Psilocybe subaeruginascens

  • Native to Japan and the Island of Java, Indonesia
  • Moderately potent, significant bluing reaction
  • Grows on woody debris, from forests to urban areas
  • Outdoor cultivation possible in certain regions

Psilocybe subaeruginascens is a rare mushroom from the tropical and subtropical regions of Japan and the island of Java in Indonesia. It is moderately potent and is confirmed to contain both psilocybin and psilocin. The latter produces a significant bluing reaction that is common among the Psilocybe species.

These mushrooms are found alone or scattered in small groups, usually growing on wood chips, leaves or similar debris. This makes them common in deciduous forests, gardens and even urban areas; they can frequently be found along roads or trails through these environments. Some reports have also suggested P. subaeruginascens may grow directly on the dung of both horses and elephants.

While many Psilocybe mushrooms also grow in habitats like these, the only species that are closely related or similar in appearance are restricted to the Pacific Northwest of North America. P. subaeruginascens would be confused with P. subfimetaria, P. stuntzii and P. ovoideocystidiata if they were not separated by range restrictions.

There are few distinct features that define P. subaeruginascens aside from its distribution. The olive-brown cap ranges from 1-6 centimetres and has a conic to convex shape that may display a broad umbo. The slender stipe has a similar height and usually has a ring, it may also present with fine striations or stripes.

Though it is most commonly found in the wild, it is theoretically possible to cultivate these mushrooms, and amateur reports have been made. Attempts at indoor growth have been fruitless; success has been achieved outdoors on wood chips, though the preference for tropical and subtropical climates likely prevents this in most of the world.

For most, P. subaeruginascens will likely only be seen in the pages of books and websites. For those who live in its natural range, it may be one of the few wild Psilocybe species they may ever see.

Manimohan, P., K. Agretious Thomas, and V. S. Nisha. “Agarics on elephant dung in Kerala State, India.” Mycotaxon 99 (2007): 147-158.

Guzmán, Gastón, Alonso Cortes-Perez, and Florencia Ramirez-Guillén. “The Japanese hallucinogenic mushrooms Psilocybe and a new synonym of P. subcaerulipes with three Asiatic species belong to section Zapotecorum (higher basidiomycetes).” International journal of medicinal mushrooms 15.6 (2013).

Images by Auweia and Curecat.