Jump to content
The Corroboree
duffman

Eucalyptus mulch vs Pine forest

Recommended Posts

Hey gang,

Its been ages since i've been on here good to come back to read some cool stuff from a cool community. So I have a question that is probably based more on experience than known facts. So I had a friend who found his first patch of subs in euca mulch up in them thar mountains. He has found them in the pine forests for a few years now and have had enough experiences to gauge dosage to within a few mushies each time, strength being quite consistent. This time around, however, dosage the same, the experience he had was OVERWHELMINGLY stronger, and not just him, a few others reported the same thing. Has anyone else experienced a difference in strength due to location or mulch differences? The other thing he noticed about these particular subs was the stems were noticeably thicker than your average sub,and the caps were much more caramel (they looked more like pictures of subs i have seen from victoria) and he thought that they might have been P.Australianis? Sorry i know pictures would have helped but he didnt get a chance to snap any. Another thing to note, the location distances between the two spots would only be an hours drive or so difference

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Duffman.

There is definitely a difference between 'Urban Subs' and 'Wild Subs' that other enthusiasts have noted. Urban Subs will grow densley in woodchipped areas, they will grow in clumps and often be thicker, fatter, darker in brown and allegedly are a lot, lot 'stronger'. This could be simply because they are fatter and thicker than the spindly ones found in the wild. It's not uncommon to find hundreds growing closely together in small areas.

'Wild Subs' are found scattered throughout pine regions, they are thinner and paler in colour and rarely found growing in large clusters. While they will be found in little patches, they won't display the density that Urban Subs show.
Here's a table of info from the late mycologist Jim Grimman who did some rough studies on the two.
Type: Wild subaeruginosa
Substrate: Pine needles, grass, decaying pine, soil
Growth Style: Solitary or scattered loosley in small areas
Cap Shapes: Acutely conic to convex cap shapes. - “Wizard Hats” , “Gnome Caps”
Other Features: Light blue bruising, if at all. Thinner stems.
Type: Urban subaeruginosa
Substrate: Garden mulch (eucalypt, pine), grass, wooden debris
Growth Style: Grows densely, as many as fourty specimens in each cluster. Many clusters alongside each other.
Cap Shapes: Umbonate, convex and campanulate. With strong wavy margins in taller specimens. “Wavy”, “Bell Caps”
Other Features: Strong and vivid blue bruising, thick, strong stems. ‘Meaty’

Here's some info from Grimman on the origins of naming and identification of the species. As you'll see there has been dispute as to weather these are different species. Further research needs to be done (beyond the usual bioassay):

Psilocybe subaeruginosa was first identified in 1927 by the early Australian naturalist and mycologist, Jonh Burton Cleland in 1927. The first recorded research with subaeruginosa in Australia was undertaken in 1969 by R.W Rickards and J. Picker. After reading reports of Psilocybe cubensis being found in southern Queensland and northern New South Wales, the two scientists sought the assistance of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) to find specimens for scientific analysis. They collected the mushrooms in late Autumn in the ACT. After performing extractions on the materials, Rickards and Picker succesfully identified psilocybin, psilocin and other alkaloids in the subaeruginosa and Australia became aware of it's first native hallucinogenic mushroom.

In 1978, the Mexican mycologist and anthropologist, Gaston Guzman and the English mycologist Roy Watling described three new Psilocybes in Australia: Psilocybe eucalypta, Psilocybe tasmaniana,and Psilocybe australiana which all bore strong similarities with the subaeruginosa (Guzman & Watling,1978).


medi.JPG
Note contrast in cap colour between older and
newer fruits in this cluster of urban subaeruginosa
(Grimman, June, 2011)
The comparitive studies of Chang and Mills (1992) sought to prove that these three strains were actually one and the same and should therefore be classified as
Psilocybe subaeruginosa
(Chang & Mills, 1992). As such, all woodloving psilocybes in Australia are known now as
subaeruginosa
.
However, Paul Stamets points to Chang and Mills admission that they did not find the key features of chocolate brown pigmentation in their specimens as sufficient reason to doubt that they had obtained true
subaeruginosa
for their comparisons (Stamets, pp.155, 1996). The vast differences between wild and urban
subaeruginosa
observed by Grimman meant he too disagreed with Chang & Mills and this only encouraged his belief that further tests must be done in order to settle the doubt surrounding their study.
Grimman’s own work with the mushroom, indicates that the chocolate brown colouring varies depending on the age of the specimens. He observed deep chocolate brown in younger specimens which would change to pale yellow brown as the mushroom was exposed to sunlight, evaporating moisture from it's cap and changing colour. Chang and Mills may have obtained similar discoloured specimens of
subaeruginosa
.


SL374014.JPG
Wild
subaeruginosa
displaying it's conical cap.

Grimman reffered to these as 'Wizard Hats'

Jenolan State Forest, 2010

However, Grimman's studies with urban subaeruginosa show that the frequency of a dark chocolate colouring is far greater in urban subaeruginosa than in wild subaeruginosa which tended towards lighter 'caramel brown' to pale yellow caps, even when still in their early stages of development. The images found in his archive show a clear difference in the size, shape and colouring of urban and wild subaeruginosa.

Grimman also suspected that the variations in concentrations of wood in the substrate of mulch beds compared to the scattered debris of the forests may impact on the size and density of the flushes as well as the thickness and strength of the mushroom in the same way that concentrated light and fertilisation creates larger and stronger Cannabis plants when grown hydroponically. Grimman did not smoke or grow cannabis for fear of gang related violence.

The two pics below are a great example of the differences between the two.

SL374041.JPG
A Village of Wild Subs. State Pine Forest, NSW, May 2011
Nature+2.jpg
A city of Urban Subs. Sydney, June, 2012

References:
Chang, Y and Mills, A, 1992 "Re-examination of Psilocybe subaeruginosa and related species with comparative morphology, isozymes and mating compatibility studies" from Department of Plant Science, University of Tasmania, originally published in Mycolology Research. 96 (6); 429-441 (1992)
Cleland, J.B, 1927, Australian fungi: notes and descriptions. No.6. Transactions of Ihe Royal Sociely of Soulh Australia 51, 298-306.
Guzman, G. & Watling, R. (1978). Studies in Australian agarics and boletes. 1. Some species of Psilocybe. Noles from the Royal Bolanic Garden, Edinburgh 36, 199-210.
J.W Pickard & R.W Rickards, 1969, 'The Occurrence of the Psychomimetic Agent Psilocybin in an Australian Agaric Psilocybe Subaeruginosa' from Australian Journal of Chemistry 23(4) 853 - 855. Accessed: October 10th, 2012
Edited by holymountain
  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Holymountain you are a legend! Thank you so much for such a detailed reply it answered all of my questions and brought a confusing situation to light. We will definitely be much more aware on dosage and the potential to go overboard, and will be able to share this information with many others to ensure a pleasant and fulfilling experience is had especially with new people. Thanks again :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Duffman. I might do a bit more researching and post some more of Grimman's stuff here, he has a lot of good information on subs and their habitats based on his years of observations.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The variation between the two is probably just phenotype responses to variations in substrate.

One thing that is quite striking about subaeruginosa is how similar collections from all sorts of different locations actually are. It is somewhat similar to Ps.cyanescens and Johnson and Buchanan (who did a pretty good review on the whole thing) concluded that subsaeruginosa was possibility a regional naturalisation of Ps.cyanscens,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually Johnson and Buchanan's paper was probably the best review available. All cystidial forms are pretty similar right around Australia. Youd have to presume that eucalyptus mulch is a better substrate both in terms of indole precursors and just nutrients in terms of size.

Edited by Zen Peddler BlueGreenie
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been finding them in the urban areas and out bush for 7 seasons now. I've always suggested between friends bush subs and urban subs are different psilocybe species altogether. Even the mycelium seems to behave in a different manner, bush subs myc not being so aggressive... The bioessays from numerous friends always point out a cleaner journey on bush subs... I've thought it could be to do with the pollution they aren't having to digest.. Just my 2bob

D00d

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yesterday afternoon I observed a local patch in the city. The mulched area had a few of the larger, thicker type subs growing, similar to those observed over the last three years at the same patch. However, walking around the area, I noticed that there were now several scattered subs growing in the grass nearby. These subs all displayed the characteristics of bush subs, much smaller, thinner and pointier caps. Previous years there had been no subs outside of one woodchip patch.

Hard to say without a microscope, but I'd imagine they are the same species and that it's the woodchips that account for the differences in size, strength and colour.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So how about a wild eaucalyptus forest patch?

I would think there are differences between states as well... SA has some very unique eucalyptus subs, and the WA eucalyptus subs are just ridiculously large, aggressive and potent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yeah the SA subs were pretty strange - yellow capped, very white stemmed and very viscid. Different macroscopically and microscopically from the rest.

You can actually transfer mycelia from 'bush' subs to eucalyptus chips and mulch and they throw up the 'urban sub' phenotype.

Edited by Zen Peddler BlueGreenie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×