ll easily last a year or more.

      Hope that helps.

      • I have only been able to find babies and by the time I get a chance to pick them they are either gone or have turned black and seem to die, I will keep trying though.
        Thanks for the help man I really appreciate it.

  6. Absolutely brilliant post mate!

    I’ve been wanting some relevant local info like this for a long time!

    I’m from Bendigo, and i quite regularly head out around the macedon ranges for photography day trips, and although ive seen plenty of mushrooms, i’ve never known what to look for. I have been hunting once before with some friends, but we had no idea what we were looking for and came up with nothing.

    Today i did quite a bit of driving to some locations i thought would be good, but i had no luck. There were a lot of disturbed mushrooms in the places i went, so im assuming others had been there recently.

    I came home with nothing, but decided to check a spot in bendigo based on some clues a friend gave me about where he gets them (wont share location with me). Within less than a minute of searching (camera in hand to look less suss) i had found some in a very public area. Unfortunately the light was fading, so ill have to return there tomorrow and go over the whole area with greater care, as im sure there will be tons more.

    The spore print hasn’t finished yet, but based on the photo and information i posted on Shroomery, they quickly identified them as psilocybe subaeruginosa.

    I got 5 good specimens, which wont be enough for my partner and i to enjoy properly, so once i’ve found some more, ill report back with the results.

    Thanks again, and be sure to post a follow up on your own experiences :-)

  7. hey i live in the blue mountains and i found some mushrooms in little clumps at the bottom of huge tree, they were tiny (the top third of my pinky finger) and they where also growing up the tree, i really want to find some, the land around the huge tree was extremly dense and decomposing wood was everywhere, it was raining at the time. i cant remember if the stem was hollow or not but im worried that they could be Galerina autumnalis, they were white and faded to gold on the cap, the stem was really thin and the top was around 1cm in diametre. the inside of the cap was a white/tan colour
    can it be too dense? cause i read that you shouldnt go to far into the bush. the atmosphere where i was was really humid and damp, and the track was muddy
    and can you give me a list of all the look-a-like i should look out for, please?

    • Judging by your description those mushrooms are not active. You cannot even see the gills on a psilocybe subaeruginosa when they are that small as the cap will be attached to the stem at that stage in their development. They also don’t grow on trees. The stems of subs are hollow, I should correct that in the post, they just don’t seem hollow as they are filled with bits of dirt and sludge and what not. The stems are very dense and shouldn’t feel too weak, they’re also not ‘really thin’, they can be thin, but never thinner than a drinking straw.

      The gills are never white. When they’re young the gills are tan, and when mature they are brown. Try some parks, especially any with mulch or woodchips. They love to grow on flower beds. Yes I was thinking of doing just that, I’ll take some pics and make a list of non actives to look out for. Good luck!

      • thanks for the reply, sorry i was so late to thank you haha.
        still living in the blue mountains, what time do you think the season (in the bluemountains) will start this year?
        last year i only bothered to go hunting twice, no luck, but understandable.
        on shroomery it says that these are the only mushys that grow in nsw;
        •Psilocybe australiana
        •Psilocybe cubensis
        •Psilocybe eucalypta
        •Psilocybe subaeruginosa
        •Psilocybe tasmaniana
        no liberty caps?? what ones should i be looking for?? i’ve researched subs and cubensis as i though they were my best bet, and you said know what you want and only look for that.
        thanks, great info.

      • i cheaked out your list/pictures of non-active mushrooms. and the poisonous ones. thats so scary how similar they look!! you said not to pick them up, i’m bringing chopstick so i can pinch the stems to see if they bruise blue without touching them. Genius over here right? haha are there any mushrooms that bruise blue that are poisonous?
        thanks

      • This entire guide is written about subs, so if you’ve read it you already know what to look for and where. Haha, you can touch non-active mushrooms, I was exaggerating a bit, just don’t take them out of the ground and definitely don’t eat them! Only mushrooms with psilocybin bruise blue, so the answer to your question is no.

  8. This is the best guide I’ve read thus far. Well done mate, when your in Sydney give me a buzz and maybe we can go hunting or thereabouts.

    • Cool, glad you like it! I’m in the process of updating it as we speak, so check up on it in a day or two. Sounds good, same goes with when you’re in Melbourne, Peace.

  9. Hey, I live in the U.S. in Alabama. Ive never tried psilocybin shrooms but i think it would be a great experience. Ive seen plenty of mushrooms all around and i think some of them may be magic but im not sure. Could you help me figure this out? Im looking forward to trying them.

    • Hi, I have never been picking in the U.S so I’m not sure if I can help you. However, I can tell you what psychedelic species grow in Alabama, but then you’re on your own. You can expect to find:

      1. Panaeolus cinctulus
      2. Panaeolus cyanescens
      3. Psilocybe cubensis

      I know psilocybe cubensis grow in cow dung, but that is as far as my knowledge on these three mushroom species goes. Your best bet is to buy a book with lots of pictures of mushrooms around the world, or go to shroomery.org

  10. Awesome post! I live in new Zealand but haven’t found my own yet here though I’ve sampled the Subaeruginosa, it is great. This is going to be a big help.

  11. hey brother! thank you! i really enjoyed your article! was very comprehensive! but now what has happened to all of it? i can only find half of it!! with no info on drying times or the recently added photos of similar species!!

    • hey mate, i’ve split the post up into 3-4 pages as it was getting quite big! some people have slow computers and I didn’t want to burn out their internet having to load 100+ pictures in one post… at the bottom you will see a ‘Next Page’ link, and underneath that you can see the page numbers. peace

  12. brilliant article on sub picking, perhaps the best i’ve read so far.

    Just found my first patch before my birthday, ate 3grams, and it was the most terrifying nightmare ive ever had in my life; completely took me out of reality and into the darkness, was very hard to keep my sanity, but i know it was trying to tell me what i needed to change within myself. Anyways, made realize how potentially dangerous shrooms can be, if not used with respect.

    Anyways, my question is – how long do they keep in those jars of yours?
    I put my batch in mini plastic snap lock bags, in a big plastic container with damprid container on the side.

    • Wow, yeah mushrooms can put you on your ass if you’re not prepared for it, or if you try to fight it. No such thing as a bad trip in my opinion, because as you said they confront you with what you need to be confronted with. Hope your next one is more enjoyable though :) Maybe try 2 grams next.

      If the shrooms are super dry and kept in an airtight container with dessicant packs thrown in and then kept in a cool dark place, they will last 10+ years. Don’t keep them in plastic snap lock bags if you want to store them for long periods. Get a jar. Also, damprid is only used for drying the mushrooms, not for storing them.

  13. Hey buddy I live in the southeast picked some magics the other day, for the first time in 24 years. Gee I wish there was someone like you around way back then. Great write up man, I won’t be waiting that long again.

  14. Nice work, good pictures and descriptions, especially the lookalikes.
    I live in Tassie, on a bush block covered in eucalypts. Guess what grows here, about 10 metres from my front door :))
    They’re subs for sure, but they may be a local variant, as quite a few mid-sized ones would have stems a bit thinner than a drinking straw. Otherwise identical to your description.
    Cheers.
    Gill

    • Usually the stem should already have some blue on it when you spot it due to twigs, leaves, or insects making contact with the stem over time. If not, pinch it and you should see blueing anywhere from straight away to 10 minutes later.

  15. Hi mate, 1st timer here looking for shrooms. I’m in central Scotland mate, any advice on finding and consuming? Cheers man

    • Hey mate, sorry I wish I could help but I’ve never gone picking in Scotland before. Your best bet is to do research online, particularly shroomery.org I looked it up for you, and found that in Scotland the two species of psilocybin mushroom are: 1. Panaeolus cinctulus, and 2. Psilocybe semilanceata. Hopefully that helps narrow your search. Peace

  16. I’ve been picking for about 4 or 5 years, and consider myself fairly experienced. This guide is absolutely amazing! Very clear, beautiful images, and very accurate information. I seriously wish I’d found it years ago when I first started.

    One tiny point you might be interested in, you’ve mentioned a couple of times that the amount of blue bruising is related to psilocybin content. It is definitely related, but in my experience, the amount of bluing doesn’t seem to relate to potency particularly. It’s a fairly common misconception here in NZ that black-blue mushrooms are super potent, when in reality they’re most likely just manhandled. Bluing indicates oxidation of the Psilocin in the flesh of the shroom, which if anything means there’s slightly less active ingrediant, thus less potency.

    Thanks so much for a really clear, concise and well presented guide, you’re doing a great service for anyone who’s interested in amateur mycology, it’d be hard to pick the wrong thing after reading this carefully.

    Peace!

    • Thanks for the uplifting comment! I have been told a couple of times since writing this that the blue bruising is not an indicator of potency, but I have yet to go and change it. I didn’t know that more blue bruising suggested less potency, that is interesting. Whenever I see a very blue mushroom I still get more excited than when I see a slightly blue one, I still like to believe that they’re more potent even though I know it’s not true! Ignorance is bliss right? ;)

      Thanks again, I’m happy to know that the guide is useful, I too wish I had something like this when I started (been picking for 3 years, had many unsuccessful hunts in that time). If it wasn’t for advice of friends and others on the internet who have found them before I would have never accumulated this knowledge and would’ve probably died eating the wrong mushroom. With the internet in full bloom it’s our responsibility to share information to help others on similar journeys!

      Peace!

      • Hey man great very informative justmoved to the north east in new York I found a beautiful patch in the hemlock Forrest in Johnson city but my stems bruise more of a purple then blue what’s that mean… And how can I dry these babies o got a bunch and set some in front of a fan with heat in the house at 70°f but after they were dry after like 2 days I ate them and didnt trip… I ate a couple fresh when I first picked them and got home but didnt trip felt a Lil wierd but nothing major help me I need help with the drying process

      • This is my first season picking and this article was amazing help.found a bunch first couple days just have couple ?’s to get clearifyamazing help thanks so much best article I found online…..B-)

      • if you didn’t trip then it sounds like you don’t need help with the drying process but the finding process. don’t eat mushrooms unless you are 100% they are magic. if you ate them and didn’t trip consider yourself lucky you are not dead.

  17. hey bud its an old mate from shroomery vic , i did have a couple pics for ya but they didnt show habitat to well .Youve done very well and yes theres still subs around . Shame about the shroomery

      • cant really say for sure I Tweeted Ythan there are mixed comments from him im not sure but it just doesnt sound liggit bit contraditary and doesnt want to give a straight answer something fishy i suspect

  18. Absolutely fantastic site , great info indeed . I just picked my first batch in over 20 yrs , will be drying em out and saving for a rainy day ;-)

  19. Hey man sorry didnt really clarify what I meant so I no they are Psilocybe ( briuse deep purple with a hint of blue; spore print was a violet black)I only eat like 3-4grams fresh I didnt no like dosageswise I been eating mushrroms for about 7 years and I may have just not had enough… When they were picked about 6 hours later that same day my buddies w+ho have never ate them got a nice trip for about 4½ hours but they ate like 6½-7½g fresh….. The pcs You have on the blog is exactly what they look like.. Another ?…a couple times that ive done the spore checks on them left them over night and in the morning I took jar off and saw a bunch of tiny flee type bugs yellowish color on the spore print moving around what are they and of eat on a shroom are they bad? I havnt eaten them since the first time I picked them month ago I keep picking them and attempt to dry them but ibdont no if there good after I dried them the way I do… After ready this blog I dont no if there Psilocybe subaeruginosa cause these stems turn more of a purple color…. Email is kidvaldez@ymail.com email or post blog back please help me

  20. you are definitely not taking enough. you should be eating 3-4 grams ‘dried’ not fresh. 1 gram dried is equivalent to about 10 grams fresh as they have a lot of water weight. If you are eating them fresh you will need about 7-30 grams, so obviously 3-4 grams fresh is not going to do anything. Though if you picked them a month ago I really doubt they are fresh, and are probably bruising purple due to really old age. Dry them so that they will snap if you try to bend them. You might need a food dehydrator for that, or just put them in front of the fan for 48 hours or more. Those bugs are fine, they shouldn’t be there if you dried them properly though. Put the mushrooms in front of a fan and they will all go away.

  21. hey mate im from the same area as you i think…
    anyway i have been picking a couple of times but have never really got a good yeild
    is there anyway i could go picking with you to get tips and pointers? you can keep what you and i pick
    if your interested reply to this (pre sure i get a email) or if you can see my email be sure to send me one

    • Sorry mate, too risky to do anything like that, as you know mushroom hunting is very illegal, and cops could be sussing this site out for all I know. All the pointers I could possibly give you are in this guide so I don’t see why you’d need to go with me in the first place. Besides, my hunting spots are secret. Good luck

  22. Thanks so much …

    I found your site to be so clear precise and Purely brillant…

    i live in Sydney and Im just curious i have been picking now for about 5 years and i have been checking out the rainfall amounts on the weather breau daily…
    i have compared the stats to previous years , Are you aware of just how much rain is needed to be considered ideal? eg how much mm?? i believe as long as its wet and below 10 degrees not matter if its mid to early March these babies will still be there….

    thanks again
    hear from you soon

    PEACE :)

    • I see you can’t sleep either ;) I’ve never gone picking in Sydney but I assume the season would be the same as Melbourne. I can’t tell you how many mm of rain is ideal as i’ve never brought a measuring cup with me on my hunts and I don’t check the weather bureau often… you’ll know when there is enough rain. I don’t see them pop up until at least May as it’s rarely cold or wet enough in March, especially this March, which seems to be a lot hotter than I last remember it. You’ve been picking for 5 years so you should know what these little guys need, good luck this season! peace!

      • thanks for replying…

        i do no what im looking for and vise versa but its just i guess i have had dreams myself and thought it was a calling for the theory i have… This march has definitely been warmer.. I have found a few on my last visit and then relized i lost my bearings and was not in area where the gold was but yet in another forest… :)
        im a (meathead) for direction….
        one more question, i have heard of an awsume weekend that takes place in melbourne goes on for the weekend and is held in some sort of pavilion i think for party animals on our level…. im wanting to attend . do you no the name at all of this event?

      • i couldent find any on my walk, alot of orange fuzzy (on the bottom) death lookin things

  23. Hey man,
    this is year will be my second season and I’m pretty sure I live in the same area as you and I was wondering when you think this year they’ll start growing or if they’ve already started. I’m really keen to go again this year, I remember even if I didn’t find anything I enjoyed the walks a lot too.
    It’d be great to hear from you.

    • Hey mate, it varies from year to year, could start happening as early as April or as late as July. The best indication is to wait until after we’ve had a good and consistent two weeks or so of rain, that’s when they usually start growing. Also be sure to suss out the thread at shroomery.org – when people start uploading pictures of massive hauls its safe to say the seasons started. Good luck and have fun this year, peace!

  24. Thank you so much! I went walking this morning and discovered lots of patches with different types of mushrooms growing. I’ve always wanted to try magic mushies but didn’t know what to look for so I took a few photos to compare with some on the internet. Your information is by far the most helpful :) I feel confident that I’m not gonna pick the wrong ones or die thanks to you so weeeheee I can’t wait to go pickin and trippin
    Much love

  25. I lived in oberon for other 2O year. Havnt found what i was lookin for. Found amanita muscaria. Do you know much bout them and if they have similar side affects coompared to the gold cap which i havent found yet. Found a couple of similar mushrooms. I did find one that had a thin stem and black rim around the out side of the top of it. Shape of a sun flower. Only found 1. Top was round the size of a 5cent coin and a white center. The black ring around the out side look like the spaws which continude under the cap to the stem. Look forward to hearing your coments.

    • I have has amanita muscara (nice and big caps usually red sprecald on top)
      i only had about 1/2 of a massive cap.. tasted funky and i had little (but good) effects but you would need a strong gut to have enough to have a good trip.. maybe they would go okay in tea?

  26. Thankyou, you’re the best resource i’ve ever come across.
    sometimes i think with drugs as easily accessable as these (much like pot) parents and school should be more infomational on the effects because people who are going to try drugs then the correcr infomation should be given! Or they might do more damage trying to get the drug then actually taking it
    i’ve been interested in the concept of magic mushrooms for a while (havent tried them yet) and i, like anyone should have considered it properly, decided if their mind is up for it, decided a time and place so it is as safe as possible and if possible, get a trusted friend to watch over for your first expereience. These sort of things need to be discussed properly as been confident with your mental state is what will decide if you have a good or bad trip, and even though i’ve never tried magic mushrooms or any other physcodelic, i always do my reseach before trying something and you sir, are a true saint for putting accurate infomation out for people like me to read!

  27. Greetings from the Huon Valley, Tasmania.

    It’s on!
    This week the subs arrived…in case anyone was wondering.

  28. Hey there ! Thank you so much for this article, When do you think the season will really start in Melbourne this year ?
    Thanks again :)

    • No problem mate! It’s due to rain next week so hopefully by next weekend there will be some activity, but seeing as it’s a very late start I don’t think the season will ‘peak’ till late june/july.

  29. what colour should the inside of the stems be when you split them open?
    is it normal to be brown inside or should they be all white?

    • Browny orange stem is ok -on the inside-.

      Just make sure they stain/bruise blue and you’ll be fine. The irridescent shiny look to the outside of the stem also helps.
      There’s an orange-stemmed lookalike where I am, but the difference in gill colours is also obvious.

      • That’s right, you should never have to look at the inside of the stem to identify a mushroom. If I see someone coughing and spitting globs of phlegm I don’t have to cut them up to know they are sick, catch my drift? The orange stemmed lookalike you are referring to is likely a Leratiomyces ceres. They often show up when subs are nearby and will sometimes even share the same patch, they are also toxic so it is important to be able to identify them. The biggest giveaway is their reddish cap.

    • Dave, those pictures are all correct Leratiomyces ceres specimens. If you think you see some Psilocybe subaerugiona mushrooms in there then you need to be careful not to eat anything you find without getting it ID’d first.
      L. ceres often grow in the same patch as subs, so if you don’t know how to single them out you run the risk of picking a bunch of subs with a couple of poisonous lookalikes thrown in the mix. Better to be paranoid than over confident. If you tell me which picture in particular is throwing you off I can describe to you how it is not a sub. You’ll develop a keen eye for this in time.

  30. This is easily the best guide i can find anywhere. You explain everything in a way that everyone can understand.
    The shroomery could learn from a guide like this, it seems they’ve been using the same format of website since 2003 lol; along with the ‘no talk of weather’ rule which was probably made because people didn’t have as much bandwidth back then.
    Anyways.. Ive been looking around my area of north east melbourne and not having any luck. I dont get it. Its cold, wet and theres wood bark everywhere but no subs. I have found a patch of Leratiomyces ceres but they arent much use to me.
    Have you had any luck yet?
    Funny disclaimer #2 update btw hahah.

    • Thanks mate. I found a patch of pins last weekend but haven’t had a chance to suss it out since. It’s been raining heaps so they’re definitely out there, keep looking! Haha, yeah I felt that disclaimer was necessary, glad you got a laugh out of it :P

  31. Hey mate thanks for the guide, ll the info you need. Have over a hundred dried grams now. I think that’s enough to last me the rest of my life!! Once you know here to look, they are everywhere. Very distinctive too.

    Cheers

  32. Hey dude great article, i have recently had some cubes from up north NSW and since finding this blog i have become obsessive knowing that psych mushys grow round my area.
    I live south of Wollongong NSW close to the coast with real sandy soil, i just would want to know if i should keep searching round the sandy bush, or head into the hills. We have had plenty of rain and i have seen your page on ideal growing conditions and they look similar or is the temp still too high?
    Any help is much appreciated
    Thanks yew

  33. Hey mate, loved the guide, I really respect that you created this in order to educate people, and keep them safe in their hunting.

    What I wanted to clarify was; what are the exact differences between the active subs, and the poisonous fungi? In the pictures you posted, I was unable to tell the differences very well, and I’m terrified that I’ll accidentally ingest something that might kill me. I don’t really understand what you mean by ‘the veil remaining attached to the stem’ (paraphrased).

    Further help would be greatly appreciated, and again, thank you for writing this awesome guide!

    • If you are unable to tell the differences then you should be very cautious not to eat anything that has not been properly identified by someone with more experience than yourself. You will develop this experience over time and will eventually be able to spot the magic ones from the lookalikes with 100% certainty.

      Pinch the stem, if it doesn’t turn blue leave it. If you bring any home that you think might be active make a spore print. And while you’re waiting for the print send some pictures over at the shroomery to get them identified. With all of these preliminary practices you should never be ‘terrified’ of eating poisonous, unless you don’t trust yourself to ensure you follow the right steps.

      By ‘the veil remaining attached to the stem’ I meant that when the cap blooms open the bit of skin that once connected the cap to the stem remains there. If you look at the picture of the mushroom that I mentioned had this trait you will clearly see a little ring around the stem. Almost like the ring you see at the end of a deflated balloon. Hope this helps. And thanks for the support :)

  34. hey i live in caulfield, melbourne can anyone point me in the right direction to get some. from qld and just recently moved here .

  35. I am from Mauritius and i always wanted to eat magic mushrooms :/
    There is a river near my house but i just can’t make the difference between psilocybin shrooms and those which do not contain psilocybin.
    i am afraid that i end up eating some poisonous.
    can you help please…

    • Unfortunately i don’t know what species of mushroom grow in Mauritius so I can’t help you out sorry! Make a thread at the shroomery forum, someone might be able to give you some good advice there.

  36. i live in mulgrave south east melbourne and i have been looking for these shrooms everywhere the whole season now but havent found them. But i have found Leratiomyces ceres everywhere and you say they can share the same patches maybe i have to look harder. Also would it still be possible if they will still be growing at this time of the season if they still are would you think i would have any luck in finding some in mulgrave.

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  41. ey mate… love your tips/review and photos and stuffs!!! was wondering if you know if there’s were any at dandenong ?? cause i was planning to go for a bushwalk there with the missus. i come from western suburbs melbourne and I usually go picking in the East Side but recently stumbled across some subs at my cousins place while going hunting with him in his backyard in western subs in melb LOLOL!!!!

  42. hey do you think they’d be growing around this time? it rained all last week so would they be popping up yet? I was looking to hunt in dandenong and endeavour hills in some creeks, good areas or nah? excellent guide by the way!

  43. hey man i absolutely love this guide!! i saw your comment on shroomery promoting this article.
    i am from Sydney and just moved to Melbourne, i live in bayside near Brighton (black rock). is it possible to find them around the bayside area or do i have to look more inland? there are quite a few parks with woodchips around , but the soil seems a little sandy!

    any response is much appreciated :) thanks!

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