Psilocybe mexicana mushrooms grows alone or in small groups among moss along roadsides and trails, humid meadows or cornfields, in particular in the grassy areas bordering deciduous forests. Common at elevations between 300–550 metres (980–1,800 ft), rare in lower elevations, known only from Mexico, Costa Rica and Guatemala. Fruiting takes place from May to October.
Like several other psilocybin mushrooms in the genus, Psilocybe mexicana has been consumed by indigenous North American and Central American peoples for its entheogenic effects.
In the Western world, sclerotia of Psilocybe mexicana are sometimes cultivated for entheogenic use. The sclerotia have a lower content of active substances than the actual mushrooms themselves.
Psilocybe Mexicana Legality
In most countries where psilocybin containing mushrooms are currently illegal, P. mexicana is no different. One exception to this is in the Netherlands, where the sclerotia themselves are legal, despite psilocybin-containing mushrooms (including P. mexicana and 185 other species) being illegal since 2008. When the ban was enacted by the Dutch government, sclerotia were excluded on the basis that they were considered to be weaker than mushrooms; but as you’ll read in the potency section, this may not always be the case!
Read: Psilocybe Cubensis & More: 10 Magic Mushroom Species You Should Know About
The legal exemption of sclerotia in the Netherlands has supported a large industry, with many “smart shops” around Amsterdam and beyond selling packets under names like Mushrocks, High Hawaiians, and Dragon’s Dynamite with various claims to differences in subjective effects. In addition to smart shops, a number of “truffle retreats” have opened in recent years, where participants can consume the sclerotia while taking part in a range of programs, under the guidance of trained facilitators and therapists. Examples include Synthesis (who opened their doors in 2018), in addition to Field Trip Health who are set to open their own retreat in 2021.
Psilocybe Mexicana Identification
The sclerotia produced by P. mexicana are a lumpy bundle of densely packed mycelium, which can range in size from smaller than a pea to as large as an ostrich egg, but are rarely as uniform in shape. The color of sclerotia seems to depend on growing conditions, and can range from light yellow to dark brown, and even blue in places. Due to their irregular shape, size, and color, a positive identification is rarely possible from the sclerotia alone (for that we must look at the mushrooms themselves).
As the “Mexican liberty cap”, P. mexicana shares some similar features with its more globally distributed namesake. P. mexicana are tall, thin mushrooms with straw-colored stems capable of growing up to a maximum height of around five inches. Their caps are convex or cone-shaped, sometimes with a raised area in the middle (umbonate) or margins that flare out to resemble a bell (campanulate). Like all psilocybin producing species, P. mexicana mushrooms have a purplish black spore print and bruise blue when damaged.
For all those wanting to try and find mushrooms in the wild, psychoactive or edible, it’s always best to head out with a more experienced guide, rather than relying on photos or descriptions. Look online for local mycology groups in your area and see if there are any mushroom hunts planned which you can join. Although these trips are a good chance to connect with likeminded fungi enthusiasts, initially be careful about blatantly stating your intentions if you’re only interested in psychedelic species, at least until you have a good feel for how your local mycology group feels about psychedelic foraging!