How to Find Psychedelic Mushrooms

Xavier Francuski · January 27th, 2019

How to Find Magic Mushrooms

This article has been medically reviewed by Katrina Oliveros, MSN-ED, BSN

Psilocybin mushrooms are an all-time psychonaut favorite, and rightfully so. They are “entheogens,” a term that means “manifesting the divine,” which was coined to describe their spiritual properties.

Evidence suggests the Aztecs, Mayas, and other ancient Mesoamerican cultures consumed psychedelic mushrooms many centuries ago.  Thousands of years earlier, aboriginal Saharan tribes in North Africa were one of the first cultures to use them. According to Terence McKenna, psilocybin might even be responsible for the evolution of human creativity, beginning hundreds of thousands of years ago.

Humans have been connecting with the divine via magic mushrooms for centuries. Unfortunately, however, most modern governments ban their use. That legal hurdle begs the question of how to find psychedelic mushrooms today.Here we review how to find these mushrooms in the wild and where to get them legally worldwide.

We’ve written about psilocybin mushrooms here, in our Essential Guide.

Want to skip the risk of misidentifying mushrooms in nature?

With Third Wave’s Mushrooms Grow Kit and Course, you know exactly the type of mushrooms you’re harvesting.

Our in-depth guide and step-by-step videos will have you growing your own mushrooms in no time!

Pick Them: The Benefits of Finding Your Own Magic Mushrooms

Learning how to find psychedelic mushrooms in the wild might not be as tricky as you think. If you live in the right place, you might find them in your backyard. Consuming wild magic mushrooms brings unique benefits:

  • Picking magic mushrooms is free.
  • You don’t need to rely on external sources for your supply.
  • Foraging mushrooms strengthens your connection with nature and the medicine itself.
  • You can benefit from “mushroom intelligence.”
  • Sourcing your own mushrooms develops a sense of personal empowerment.

Foraging is one of the best ways to find and consume psychedelic mushrooms. However, before you begin, you must learn how to identify mushroom species. That’s because some varieties are mildly poisonous and even deadly. And unfortunately, many toxic strains have shapes, sizes, and colors similar to the trippy ones.

We recommend Paul Stamets’s book, Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World: An Identification Guide, to learn about non-toxic psilocybin shrooms in your region. Erowid is another valuable resource for identifying trippy mushroom species that are safe to ingest. Finally, Mycotopia is an online community where you can consult with fellow psychonauts about any questions you may have.

Where can I find shrooms near me?

Fortunately, mushrooms grow naturally in most areas of the world. If you live in North America, you can find magic mushrooms in the Pacific Northwest, Northeast, and around the Gulf of Mexico. Hawaii also seems to be a paradise for world-class strains.

Mexico, Central America, and South America are also brimming with wild magic mushrooms. Specifically, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela, and Argentina have large mycelial networks.

Other locations with ample shroom varieties include South Africa, the east coast of Australia, South India, the Philippines, and the coastal region of Southeast Asia.

Oh, and you can find them growing all over Europe, too.

Shroomery has a thorough list of psilocybin shroom species worldwide and throughout the U.S.

Where do wild psilocybin mushrooms like to grow in nature?

Wild shrooms could absolutely appear in terrains near you. But the environment has to meet a few fungi-friendly conditions first:

  • Magic mushrooms need moisture for optimal growth. Dry air and wind can easily kill them. So you’re more likely to find mushrooms in shaded areas because the absence of light helps the air retain moisture.
  • Magic mushrooms also require specific temperatures, which vary based on the species.
  • Finally, to grow, psilocybin mushrooms need fertile soil rich in nutrients like sugar, starch, lignin, fats, protein, and nitrogen. Tree bark, fallen leaves, animal dung, mulch, or compost can sprout mushrooms if they contain these nutrients.

Magic mushrooms’ growth requirements are why you’re more likely to find them in densely forested areas and close to bodies of water. However, psilocybin mushrooms appear in fields as well.

psilcybe mushroom global distribution map
From: Guzmán G, Allen JW, Gartz J (1998). A worldwide geographical distribution of the neurotropic fungi, an analysis and discussion. Annali del Museo Civico di Rovereto. 14: 207

How to identify magic mushrooms in the wild

There is an incredible variety of mushroom species, and the same goes for the psilocybin-containing ones. So far, there are some 227 accepted and classified psilocybin mushroom species. Some are endemic to certain areas, while others grow in multiple regions. Fifty-three grow in Mexico, 22 in the USA and Canada, 19 in Australasia (Australia, New Zealand, and relatively nearby islands), 16 in Europe, and 15 in Asia.

No single feature sets psilocybin species apart from medicinal or poisonous varieties. The only way to find magic mushrooms is to study their characteristics and get experience in mushroom hunting.

Here are the top five psilocybin species to get you started:

1) Psilocybe cubensis and Psilocybe subcubensis

Psilocybe Cubensis in its natural habitat
Alan Rockefeller / CC BY-SA 3.0

Psilocybe cubensis (P. cubensis) and Psilocybe subcubensis are the most common magic mushroom species. They grow mainly on bovine dung, popping up a few days after heavy rain. They fruit worldwide year round, particularly in tropics and subtropical environments.

Shroomery contributors have spotted Psilocybe cubensis in various states across the U.S., including:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

Tropical North American sightings include: 

Cuba, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Trinidad, and Mexico.

African sightings include: 

Kenya, the Republic of Congo, South Africa, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.

Asian sightings include:

Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Australasian sightings include:

New South Wales, Northern Territory, and Queensland (Australia), and the island of Vanuatu.

South American sightings include:

Belize, Argentia, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Psilocybe cubensis are more abundant than Psilocybe subcubensis, but you can find them growing in the same areas. Their appearance is also very similar: classic stubby-stemmed, parasol-shaped mushrooms with predominantly light-to-golden-brownish caps that are bulbous before fruiting and flat and wide in diameter when fully mature. One of the most popular P. cubensis varieties worldwide is “Golden Teachers.”

2) Psilocybe semilanceata

picture of Psilocybe semilanceata mushrooms
Psilocybe semilanceata/ Zinnmann / CC BY-SA 3.0

Psilocybe semilanceata is another widely available psychedelic shroom. You can find this magic mushroom species throughout Europe, North and South America, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.

In the US, the Shroomery network reports finding Psilocybe semilanceata in Pacific Northwest states, including California, Oregon, and Washington.

Canadian sightings include:

British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec.

Asian sightings include:

India, Russia, and Turkey.

Australasian sightings include:

Tasmania and Victoria (Australia), New Zealand.

European sightings include

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, Fores Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Iceland, Italy, Ireland, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Macedonia, Romania, Scotland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

South American sightings include:


Psilocybe semilanceata also goes by “Liberty Caps” because of their dark bell-shaped tops. Their stems are slim and can be wavy. You can find these shrooms growing in grasslands, meadows, and lawns. Autumn and early winter are the best times to find fully fruited Psilocybe semilanceata.

3) Psilocybe cyanescens

image of Psilocybe cyanescens mushrooms
Psilocybe cyanescens / Caleb Brown / CC BY-SA 3.0

Psilocybe cyanescens are known for their distinctive undulating tops. For this reason, they are called “Wavy Caps.” The species name cyanescens comes from the fact that this variety turns blue when bruised.

Psilocybe cyanescens are among the most potent magic mushrooms, reaching a whopping 1.96 percent of active compound content by dry weight in North America. You can find this magic mushroom variety on the East and West Coast of the USA, south of the Bay Area, Central and Western Europe, New Zealand, and parts of Western Asia.

In the US, the Shroomery network reports finding Psilocybe cyanescens in several states, including Alaska, California, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, and Washington. This species typically fruits between late October and February in Western states.

Canadian Psilocybe cyanescens sightings include:

British Columbia.

African sightings include:

South Africa.

Australasian sightings include:

New Zealand.

European sightings include:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Ireland, Poland, Serbia, and Switzerland,

4) Panaeolus or Copelandia cyanescens

picture of Copelandia cyanescens mushrooms
Copelandia cyanescens / Alan Rockefeller / CC BY-SA 4.0

Panaeolus cyanescens (previously known as Copelandia cyanescens) are called “Blue Meanies.” That’s because this long-stemmed and light brown variety packs an intense punch and turns dark blue when you pick them. Blue Meanies grow worldwide in South America, Western Europe, Central Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and Oceania. They can grow year-round but typically fruit from late spring to autumn in subtropical climates.

Panaeolus cyanescens sightings in the U.S. include

Alabama, North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

Latin American sightings include

Granada, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Trinidad.

African sightings include

Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, South Africa, and Uganda.

Asian sightings include

Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Australian sightings include

New South Wales, Northern Territory, and Queensland.

Australasian and Pacific sightings include

Vanuatu and Fiji.

European sightings include

Austria, France, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland.

South American sightings include

Bermuda, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, French Guayana, Guyana, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, and Venezuela.

5) Psilocybe azurescens

Psilocybe azurescens
Psilocybe azurescens / shroom360 / CC BY-SA 3.0

Psilocybe azurescens are endemic to the West Coast of the USA. You can find these shrooms growing primarily in sandy soil near dunes among tall coastal grasses in Oregon and Washington, fruiting between late September and early January.

This species, known as Flying Saucer Mushrooms and Blue Angels, earns a spot in the top five for its potent psilocybin concentration–up to 1.80 percent.. In addition, Psilocybe azurescens mushrooms have an incredible amount of baeocystin, a chemical analog of psilocybin. Compared to P. cubensis, Psilocybe azurescens can contain up to ten times more of this psychoactive compound by dry weight, putting them among the most potent magic mushrooms.

They are also beautiful shrooms, sporting a slim white stem and a convex caramel-colored cap with a conical top three to ten centimeters wide. The cap’s surface is smooth, with a dense look when wet. When it dries, the color changes to a dirty brown.

Top Magic Mushroom Identification Apps

Understanding these top five psilocybin species is a great start. But If you want to truly identify psilocybin mushroom species in the wild, you’ll have to go deeper. Here is a list of vetted apps to help you easily distinguish magic mushrooms from toxic varieties worldwide.

Want to skip the risk of misidentifying mushrooms in nature?

With Third Wave’s Mushrooms Grow Kit and Course, you know exactly the type of mushrooms you’re harvesting.

Our in-depth guide and step-by-step videos will have you growing your own mushrooms in no time!

Growing magic mushrooms

If a foraging quest that may result in accidental poisoning does not entice you, or if you live in an area where magic mushrooms don’t grow, you’ll be happy to know that cultivating shrooms on your own is relatively easy. For example, Third Wave’s Mushroom Grow Kit & Course includes step-by-step instructions and everything you need (except for the spores) to grow mushrooms at home.

One of the greatest benefits of home growing is trying strains from around the world and cultivating a year-long supply without going anywhere. Additionally, if you live in the US (except California, Georgia, or Idaho), you can legally buy mushroom spores because they don’t yet contain psilocybin or psilocin, the active psychedelic elements. If you live in New Mexico, even growing mushrooms is legal. Look into our detailed guide on the legality of mushrooms worldwide for more information.

To get started, you can order a grow kit and spores online or make your own substrate from scratch. The first option is more manageable. Just make sure your material comes from a reputable vendor and is 100 percent sterile, as contamination will destroy the yield.  However, if you prefer to go the DIY route, Third Wave has prepared a thorough and easy-to-follow guide on how to do just that.

Buy them in countries where they’re legal

Sourcing Psychedelic Substances

A third option would be to consult our psychedelic sourcing video and guide on the international legality of psilocybin. These resources can help you find somewhere to safely and legally buy or otherwise procure, and consume them. Third Wave’s Ultimate Guide to Sourcing Psychedelic Medicines provides tips and resources to source psilocybin in most countries from trusted sellers legally.

If you’re in Europe, you have quite a few choices: the Netherlands, Austria, Czech Republic, Spain, and Portugal. The Netherlands, of course, outlawed psilocybin mushrooms back in 2008, but magic truffles are perfectly legal to purchase and consume. If this piques your interest, be sure to check out our guide to the differences between magic mushrooms and magic truffles. As for the rest of the countries, psilocybin has undergone decriminalization, which means that it’s either alright to possess small amounts for personal use.

If you’re looking to try mushrooms in a structured, legal setting, consider a guided psilocybin retreat in the Netherlands with our trusted partner, Synthesis, or visit our Psychedelic Directory for a complete list of vetted psilocybin retreats worldwide

If you’d prefer to grow mushrooms at home, check out Third Wave’s Mushroom Grow Kit and Course for guidance.

That’s all there is to it. This article should contain enough info to get you started on your mushroom-sourcing venture. Make sure to obey the law and stay safe in your search, and, as always, in your psychonautical endeavors.

Reader Interactions


  1. AvatarNancy says

    I purchased spores and plugs this year online, made a special “mushroom garden” and because I used a mix of horse and cow manure, I have NO IDEA which mushrooms are the ones I planted or if they are edible or poisonous. I plan on taking some of each to my local agricultural extension office expert to determine the edible from the poisonous ones, but don’t want to end up bringing in a bag of toadstools and magic mushrooms. I have some photos I would like to share if possible of what is growing in abundance. Thank you

  2. AvatarLaura says

    Emailing for a friend who is suffering horribly from depression. 3 months ago he was was able to procure some mushrooms and to our utter amazement, his lifelong depression disappeared. Now 3 months later, it’s back with a vengeance. He lives in Tennessee. Does any one have a suggestion on where to obtain them? Please… and ty so much.

  3. AvatarJudy Eddleman says

    Look for a purple spoor print on white paper where you placed the cap. Then make sure it’s not the poisonous one.

  4. AvatarAlex says

    I took some for the first time last year. Had some severe depression and addictions at the time. It was one of the most amazing moments in my life. I was disgusted with my addictions instantly and mood was great for months too. Unfortunately, it was temporary. I wish I could find some again.

    • AvatarShanin Walker says

      Hi, I’ve heard of this kind of help for severe depression I’ve been suffering from it most of my life I’m 50 now and I’ve never tried mushrooms but I wanted to try them for this purpose could you maybe recommend or suggest any certain type of these mushrooms that are suited best for this it would be greatly appreciated

  5. AvatarMo says

    Hey, I was wondering weather they grow in the mountains in the Middle East and what strains may be in my area. When hunting, would you suggest i go uphill or downhill from my inital starting spot?

    • AvatarMo says

      There are quiete a few natural springs around my idea.. mountains of ajloun In Jordan, anyone with tips or Useful information Pls share

      • AvatarDimitri Elder says

        Question I’m from Tunas, Missouri and I was wondering if their is any psychedelic mushrooms if so can you please give me the name

    • AvatarFrank petruzzi says

      I live ne Pennsylvania and see many in the woods I’m not sure to eat them none seem to turn blue when you pick them.

  6. AvatarGunnar says

    I have found this website extremely helpful in my journey to becoming a happy person. I used to be a boyscout so I am very skilled at identifying different plants. Also another helpful tip is to snort melatonin powder before bed. It will knock you out like a light (like a light aye).

    Ps. does anyone know of any supplements I can take that will help me grow. I am 5′ 6” and I am trying to seduce a woman who is 5′ 10”.

  7. AvatarGiulia says

    Those infos are great, thank you!
    Any further suggestion on where to find spores or fresh mushrooms in Portugal?

    • AvatarMaureen Judge says

      Where can I buy the spores that become psilocybin? I am so interested in trying this magic mushroom for health reasons. Thank you

      • AvatarMarian says

        Giulia, yes, you can buy the spores but the process is tedious and time consuming just to make the medium in which the shrooms will grow. Your best course of action would be to get a pre-made grow kit. Search for (shroom grow kit) and you should find a lot of pages that sell. you just need to find one that delivers where you are.

      • AvatarT1 says

        Mark I’m very interested in all you have to say.please respond.i also struggled with all the same issues..thanks so much.can u contact in need help badly.or can you just post?thanks again..

  8. Avatarmark says

    You need to follow a protocol to conquer your demons. I have struggled with opiate addiction, excessive drinking, plenty of party drugs when much younger. I am now in the evening of my life with more to do and a burning desire for the ultimate comeback to greatness. A wife and family that have watched me slip away from chronic spinal pain and want their Champion back. My eyes water as I share this at this very moment…….it is possible. I am relearning and reprogramming my heart and head to master gaining control again. Years of fighting depression, and chronic pain turned me loose without staying on point.

    Conclusion……After growing my own, I have developed a prescription that will heal you from whatever ails you. It is guaranteed to work. A life of happiness is possible again. I’m on my way there now…..won’t you join me?

    • AvatarDebra Johnson says

      I would love your information on how to do all of this. I am happy for you and would love to feel like hat happiness.

    • AvatarSteve says

      Hi Mark, I live in southern Louisiana which is a relatively good area for the growth of mushrooms. I don’t want to buy a kit online for many reasons, I am going to start just by merely investigating the ones that are basically around my yard. Heck thats free! Well, does the purple strain have to be present? And what are a telltale sign of a deadly mushroom? I suffer from chronic back pain and opioid addiction, alcoholism, etc…some of which I have contained and feel like I can make the next step. Any help is greatly appreciated.

    • AvatarNancy says

      Yes please. I suffer from PTSD, depression and unresolved grief. I find MDMA really helps but I’ve researched these mushrooms and very much prefer a natural alternative. I have no contacts to converse and purchase from. Any information is greatly appreciated. Thank You 😊

  9. AvatarSweet Sara says

    @mark..Way to go! Could you share what dose/type/when/how you take? And any other recommendations for someone just like you.
    Thanks man,

  10. AvatarRonda says

    Awesome post! I live in new Zealand but haven’t found my own yet here though I’ve sampled the Subaeruginosa, it is great. This is going to be a big help.

  11. AvatarSamantha says

    Thank you for sharing and spreading awareness! I hope that this magical plant would not be abused and misused. Everything, if used properly and moderately proves to be beneficial. I hope this could be the future treatment of a lot of diseases. It has endless capabilities!

  12. AvatarSamantha says

    I found some under a log at the edge of a stream looks very like the liberties but doesn’t have the little nipple on the top so they all need to have the bump at the top I have pictures

  13. AvatarMark says

    Sorry Greg and sweet Sarah ……forgot to check back in here………I would be happy to share my thoughts in private😎. Just finished a 90 day aggressive regiment of dosing. Exceptional results. Exploring the possibility of being a guided teacher for those who need assistance…..not sure how to connect with you offline ….prefer to be respectful to 3rd wave and not cross the line with discussion content here…….

    • AvatarCarly says

      Mark, please share the the knowledge and wisdom you have attained!! Looking to help myself & husband find a reasonable, attainable and peaceful existence in this dark place, near rock bottom life of addiction. My husband has also suffered from miserable pain. Broke his back years ago falling off a scaffolding at work. If you would so kindly, just help me find a starting point that comes from an educated and experienced shroomer. 🙇😊🙏. Thank you either way and God speed buddy.

    • AvatarNiki p says

      Hi just found these growing not far from home, been researching try to figure out how to identify if they are psychedelic but still uncertain. Hoping to find someone who I can show a few picks to who might actually know….!?

  14. AvatarRandy Albright says

    Way to go bro. Sharing the knowledge is the kind approach. Too many heads are keeping secrets when they need to share what they know especially with kits available. Drop acid not bombs. Well not acid not reliable anymore but the holistic method respects the process by connecting with nature through a natural substance that is probably the reason for our abilities in the animal kingdom. Rambling here….
    Thanks again brother 🖕 jk✌️

      • AvatarKVG says

        Dear Steve, Hi. I feel your situation is really frustrating, I was a Heroin, pill, booze addict for decades with a lifetime of mental illness. It sucks, but your not alone. Its very very important to know your mycology! I’ve never stumbled upon psychedelic shrooms in the humid south during the best season while hiking in perfect areas for the huge range of all fungi, and with a person who is an actual Mycologists. This person showed me how very serious you have to be to grow your own, let alone go foraging, there’s endless species and as far as I know the special 🍄 ones always turn- bleed a blue liquid at harvest time, and a reputable spore seller is so important. Beware of Fly Agaric, it isnt recommended by my friend. Growing is the way to go, due to we’re you live, but a class A Felony if caught growing them!🙄 Stupid legal stuff, I know. I would check out Reddit, get to reading, Paul Stamen is a great mycologists. My friend says patience, sterilization, airflow, humidity…? Is hard but then they start Fruiting and he says it’s like watching babies grow fast! Hope you have success, and I wish I could do it without fear. Peace

  15. AvatarJeff says

    For those of you interested in finding wild shrooms be very careful,,,most all shrooms have a poisonous look ah like, just because it bruises blue does not mean it’s a shroom.some poisonous verities bruise blue also… always identify by spore print.. also do not eat them fresh out of a field or forest,there is a few parasites that can make you very sick and there is a parasite that infects slugs and snails that you could ingest and it will kill you and could take years for you to die.. horrible way to go ..anyway be very your homework,study what you find with no intention of ever consuming what you find until your 100% certain you are correct with your identification..



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *