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Psychedelic Mushrooms May Be Found in a Person’s Backyard

— December 6, 2022

Researchers believe psychedelic mushrooms can be found in the wild, in wood chips and in yards.

As of November 8, the use of psychedelic mushrooms in Colorado is legal. It’s the second state to legalize mushrooms with the first being Oregon. The law does not have any room in it for recreational use, but many Coloradoans might begin to see if they can find their own mushrooms in the wild or in their backyard.

Three of the most well-researched mushrooms are Psilocybe cyanescens, Psilocybe allenii, and Psilocybe ovoideocystidiata. These mushrooms have been well looked into by medical professionals and they all have a certain psychoactive compound called psilocybin. 

Finding these species is actually fairly easy. They’re quite common in the Pacific Northwest, especially in states like Oregon. Mycologists even believe that these mushrooms might have even evolved in this region of the United States. 

What makes Oregon the perfect place to grow these mushrooms? Many different factors. One is that there are many different parts of the forest that have broken down wood and decayed wood. The large rainfall in Oregon also makes it a great place for the mushrooms to grow and thrive. 

Psychedelic Mushrooms May Be Found in a Person's Backyard
Photo by Johannes Plenio from Pexels

Mushrooms tend to grow in wood chips which the forests of Oregon have many of. Mushrooms can also be found growing in mulch beds. Since people tend to lay down large amounts of wood chips in a backyard when they are landscaping, mushrooms are able to grow inadvertently in landscaping beds.

Part of the reason why mushrooms grow so abundantly in wood chips is also that they seem to want to grow in places where wood has lost its nutrients (like dried out chips).

Jordan Jacobs, who is a fungi forager and a chemist who has a lab in Oregon, said, “It’s fascinating that a psychoactive mushroom that has potential long-lasting effects on human consciousness has decided that this ecological niche suits it well.”

Wild mushrooms grow in many areas of Colorado as well. Colorado is rich with forest landscapes that are ideal for fungi clusters.

P. allenii and cyanescens usually only grow more than a few inches tall. They look similar as they both have white stems and a chestnut brown cap. The spores are usually dark purple and the inner flesh will be a purple-blue color when it’s exposed to oxygen. The cyanescens has some differences as it has a more wavy and ruffled edge and P. ovoideocystidiata looks very similar to the other mushrooms but it has a larger and thicker stem with a wider cap.

If there are wood chips, there need to be about two days of a good rain before the mushrooms can begin togrow. Researchers and foragers caution that people need to be careful if they think these mushrooms are in their backyard and they plan to consume them. 

People need to have 100% confidence that the mushrooms are what they think they are. Many wild mushrooms are dangerous to consume and can easily be mistaken for the those with psychedelic properties. There are many poisonous mushrooms that pop up in the wild and appear harmless. Using a plant identifier app while hunting for psychedelics is advisable.


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