Magic mushrooms are a type of fungi, and fungi can grow in many different climates. Generally speaking, magic mushrooms are most likely to be found in grassland, woodland, gardens, dung deposits and disturbed areas. P. cubensis and Panaeolus cyanescens are well known dung loving species. P. semilanceata grows in pasture, but is saprophytic and grows from decomposing grass. The wood lovers such as P. azurescens, P. cyanescens, and P. subaeruginosa, while originating on the edges of woodlands, have happily spread into gardens.
Fungi from the genus Psilocybe are found on all continents except Antarctica. Of these, Europe and the Americas are strongly represented. Psilocybe species are distributed across tropical, subtropical and temperate climates, with a large range of species in Latin America. Our knowledge of the distribution of many species may reflect the broader social interest per country and the levels of commitment to understanding their ecology.
Some species such as P. cubensis, Panaeolus cyanescens, and to a lesser degree P. semilanceata, have become truly global, having been introduced to many continents through the farming of different varieties of cattle. Although the holotype was collected from Cuba, Psilocybe cubensis is not native to the Americas, but an introduced species from India. It typically grows on cattle dung, but also known to grow on horse dung and elephant dung.
P. semilanceata, a.k.a. liberty caps, grow throughout Europe, fruit in fall and spring, and can also be found in temperate North America, Canada, and Tasmania. It has a rich history in European culture (including European mythology).Tropical and subtropical species include P. cubensis, P. tampanensis (Magic Truffles, Philosopher’s Stone), Panaeolus cyanescens (Blue Meanies) otherwise known as Copelandia cyanescens, P. caerulescens (Landslide Mushrooms, Derrumbes), and P. mexicana (Teonanacatl, Pajaritos)
Tropical and Sub-Tropical Magic Mushroom Species
- P. cubensis – Dung loving mushrooms that can be found in most areas around the globe. Originally from India, they have been introduced to other climates such as the Americas. This type of mushroom tends to be seen growing in cattle dung but has also been found in both elephant and horse dung.
- P. tampanensis (Magic Truffles, Philosopher’s Stone)
- Panaeolus cyanescens (Blue Meanies), often commonly known as Copelandia cyanescens – Dung loving mushrooms that grow in pasture in areas where the grass is breaking down and decomposing.
- P. caerulescens (Landslide Mushrooms)
- P. mexicana (Teonanacatl, Pajaritos)
Temperate Magic Mushroom Species
- P. semilanceata (Liberty caps) – this species is most commonly found in Europe but has also made its way to North America, Canada and Tasmania. It produces fruit in the fall and spring, and this is when it is easiest to find.
- P. ovoideocystidiata
- Psilocybe caerulipes (Blue Foot Mushroom)
- P. alutacea (Poo Meanie)
- P. azurescens (Flying Saucers) – Can be found in woodland and gardens.
- P. alleni
- P. stuntzii (Blue Ringer Mushroom, Stuntz Blue Legs)
- P. cyanescens (Wavy Caps) – Can be found in woodland and gardens.
- P. subaeruginosa (Subs) – Can be found in woodland and gardens.
When thinking about the types of magic mushrooms growing in each area, there are three main varieties. Saprophytic mushrooms are ones that grow on organic l, plant-based materials such as wood, coprophilous mushrooms appear from animal dung, and houmous grows from plant matter that has been dissolved that looks like soil. The type that grows from animal dung does this usually through the poo of a herbivore as they have digested plant and organic matter, breaking it down and leaving a substance called cellulose which promotes the mushroom growth.
No matter the type of shroom, one key factor that unites them all is their need for moisture to grow. Dry air can kill them, so if you are looking in a dry, warm climate, you are unlikely to find any mushrooms. Mushrooms need wet, fertile soil to thrive and must be in an organic environment.