Psilocybe serbica

Psilocybe serbica
  • Wild growth and outdoor cultivation in Europe
  • Radish-like scent and mild flavour
  • Low to moderate potency

Psilocybe serbica is a little known mushroom native to Europe. Until recently, it was split into many species known as P. bohemica, P. arcana and P. moravica. Genetic and scientific study determined they are all the same, but highly variable, species. Along with their appearance and traits, their potency is equally variable and should be consumed with caution.

While the potency is variable, it is generally considered low to moderate. It contains considerable psilocybin but only trace amounts of psilocin and baeocystin. It maintains a mild scent, somewhat like radishes; the flavour can be quite bitter and floury. P. serbica can be found readily in certain parts of Northeastern Europe and has a few defining characteristics.

It is one of the few Psilocybe mushrooms to maintain a ring around its stipe as it ages, the remnants of a film that stretches between the edge of the cap and the stem. While it shares many features with P. cyanescens, this species is strongly farinaceous in flavour and scent and does not have the translucent striations of P. serbica when it is wet. It has a smooth cap and does not get sticky when it is moist.

P. serbica is frequently found on decaying wood, both debris and chips. It prefers moist areas with sun exposure, namely creeks, forest paths and roadsides. This makes it an appropriate species for outdoor cultivation in temperate areas like Europe. It grows happily on wood chips and uses the temperature shift in late summer and early autumn for fruiting. Once transplanted outdoors, three weeks of patience is required before the fungi sprouts fruiting bodies.

While this fungi is available online in the form of spores, it is rarely found fresh or dried outside of Europe. It is most likely to be found in the wild, as commercial or recreational distribution is yet to take hold. A mushroom with a unique scent and flavour, it is a rare but enjoyable find in the wild.