The penis envy mushroom is a type of fungus that grows on wood or bark mulch during the spring months of March through May although people can grow them indoors now for psychedelic experience and effects. Penis envy mushrooms, or PE, are also known by a variety of slang names such as penis envy toadstools, and penis envy fungus. Most people associate the name with penis envy because of its phallic shape. Read on to learn about this unique variety of mushrooms.
What are penis envy mushrooms?
The penis envy mushroom is known for the penis-like shape it forms after growing in decomposing organic matter or rich soil, with its stalk and cap resembling an erect penis. The penis envy mushroom’s scientific name is “Psilocybe cubensis”, with penis envy being considered one of its magic mushroom strains. It is considered to be a magic mushroom, which means that you can eat them and experience a psychedelic trip. People consume penis envy mushrooms for their hallucinogenic effects and psychoactive properties.
Magic mushrooms have been used for centuries by different cultures in rituals and ceremonies, but they’ve only recently become popular with Westerners who want to experience psychedelic states in the last 60 years. For this reason, psilocybin mushrooms, have been used to induce a mystical experience.
P. cubensis, also called magic mushrooms, shrooms, or cubes, is the most common cubensis species of psychedelic mushroom and was popularized by R. Gordon Wasson’s articles in Life magazine describing the psychedelic visions experienced by himself and his wife after taking Psilocybe mushrooms during a “mushroom trip”, a trip being the name of when you are high on mushrooms. They further came to prominence in the 60s when they were adopted by countercultures like hippies.
What do penis envy mushrooms look like?
To know what penis envy mushrooms look like we have to know what normal Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms look like too. Psilocybe cubensis mushroom has certain physical characteristics and they are:
- Caps: The mushroom has a cap and the caps come in different shapes that can be wavy, bell-shaped, or conical to name a few and P. cubensis cap colors are normally different shades of brown
- Gills: The gills are the part under the cap and they can be lighter or darker than what Psilocybe cubensis cap color
- Stalks: Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms have very long and slender to medium-thickness yellow-white stems
- Spores: Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms have spores that can be seen on the top part of the gills
- Flesh: The flesh of Psilocybe cubensis is whitish or slightly brown and becomes bluish when the mushroom has been injured
- Size: Normal Psilocybe cubensis mushroom caps are between 0.75 and two inches in diameter and the stalks are between four and eight inches tall.
It should be noted that the flesh is made up of the pileipellis which has two parts, a cuticle, and trama respectively. The cuticle is made up of thin, tightly packed scales that are brown or dark purple in color. The trama is the fleshy part and it can be made up of thin or thick, closely packed tubes.
Penis envy shrooms are one of the most popular psilocybe cubensis varieties so it is important to know the difference between this mushroom strain and others. PE mushrooms look like normal Psilocybe cubensis, which are small and brownish with a conical or bell-shaped cap on top of a stalk. When penis envy mushrooms first grow out, they have an oblong shape similar to the penis head at full erection. Once cut open lengthwise, penis envy mushrooms have a dark blue/green spore print. Here are the same characteristics listed above but for the PE variety of shrooms:
- Caps: The penis envy mushroom caps are usually very dark brown, black, or sometimes white depending on the penis envy mushrooms type
- Gills: The penis envy mushrooms gills are normally very thin and they can be brown or black depending on the penis envy mushroom type
- Stalks: The stalk of the penis envy mushroom is typically colored white or yellowish and it can be very long or short with a very dense stem
- Spores: The penis envy mushroom spores are usually shaped like bullets and they can be white, brown, or black depending on the penis envy mushroom type
- Flesh: The penis envy mushroom flesh is usually thick and it can be very tough or soft to touch sometimes depending on the environment where it was found and its color is usually brown or black
- Size: The penis envy mushroom caps are usually between 0.75 and two inches in diameter and the penis envy mushroom stalks are between two to six inches tall.
The penis envy mushrooms smell is normally fruity and sometimes it can be very strong too depending on the penis envy mushroom type.
What are the effects of penis envy mushrooms?
The effects of penis envy mushrooms are described as being much stronger and more intense than other varieties of P. cubensis. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen as more studies need to be done on this variety and all other magic mushrooms. With this in mind, we will describe the effects you get when tripping on P. cubes.
When you take magic mushrooms the main active ingredient is psilocybin. In psilocybin-containing mushrooms it works on the brain by attaching to serotonin receptors and influencing the way that messages are sent between other neurotransmitters. This has an effect on your mood, senses, thought processes, and can create intense feelings. Typically the onset of effects takes 30-45 minutes and you will have a 3-6 hour trip.
The most common psychedelic effects are:
- altered sense of time
- ego death or ego dissolution, meaning you have a disassociation from yourself or out of body experiences
- auditory and visual hallucinations
- feelings of euphoria
- distortion of space
- feelings of connectedness with yourself, others, and nature or overall feelings of oneness
There are also some physical side effects which include:
- dilated pupils
- increased heart rate
- increased body temperature
- nausea and a feeling of queasiness
Shrooms can also have psychological effects like:
- fear of death
The negative side effects are typically the psychological side effects which make it important to understand your “set and setting” before tripping. This just means that you are comfortable with your mindset and environment before you ingest shrooms. Doing this will help ensure a good trip although the amount of your magic mushroom dose can also play a part.
What is the history of the penis envy mushroom?
There is a lot of myth and legend surrounding the penis envy mushroom and it has to do with how and who first collected it. The story goes that Terence McKenna, a legend in the mushroom community, first collected these samples somewhere deep in the Amazon rain forest. He then brought some spore back to the USA and began his own cultivation of it. McKenna then sent one to fellow mycologist, Steven Pollock, who began cultivating them himself. One of the cultivations created a mutation that became the penis envy mushroom and he preserved it for all of us to enjoy today!
What are the different types of penis envy mushrooms?
Just as PE is a variety of P. cubensis, PE now also has several of its own varieties. The penis envy varieties include:
- Albino penis envy, these albino shrooms are where the whole mushroom is white or slightly blue
- Penis envy uncut, the caps of these mushrooms never open even on a mature mushroom
- Trans envy mushrooms are mushrooms that look in between a Transkei mushroom and a penis envy mushroom
Penis envy mushrooms have a long storied history and are known for their potent effects. They are phallic-shaped and have the same effects as other magic mushrooms but are supposedly stronger. According to the legend, Terence McKenna brought these back with him from the Amazon and eventually distributed them to fellow mycologist Steven Pollock who bred the variety we know today. Since the first batch of penis envy mushrooms, other varieties have emerged too like APE, or albino penis envy, penis envy uncut, and trans envy mushrooms. If you are planning on using penis envy mushrooms, we recommend that you are comfortable with your set and setting before starting your trip. Should you have any further questions, please see our other articles.
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Fact Checked and Editorial Process
The Magical Mushroom is devoted to producing expert and accurate articles and information for our readers by tapping into psychedelic users, experts, journalists, and growing community. We encourage you to read more about our content, editing, and fact checking methods here. This was fact checked by Chris Riley.
Owner, entrepreneur, enthusiast of natural medicine