Psilocybe baeocystis is named for its characteristic rippled cap, with baeo-cystis translating to “small-bladder”, something the fungus resembles when fresh. It is more frequently found under the aliases of “bottle caps”, “knobby tops”, “blue bells” or “olive caps”; all references to the various traits of the cap. Along with the wavy ripples, the cap easily bruises from a chestnut-brown, olive-green to a metallic dark blue when handled or old.
A relative oddity concerning this species is that its potency is markedly higher when fresh, usually diminishing to at least half with drying. This may be attributed to the very high levels of Psilocybe baeocystin, a psychoactive analog of psilocybin, that can degrade with age and lower humidity. This compound, common within Psilocybe but usually at much lower levels, is named for the mushroom itself, it first being found and characterized from the species.
Along with the compound that shares its namesake, P. baeocystis also boasts levels of psilocin that place it in the top three. While the amount of psilocybin ranks near P. cubensis, moderate to low, this species also contains a small but effective quantity of norbaeocystin, a similar alkaloid to the rest. All combined, this makes for a very potent mushroom when fresh: a large dose would be 1-3 mushrooms or up to five grams. When dried, a sample of only one gram can produce vivid effects.
Due to both the overall potency of the species and the specific importance on the freshness of the fruiting bodies,
Psiocybe baeocystis is an advantageous choice for home cultivation. It is relatively variable in its tolerance for substrate: peat, mulches and humus-based stock may be suitable options. While they may be confused with similar species such as P. aztecorum, P. quebecensis or P. cyanescens, they are a common wild cultivar primarily to attain their maximum freshness.
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