Psilocybe azurescens

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Psilocybe azurescens
Psilocybe azurescens 123020.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Agaricales
Family: Hymenogastraceae
Genus: Psilocybe
P. azurescens
Binomial name
Psilocybe azurescens
Stamets & Gartz (1995)
Psilocybe azurescens
View the Mycomorphbox template that generates the following list
gills on hymenium
cap is convex or umbonate
hymenium is adnate or sinuate
stipe is bare
spore print is blackish-brown to purple
ecology is saprotrophic
edibility: psychoactive

Psilocybe azurescens is a species of psychedelic mushroom whose main active compounds are psilocybin and psilocin. It is among the most potent of the tryptamine-bearing mushrooms, containing up to 1.8% psilocybin, 0.5% psilocin, and 0.4% baeocystin by dry weight, averaging to about 1.1% psilocybin and 0.15% psilocin. It belongs to the family Hymenogastraceae in the order Agaricales.


  • Pileas: The cap (pileus) of Psilocybe azurescens is 3–10 cm (1.2–3.9 in) in diameter, conic to convex, expanding to broadly convex and eventually flattening with age with a pronounced, persistent broad umbo; surface smooth, viscous when moist, covered by a separable gelatinous pellicle; chestnut to ochraceous brown to caramel in color, often becoming pitted with dark blue or bluish black zones, hygrophanous, fading to light straw color in drying, strongly bruising blue when damaged; margin even, sometimes irregular and eroded at maturity, slightly incurved at first, soon decurved, flattening with maturity, translucent striate and often leaving a fibrillose annular zone in the upper regions of the stipe.
  • Gills: The lamellae are ascending, sinuate to adnate, brown, often stained into black where injured, close, with two tiers of lamellulae, mottled, edges whitish.
  • Spore Print: The spore print is a dark purplish brown to purplish black in mass.
  • Stipe: The stipe is 9–20 cm (3.5–7.9 in) in length and 3–6 mm (0.1–0.2 in) thick, silky white, dingy brown from the base or in age, hollow at maturity, and composed of twisted, cartilaginous tissue. The base of the stipe thickens downwards, is often curved, and is characterized by coarse white aerial tufts of mycelium, often with azure tones. The mycelium surrounding the stipe base is densely rhizomorphic (i.e., root-like), silky white, tenaciously holding the wood-chips together.
  • Taste: extremely bitter
  • Odor: odorless to farinaceous

Habitat and distribution[edit]

P. azurescens occurs naturally along a small area of the West Coast of the United States, including in parts of Oregon and California.[1] It has been regularly found as far south as Depoe Bay, Oregon, and as far north as Grays Harbor County, Washington. Its primary locations are clustered around the Columbia River Delta: the first type collections were made in Hammond, Oregon, near Astoria. It is also quite prevalent north of the Columbia River in Washington, from Long Beach north to Westport. Some feral specimens have also been reported in Stuttgart, Germany. While infrequent, the mushroom can sometimes be found around decaying wood in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, which decriminalized psilocybin in 2020. Ilwaco, Washington also has a large population, but harvesting is a potential misdemeanor that is enforced by local law enforcement agencies.

The species' preferred environment ranges from caespitose (growing in tight, separated clusters) to gregarious on deciduous wood-chips and/or in sandy soils rich in lignicolous (woody) debris. The mushroom has an affinity for coastal dune grasses.[2] In aspect it generates an extensive, dense, and tenacious mycelial mat (collyboid). P. azurescens causes the whitening of wood. Fruitings begin in late September and continue until "late December and early January", according to mycologist Paul Stamets.[2] Psilocybe azurescens has been cultivated in many countries including Germany,[3] the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and its native United States (especially in California, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Washington, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania).[3]

Legal status[edit]

Possession and/or cultivation of this species is illegal in a number of countries, including in the United States under federal law. However, the state of Oregon and the cities of Seattle, Washington; Denver, Colorado; Oakland, California; Santa Cruz, California; and Ann Arbor, Michigan have decriminalized possession of personal amounts of psilocybin mushrooms. It is considered a Class A Drug in New Zealand.


Alkaloid concentration of fresh psilocybin mushrooms[4]
Name Psilocybin [% of weight] Psilocin [% of weight] Baeocystin [% of weight] Total [% of weight]
Psilocybe azurescens
Psilocybe cubensis

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Guzman, Gaston; Allen, John W.; Gartz, Jochen (1998). "A Worldwide Geographical Distribution of the Neurotropic Fungi, An Analysis and Discussion". Annali del Museo Civico di Rovereto. 14: 219, 223. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  2. ^ a b Stamets, Paul (1996). Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press. ISBN 0-9610798-0-0. p. 95.
  3. ^ a b Gastón Guzmán, John W. Allen, Jochen Gartz (1998). "A worldwide geographical distribution of the neurotropic fungi, an analysis and discussion" (PDF). Annali del Museo Civico di Rovereto (14): 189–280.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) (on Fondazione Museo Civico di Rovereto)
  4. ^ Approximate Alkaloid Content of selected Psilocybe mushrooms,, retrieved 2012-10-08

External links[edit]