Magic mushrooms have been around for a long time and are a popular hallucinogenic drug. In fact, they are the most popular of all psychedelic drugs and may even be used as a treatment for depression. They come in many different forms and can be found on every continent except Antarctica. The question that a lot of people ask is where do magic mushrooms grow? There are several factors that determine where these fungi will naturally occur or how you can grow them yourself to suit your needs. For more information on this topic, read our article.
Where do magic mushrooms grow?
Mushrooms are a type of fungus that grows in a wide range of habitats all over the world. Magic mushrooms are a specific type of mushroom that contains psilocybin, a potent psychedelic drug. There are many different types of magic mushrooms that contain psilocybin or other psychoactive chemicals. You can find them all over the world in places where decaying organic material is present and moisture levels are high, such as rotting wood chips, bark mulch, and straw bedding for livestock. They tend to be most prevalent near rivers, streams, or moist areas with lots of decomposing plant life. However, they have also been located growing on old hay bales out in pastures far from any water source. Scientists believe this occurs because it rains heavily after a farmer spreads their manure-based fertilizer around the paddocks for their animals. Once there’s enough rainwater everywhere – whether you’re surrounded by it or not – the fungi can start growing.
What are their naturally occurring habitats?
Psilocybin mushrooms are found growing naturally all around the world from Asia to North America. They like humid conditions and tend to appear near trees that also enjoy these types of conditions (e.g., conifers). They will often be seen under rotting logs or where there is wood decaying nearby (e.g., forests). Mushrooms grown indoors, though not as common as outdoor ones require different care than those grown outdoors. These include providing more light for your shrooms so they don’t stretch towards any available source of sunlight; using a substrate, which is what you call the medium for growing mushrooms, rather than manure; and controlling humidity at between 90% and 95%.
You can find magic mushrooms growing in many places, but they are most commonly found near regions where their natural food sources exist. Naturally, they tend to grow in tropical and subtropical regions where there is adequate rainfall throughout the year for them to thrive or at least maintain their mycelium (fungal network). These include Central America through South America; Africa including Madagascar; Southeast Asia including Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam as well as southern parts of China among other places. For example, Psilocybe cubensis is most notably picked in the jungles of Thailand and surrounding countries. More specifically though, Mexico has historically been reported as a major picking ground for these fungi due to its many dense forests that provide an ideal habitat. A mushroom’s natural habitat can be quite different from how it grows when you plant mushrooms indoors or outdoors yourself!
What do psychedelic mushrooms grow on in nature?
We know that magic mushrooms grow on every continent except Antarctica but what do they grow on in their natural habitats? Mushrooms grow where there is decomposing organic matter such as woodchips or dung and usually not on the grass itself. Sometimes they will also grow directly off tree roots too. Magic mushrooms naturally occur and grow in many places where psychedelic fungi are found growing like in cow dung and pastures. These mushrooms are also known as psilocybin containing coprophilic fungi, which means that they feed off decaying organic matter such as animal dung or feces. They will also commonly be found growing on wood chips used for landscaping purposes because these types of substrates provide a rich source of slow decomposing lignin to feed off of. You could say that trees enjoy being a host for magic mushroom spores just much as humans do!
As long as the environment has enough moisture, decaying matter, and the right temperature, mushrooms will thrive. This is because they actually do most of their growing underground in mycelium networks so look for them under mulch, but don’t be discouraged if you see some fruiting bodies popping up above ground! They are merely serving as reproductive structures to create more spores and will drop hundreds of thousands of microscopic mushroom seeds all over the place when they die. It’s important that these little babies have access to water and oxygen just like any other plant life because without it they cannot survive long term which means no new shrooms for us! So please note that you can pick them at this point and they won’t grow back.
What do magic mushrooms grow on when you grow them yourself?
When you grow mushrooms at home yourself it is important to optimize the conditions to get the best results. The mushroom community has a number of different methods for growing mushrooms, including a number of substrates that have proven effective for indoor growing. Some of the most popular substrates include:
- coffee grounds
- bird seed mixes
- coco coir
- logs or wood chips
- hulls of grains
- brown rice flour
These are some of the most popular substrates used for growing mushrooms, both magic and regular, at home.
How can I identify magic mushrooms?
We highly recommend that you source your own spores and grow them yourself as this is the best way to ensure that you will be consuming the correct psilocybin mushrooms. If you do find mushrooms in nature, you may wonder if it is a magic mushroom as there are thousdands of types of mushrooms. For simplicities sake, we will only delve into how to identify Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms, which are easily the most popular type of hallucinogenic mushrooms in the world. Some ways to identify them are:
- large, umbrella like caps
- younger mushrooms are dark golden brown while older mushrooms may be a light golden brown
- a darker brown spot should be in the center of the cap
- bruising on the stem which should turn blue almost instantly if it’s been touched by something, the turning blue or “bruising” reaction is caused by the psilocybin reacting with oxygen
- a dark purple veil will appear underneath the gills, if this veil is broken their will be a dark purple ring around the stem instead
The best way to identify magic mushrooms is through spores, they will appear rusty brown in color when viewed under a microscope after you’ve taken your prints.
Mushrooms that are psychedelic will usually have very visible gills under their caps and may contain other poisonous substances besides psilocybin. However, other mushrooms won’t always have these same characteristics so it’s best to use the spore test if in doubt.
There are many poisonous mushrooms in the world. It is important to avoid eating any mushroom unless you know exactly how to identify it correctly since some kinds of fungus could cause death from poisoning even though they aren’t psychedelic. If you are not experienced, please take someone with you has experience in mushroom hunting. Also, eating too much of magic mushrooms can cause an extremely unpleasant experience or “bad trip”, so always consume in moderation. Remeber, you can always take more later on but you can’t take less of your initial dose!
Magic mushrooms occur naturally throughout the world. They exist on most continents, but are usually found in tropical or subtropical habitats as these can provide the best places for them to thrive and grow. Most psychedelic mushrooms are found in forests on humus, decaying matter or on dung in places with high moisture. When grown at home, a number of different substrates can be used ranging from cardboard to sawdust. Psilocybe cubensis has a number of traits for help in identification like an easily bruising stem and a purple veil. Identifying P. cubensis, the most popular magic mushroom, can be difficult and we ask that if you try to identify it in nature that you not eat them as many mushrooms are very poisonous to humans. We hope to have provided you the basis for where mushrooms grow and that you check our other articles should you have further questions.
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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