Pileus (Cap): 2-4.5 cm broad, convex, becoming nearly plane with a low umbo; margin striate, often wavy, sometimes upturned in age; surface smooth, sticky when moist, hygrophanous, brown, hygrophanous fading to yellow-brown or buff; flesh thin, brittle in age, bruising blue.
Lamellae (Gills): Adnate to seceding, close when young, subdistant in age, pale cinnamon brown, becoming dark grey-brown, edges lighter than the faces, mottled from spores at maturity.
Stipe (stem): 3-6 cm tall, 3-6 mm thick, equal to sometimes enlarged at the base, the latter with conspicuous thickened mycelium (rhizomorphs); surface white, smooth to silky, bruising blue; veil fibrillose, forming a superior, evanescent hairy, annular zone.
Microscopic Features: Purple-brown to purple-gray or purple-black; Spores 9-12 x 6-8 um, elliptical, smooth, with an apical pore.
Season: Because fruiting depends on a drop in temperature, the season changes from year to year. But are always between september and February. Mostly found after rains in October and November in washington and January through February in california.
Habitat and Distribution: In the United States, P. cyanescens occurs mainly in the Pacific Northwest, south to the San Francisco Bay Area. It can also be found in areas such as Western Europe, Central Europe, parts of Australia and parts of west Asia (Iran). The range in which P. cyanescens occurs is rapidly expanding, especially in areas where it is not native as the use of mulch to control weeds has been popularized. This rapid expansion of range may be due in part to the simple expedient of P. cyanescens mycelium having colonized the distribution network of woodchip suppliers and thus being distributed on a large scale with commercial mulch. Although it has been speculated that P cyanescens' native habitat is the coniferous woodlands of the north-western United States or coastal dunes in the PNW, the type specimen was described from mulch beds in Kew Gardens, and there is no widely accepted explanation of P. cyanescens original habitat. Paul Stamets has suggested that P. cyanescens may originally have been a niche saprophyte of pinecones whose range was allowed to drastically expand with the introduction of ornamental mulch. Fruiting is dependent on a drop in temperature. In the San Francisco Bay Area, this means that fruiting typically occurs between December and February, and fruiting in other areas generally occurs in fall, when temperatures are between 50-65F. P. cyanescens often fruits gregariously or in cespitose clusters, sometimes in great numbers. 100,000 P. cyanescens fruits were once found growing on a racetrack in the south of England. Solitary fruits are sometimes also found. Look in mulch beds and wood chips around parks and well manicured areas. They have rarely been found growing in alder forests and under blackberry bushes and salal in the wild. Shelli Liebman DorfmanMO Occurrence Map
Growth Habit: P. cyanescens often fruits gregariously or in cespitose clusters, sometimes in great numbers, not usually found singularly. Sometimes one patch can have multiple flushes in a year.
Bruising: Bruising moderately, sometimes the aged stipe is darkened and hard to see bruising, but the cap margin will always bruise blue. It will be very noticeable.
Other Notes: The most common Psilocybe species in the pacific northwest North American fruiting bodies of P. cyanescens have been shown to contain between 0.66% and 1.96% total indole content by dry weight. European fruiting bodies have been shown to have between 0.39% and 0.75% total indole content by dry weight. "As far as where we score, it is usually random and innocent. Be out hunting lawns and wander away to take a leak, and boom, natural cyans poking out from under the salal. Remember, cyans have been around longer than man made mulch beds. They can exist off the root mass of certain plants alone, with no mulch" -EarthquakeOpossum