Psilocybe baeocystis is named for its characteristic rippled cap, with baeo-cystis translating to “small-bladder”, something the fungus resembles when fresh. It is more frequently found under the aliases of “bottle caps”, “knobby tops”, “blue bells” or “olive caps”; all references to the various traits of the cap. Along with the wavy ripples, the cap easily bruises from a chestnut-brown, olive-green to a metallic dark blue when handled or old.
A relative oddity about this species is that when young, its
potency is markedly greater, typically declining to at least half with drying.
The very high levels of baeocystin, a psychoactive psilocybin analog, that
can degrade with age and lower humidity can be due to this.
This compound, popular but typically at much lower levels within Psilocybe, is
named for the mushroom itself, first discovered and characterized by the species.
P. baeocystis also has psilocin levels that position it in
the top three, alongside the compound that shares its namesake.
Although the amount of psilocybin is moderate to low in the vicinity of P. cubensis, this species
also contains a small but powerful amount of norbaeocystin, a related alkaloid to the rest of the species.
All combined, when young, this makes for a very potent mushroom:
1-3 mushrooms or up to five grams would be a large dose.
A sample of just one gram
will produce vivid results when dried.
P. baeocystis is an unusual but beneficial choice for home cultivation due to both the
overall potency of the species and the unique significance of the freshness of the fruiting bodies.
The resistance of the substrate is reasonably variable:
peat, mulch and humus-based stock can be acceptable choices.
Although they may be confused with related species such as P. aztecorum, P. quebecensis
or P. cyanescens, mainly to achieve their optimum freshness, they are a popular wild cultivar.
P. baeocystis are not uncommon in their natural range of the Pacific Northwest of North America. More rarely and recently, they have been discovered on the East coast, in the states of Maine and Connecticut in the United States. Generally, they grow naturally within one hundred kilometers of the coastline, however deviations are not rare. Depending on the specific location, they may be found as early as late June, and as late as December in particularly warm autumns or winters.
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This species is often out in the
open, in lawns and scattered woodland, easing exploration.
They can also be found near ornamental
plants, specifically preferring rose bushes and rhododendrons.
It is usually found near Psilocybe relatives, P. stuntzii and P. cyanescens, both of which are
capable of inducing hallucinogenic effects to various degrees, for those fortunate enough to find this fungus naturally.
P. baeocystis can be partly distinguished by
their probability of forming root-like “rhizomorphs”
This species defined a common compound that contributes to the “magic” of Psilocybe mushrooms. Either dried or, for the lucky explorer, fresh samples are ensured to provide an intense experience.
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Psilocybe baeocystis is named for its distinctive rippled cap, which translates
to “small-bladder” with baeo-cystis, something that the fungus resembles when fresh.
Under the aliases of “bottle caps”, “knobby tops”, “blue bells” or “olive
caps” it is more commonly found; all references to the different cap characteristics.
Along with the wavy ripples, when treated or old, the cap
readily stains from a chestnut-brown, olive-green to a shiny dark blue.