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Mushroom Spores: What are they? - Reliable Spores
psilocybe spores

Mushroom Spores: What are they?

Mushroom spores are the teensy-weensy reproductive cells of a mushroom. And by teensy-weensy, I mean .0004″ long or less. By way of comparison, your favorite brunette’s hair is a whopping .002″ in diameter. That’s FIVE times wider than a mushroom spore. So, next time you’re checking out that spore syringe to see how rich a sample you got, remember, if you can see ANY clumps at all, the remaining solution is literally teeming with spores you can’t see.

Every healthy mushroom produces large numbers of these spores (with some exceptions, notably the psilocybe cubensis strain, Penis Envy) because successful germination by a spore only occurs under very unique and specific circumstances. Each spore is a calling card for the variety of fungi from which it came. This is a useful and potentially life-saving fact for those who wish to identify wild mushrooms for consumption.

The spores themselves are unicellular entities responsible for the reproductive processes of all fungi. They are located on the underside of the cap in the gills of all agaricales (gilled) order mushrooms. This order includes psilocybe cubensis mushrooms. It is from this location that the spores drop or are ejected from the mushroom when conditions are right. If the dropped spores are lucky enough to land on a suitable nutrient-rich medium (the ground, prepared substrate, etc.), they will send out shoots through the medium. These shoots seek out other shoots, from other spores, starting the reproductive process. The shoots connect and expand into a web-like mycelial network. It is from this mycelial network that mature fruit bodies will eventually emerge if the proper conditions are met.

To study these spores, one must first collect them in what’s known as a “print”. The most effective way of collecting a spore print is to carefully (think like a surgeon here) remove the opened cap of a mature mushroom fruit body and place it gills-down on either paper or foil in an aseptic still-air environment. Over the course of the next several hours (up to 48 hrs.) the spores will drop from the gills of the cap onto the collection medium. Spore prints can be quite lovely in and of themselves. They often drop in a pattern that could be considered the “fingerprint” of the mushroom, as no two spore prints are identical. From these prints the spores can be collected and used for a variety of purposes ranging from microscopy and taxonomy, to actual cultivation.

Notice: All spores sold on this website are for microscopy, taxonomy, and non-cultivation purposes ONLY. Any questions, comments, or emails pertaining to the cultivation of psilocybe genera mushrooms or illegal drugs in general will be ignored. There are a number of places on the internet containing information on mushroom cultivation, however this site is not among them. We thank you for respecting that boundary!