Spores. Shroom growing kits. With all the options to grow shrooms at home or buy them online from a dispensary in Canada, it can be easy to overlook the fact that psychedelic shrooms are also a species of plant that is more common than you might realize. Keep reading to learn more about wild magic mushrooms.
Do Shrooms Grow Naturally?
Unlike other psychedelics, such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and ketamine, shrooms are 100% natural and grow wild all over the world. In fact, psychedelic mushrooms have a long history of human use for religious ceremonies and health benefits, as can even be evidenced in rock paintings portraying mushrooms. In short, even though shrooms are now being cultivated, they have been growing around us in the wild for thousands of years.
Where Do Shrooms Grow?
Psilocybin mushrooms grow wild in meadows and woody areas of subtropic and tropic regions, specifically in soil rich in humus and plant debris. Magic mushrooms are so widespread that they can actually be found growing in every continent on the planet except for Antarctica. There are around 200 types of magic mushrooms, around half of which can be found in North America.
In Canada, the best areas to find mushrooms are the west coast forests of British Columbia and the eastern hardwood forests of Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritimes.
Magic Mushrooms Growing in British Columbia
British Columbia has the perfect mild and moist temperature for psilocybin mushrooms to grow wild. Some varieties are endemic to the area whereas others have been introduced from the United States and Europe. The following are only some of the magic mushrooms growing in the southwestern region of Canada.
- Psilocybe semilanceata, better known as Liberty Cap, is generally considered the most user-friendly shroom in British Columbia. This magic mushroom can be found growing from dead grassroots, especially in wet pastures. It also grows in lawns and playing fields in wet coastal areas.
- Psilocybe semilanceata. Photos by Chris Ashurst and Stan Czolowski
- Psilocybe subfimetaria looks a lot like the Liberty Cap but isn’t as pointy and has a heavy zone of veil fibrils around the stem. This variety was first spotted in Vancouver in 1976. It also grows in Washington and Oregon.
- Psilocybe subfimetaria. Photo by Stan Czolowski
- Psilocybe cyanescens, also known as Wavy Caps, are common in recently landscaped areas with presence of wood chips in soils and mulches. These mushrooms also grow in disused clearings among alder trees and brambles.
- Psilocybe cyanescens. Photos by Paul Kroeger and Stan Czolowski
- Psilocybe azurescens is originally from around Oregon, USA, but it has been introduced into the Lower Mainland of BC. It grows among beach grasses in sand dunes, but it can also be cultivated easily in outdoor chip beds. It is a potent shroom and stains blue where bruised or in age.
- Psilocybe azurescens. Photo by Paul Kroeger.
- Psilocybe baeocystis was commonly found in residential and institutional landscaping, growing on conifer bark chips used as mulches. It can currently be found in suburban development areas with nearby forests or agricultural lands. It is also very potent and stains a dark blue.
- Psilocybe baeocystis. Photos by Stan Czolowski.
- Psilocybe cyanofibrillosa is found only rarely along flood zones of mountain rivers growing among roots of shrubs and trees. It has also been spotted growing in wood-chip mulches in landscaped areas.
- Psilocybe cyanofibrillosa. Photos by Paul Kroeger
- Psilocybe fimetaria is originally a European shroom that can now be found growing in grassy fields and pastures of the Lower Mainland.
- Psilocybe fimetaria. Photos by Stan Czolowski
- Psilocybe pelliculosa is a little brown mushroom that grows in conifer debris along trails and logging roads. These mushrooms also grow in landscaped areas in conifer mulch. This is a low potency psychedelic mushroom that is very similar to other little brown mushrooms, including poisonous mushrooms; therefore, eating this mushroom is not recommended.
- Psilocybe pelliculosa. Photos by Paul Kroeger
- Psilocybe stuntzii grows in urban and suburban landscapes, such as recently planted lawns and in wood-chip mulch. This is another type of psychedelic shroom that has low potency and resembles poisonous mushroom varieties. Therefore, you should not eat this mushroom.
- Psilocybe stuntzii. Photos by Stan Czolowski
Can I Forage for My Own Magic Mushrooms?
If you live in British Columbia or near the eastern hardwood forests of Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritimes, you could probably go on a hike and collect your own wild psilocybin mushrooms. However, this is not recommended unless you have significant knowledge and experience identifying magic mushrooms or are accompanied by someone who does.
A couple of general recommendations when foraging for mushrooms are only picking as much as will be used and preserving the natural environment of the mushrooms as much as is possible.
Other specific, practical recommendations include the following:
- Use rigid and easy-to-carry containers, such as baskets or plastic buckets with holes at the bottom, to avoid the accumulation of rainwater.
- Carry a dull-blade knife to pry out mushrooms and trim them
- Take brushes or pieces of cloth to clean mushrooms.
- Never put unidentified mushrooms in the same container as mushrooms you plan on ingesting since mushrooms can be poisonous.
What If Foraging My Own Mushrooms Is Not for Me?
As fascinating as wild psilocybin mushrooms are and as exciting as it may sound to go foraging for our own mushrooms, most of us simply don’t know enough to distinguish a psychedelic shroom from a poisonous one. Therefore, let’s leave the foraging for the experts and get our shrooms from a reliable source, such as Mikro Mushrooms’ online store, which sources only the best magic mushrooms from British Columbia.