Psilocybe cyanescens, sometimes called “wavy caps,” is a potent member of the family of hallucinogenic mushrooms. Its main compounds responsible for creating psychedelic effects are psilocybin and psilocin. It may share similarities with other magic mushroom varieties but its appearance and amount of psychoactive compounds sets it apart.
Psilocybe Cyanescens Identification
The easiest way to identify Psilocybe cyanescens is by looking at its cap. Mature P. cyanescens caps have a distinct wavy appearance. This cap also changes color depending on the mushroom’s levels of hydration. It’s caramel to chestnut-brown when moist but fades to pale buff or slightly yellowish when dried. These wavy caps can measure from 1.5 to 5cm in diameter. This also applies to the mushroom’s other body parts.
The gills under the caps are light brown to dark purple-brown in maturity, with lighter gill edges. These are connected to the whitish stem which is 3-6cm in length, and 3-6mm thick which is usually enlarged at the base.
Psilocybe cyanescens also produces purple-brown to purple-gray or purple-black spores. Both the odor and taste of P. cyanescens are starchy, comparable to ground flour.
- Cyanescens generally bruise bluish or blue-green wherever it’s damaged and this stain remains visible after drying. This staining is most visible on the stem but also takes place on other parts of the mushroom such as the gills, and cap. This staining comes from the oxidation of psilocin.