"Cyan", "Blue Halo", "Psilocybe cyanescens Wakefield"

Psilocybe Cyanescens aka “Wavy Cap” is a rather large and very potent magic mushroom strain that favours growing on wood chips and has had the reputation of fruiting in botanical gardens where imported mulch is its entry door. It is easily identifiable by its unique “wavy” caps that undulate at maturity, and when young it resembles temperate psychoactive species  P. azurescens and P. allenii.

It was first formally described in 1946 by mycologist and plant pathologist Elise Wakefield in Kew Gardens (London, UK). She had been collecting the mushroom as early as 1910 in her native England and that specie became known after her as Psilocybe cyanescens Wakefield.
Because Wavy Cap readily bruises blue upon injury, it is also called “Cyan” or “Blue Halo” though that contributes to the ongoing confusion with the Blue Meanie aka Panaeolus cyanescens with which it shares similar abbreviations.
In the last century, it is said that this psilocybin-producing species has vigorously spread to an almost worldwide presence with a particularly increasing distribution in Germany and throughout Europe.
It is suggested that the increased use of bark and wood chips, which are the lichenous material it prefers to grow on, has greatly contributed to their prolific spread.
Nonetheless, this strain is also found in the Pacific Northwest of the United States and is well-known in British Columbia, Canada where it is believed to be one of the most potent strains growing wildly in North America.

Visual Description

• Cap: 2-4 cm broad. Obtusely conic, quickly expanding to broadly convex to almost plane in age with a pronounced wavy margin. Margin has translucent striates. Cap coloration is chestnut brown, turning more caramel with age, hygrophanous, dimming to dark yellowish brown with disk remaining darker. Surface is smooth and viscous. Cap bruises bluish. • Gills: attachment adnate to subdecurrent, broad. Coloration is cinnamon brown, changing to deep smoky brown mature, edges remaining paler. • Stem: 20-80 mm long by 2.5-5 mm thick. Often stiff but flexuous and thicker at the base. Color is mainly whitish; flesh rapidly bruises bluish. Surface is smooth with often, whitish rhizomorphs at the base. • Spore print: dark purplish brown. • Microscopic features: 9-12 x 5-8 micrometres. • Taste and odor: farinaceous.

Potency Description

One study reported a maxima of 1.68% psilocybin, 0.28% psilocin, and 0.2% baeocystin (Stijve and Kuyper, 1985).Interesting enough, samples collected from Europe and North America have very different psilocybin levels, though both share similar baeocystin levels.

Habitat Origin

Scattered to gregarious in soil with woody debris, leaves, twigs or in fields with rotting wood, along paths, and in heavily mulched flower gardens (roses, rhododendrons). Found in the fall to early winter in the Pacific Northwest (Oregon and British Columbia) Reported in western temperate coastal areas, between the Bay Area of San Francisco to southern Alaska. Widely spread across the United Kingdom and across much of temperate Europe, from Italy, Germany, Spain and Sweden. Also reported from Japan.

Strain Effects

Anecdotal trip reports describe: Come-up after 30mnts. Sense of sudden lightness, giddiness and visual effects. A sense of connectedness, euphoria, enhanced mood, great energy.

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