Psilocybe cyanescens, also known as wavy caps is a potent psychedelic mushroom whose main active compounds are psilocybin and psilocin. It belongs to the family Strophariaceae and was described from Kew Gardens, England, by E. M. Wakefield in the 1940s. This species is closely related to Psilocybe azurescens which can be distinguished by its conical and acutely umbonate pileus, larger fruit bodies and longer spores.


Psilocybe cyanescens has a hygrophanous pileus that is chestnut-brown when moist, fading to pale buff or slightly yellowish. Fresh material always bruises a bluish or blue-green color where damaged, and the staining remains visible after drying. Its stem is white when undisturbed and bruises easily when damaged. Cap generally measures from 2–5 cm across, distinctly wavy in maturity. Lamellae adnate, light brown to dark purple brown in maturity, with lighter gill edges. An annulus is absent and the spore print is dark purple brown. Microscopically, this species is characterized by common clavate-mucronate pleurocystidia and smooth, elliptical spores which measure 9 - 12 x 6 - 8.{{clarify|date=January 2010)) The odor and taste is farinaceous.

Habitat and distribution

Psilocybe cyanescens grows primarily on wood chips - especially in and along the perimeter of mulched plant beds in urban areas. Its native habitat is coastal dune grasses. In the U.S., P. cyanescens occurs mainly in the Pacific Northwest and south to southern California. It can be found as well as in Western and Central Europe. Fruiting is dependent on a drop in temperature; therefore it appears in the autumn throughout its range. It often fruits in great numbers, gregariously or in cespitose clusters.

Legal status

Possession and/or cultivation of psilocybin mushrooms is illegal in a number of countries, including the United States.

Because spores contain no psilocybin or psilocin, they are legal to sell and possess (in all states except California, Georgia, and Idaho[1].


  • Stamets, Paul (1993). Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press. ISBN 1-58008-175-4. 
  • Stamets, Paul; Chilton, J.S. (1983). Mushroom Cultivator, The. Olympia: Agarikon Press. ISBN 0-9610798-0-0. 
  • Stamets, Paul (1996). Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press. ISBN 0-9610798-0-0. 
  • Krieglsteiner G. J. (1984): Studien zum Psilocybe cyanescens-Komplex in Europa.–Beitr. Kenntn. Pilze Mitteleur. 1: 61-94.
  • Borovička J. (2005): The bluing Psilocybe species of the Czech Republic IV. The problem of Psilocybe cyanescens Wakef. Mykologický Sborník 82 (1): 1-21. ISSN 0374-9436.
  • Borovička J. (2008): The wood-rotting bluing Psilocybe species in Central Europe – an identification key. Czech Mycology 60 (2): 173-192. ISSN 1211-0981.

External links

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Psilocybe cyanescens. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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