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    Dr. Paddo - Wednesday 30 October 2023

    Commonly used magic mushroom terms: species, strains and cultivars

    If you want to grow mushrooms, things are made easy these days. You can simply purchase a ready-made grow kit and grow beautiful mushrooms without having to do much. But there is a lot of choice and if you want to know more about magic mushrooms, you will soon come across all kinds of unfamiliar terms, such as species, strains and cultivars. Don't be put off, in this blog we explain what these terms exactly mean and what you can do with them.


    Complicated mushroom terms

    If you want to benefit from the magical powers of mushrooms at home, you have many choices. There are cultivation kits with which you can grow your own mushrooms in no time. There are also options if you want to do more yourself. Then you can, for example, use purchase mushroom spores, which gives you control over the entire cultivation process. But if you want to get started with magic mushrooms, you may become discouraged when you come across all kinds of unfamiliar terms.


    You may read or hear about strains, cultivars or species. If you don't know what those are yet, no problem. It is useful if you know what these terms mean and what you can do with them. You will then be well prepared when you start growing mushrooms. We will explain it to you below.


    Mushroom species

    The mushroom species is relatively easy to explain. A species is a taxonomic rank that we use to classify living individuals. A species consists of individuals that can reproduce with each other and produce offspring. If so, then they belong to the same species. If two individuals cannot do that, they belong to different species.


    There are therefore a large number of different types of psychedelic mushrooms. For example Psilocybe colombia and psilocybe mexican. These cannot be crossed with each other to produce offspring. If it were, you would get a hybrid strain. You can recognize the different mushroom types by their names. The name Psilocybe represents the genus (one step higher on the taxonomic ladder) of the mushrooms.


    All magic mushrooms therefore all belong to the same genus. However, this includes a large number of different species. The species can be found in the name after Psilocybe. This way you know exactly which mushroom you are going to purchase and you can also find the associated properties.

    Mushroom strains

    Mushroom strains (also called strains) are obtained by crossing different species. However, scientists still disagree as to whether these are strains or varieties. In any case, a strain always comes from two different species and these are crossed with each other. An example of a new strain is the winner of the Oakland Hyphae Psilocybin Cup in 2021. This strain is called the Tidal Wave and was the result of a cross between B+ and Penis Envy.


    These strains could not occur in nature, because species cannot be crossed with each other. Here, a hybrid is consciously created by experienced growers. Many mutations can also arise in such experiments, such as mushrooms that do not produce spores or that are albino. By the way, it is not always the case that when you make a hybrid, you immediately create a strain. A strain must be able to be fully reproduced and retain the same properties with each new attempt to reproduce it. This is usually only possible through cloning.


    Mushroom terms explained: what is a cultivar?

    Now we have arrived at the last of the mushroom terms, namely the cultivar. These are not genetic clones, but they are grown from spores. Mushrooms (and also regular mushrooms) produce spores. As the mushroom grows (this is the fruit of the mycelium, which is located underground), it will want to reproduce. It does this by producing spores that are comparable to a fertilized seed of a plant.


    The spores fall from the hat and are normally carried with the wind. As a grower, you can collect the spores or create a buy spore print. This way you get millions of mushroom spores, and you can use these to grow your own mushrooms. The advantage of this is that each spore contains a random mix of genetic material from the parent and will therefore have its own unique properties. If you breed these cultivars often enough, you can get a cultivar that no longer really resembles the original strain from which it came.


    This allows you to get all kinds of new and special mutations. By working with spores, it is also possible to stabilize a cultivar, so that its properties are retained. However, this is more difficult to do and less reliable than cloning strains.


    Get started growing mushrooms with the right knowledge

    You may have found these mushroom terms "species, strains and cultivars" complicated. But it is wise to be well informed before you start anything. If you just want to purchase a mushroom kit, it is in principle sufficient to know what mushroom species are and which types there are. But if you have more experience and would like to use spore prints, then it is certainly good to know what strains and cultivars are. Whatever your goal, at Dr. Paddo you will find what you need for mushroom cultivation. Check out our shop for a large selection of mushroom varieties (cultivation kits from 100% Mycelium, Premium or All in Oneand our mushroomSpore Vials.

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