Enigma mushroom – an eye-catching psilocybe mutation

enigma mushroom

The mushroom world is extraordinary. Fruiting bodies pop from logs looking like a lion’s mane, and yellow jelly protrudes from the ground. There are even lobster-claw-looking mushrooms with names like stinkhorn and others that allegedly make people see God. When it comes to the latter, there’s another whole sect of mysticism. At times, psychedelic fruiting bodies can mutate into cool shapes like the enigma mushroom.

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enigma mushroom
Photo provided by Dom Nuncio from Magic Myco

Unlike Golden Teachers and B-Plus, enigma isn’t a magic mushroom strain, it’s a form and structure, aka the morphology. Enigma is a term that refers to how a mushroom grows. The blob mutation happens seemingly randomly in lots of Psilocybin cubensis strains. Although it looks a bit different in each presentation, you can’t miss the Enigma mushroom. This magic mushroom mutation looks iconic and may be hyperpotent.


History of the enigma mushroom

Enigma was first isolated from a flush of Tidal Wave mushrooms.Doma Nunzio of Magic Myco bred the first Tidal Wave mushrooms with Penis Envy and B+ strains. Eventually a batch presented with this specific morphology, and Dom named it TW2. Soon, the mushroom community began calling the mutation Enigma.

Meanwhile, biotechnology lab Tryptomics is sorting through various enigma mushroom varieties that come into the lab, and it isn’t only Tidal Wave mushrooms growing in blob morphologies.

“The original Enigma is believed to be a tidal wave mutant isolation, but we’ve also seen strains such as Blue Magnola Rust, Toque, Omni, and APEs all produce non-traditional fruiting body morphologies that we’ve tested too, so it’s not something specific to tidal wave lineages as far as we can tell,” Tryptomics co-founder Christopher Pauli shared with GreenState.

Nutcracker mushrooms have also presented an enigma mutation. Toque is an isolation of the Tidal Wave mushroom lineage. Meanwhile, one Reddit user shared a Blue Magnola Rust with one flush showing enigma morphology earlier this year. As for OMNI, many online sources refer to it as synonymous with enigma, but that’s not the case based on Tryptomics testing.

Enigma has shown up in many Psilocybe cubensis strains but has yet to jump the genus, though it’s not impossible to know if it will.

“We have yet to see a non-cubensis version of this morphology, but from talking with the team, we think it is likely possible in the whole psilocybe genus rather than just the psilocybe cubensis species based on its increased occurrence in other lineages of cubensis,” Pauli explained. “It may also be tied to the idea of a mycovirus or other viroids that are possible in mushrooms but have yet to be studied in depth to prove that hypothesis one way or another.”

Though it remains unclear how the mushroom proliferates, what people do know is that Enigma mushrooms are wild to look at.

Enigma mushroom morphology

The Enigma mutation is expressed in various ways. Tidal Wave has a wavy-edged cap reminiscent of some Enigma mushrooms, but the mutation won’t include caps at all. Instead, blob-like shapes emerge from the substrate in many forms. Some presentations look like coral or an ultra-wavy brain, and others look like scallops, fingers, blobs, or fins.

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Many regard Tidal Wave as one of the most potent psychedelic fruiting bodies, but the same doesn’t go for Enigma mushrooms. Tryptomics has tested around 10 samples of Enigma varieties and blob morphologies. Their work has shown that Enigma isn’t more potent than the average Psilocybe cubensis strain (about 7 mg per gram).

“We’ve seen it range between 4-19mg/g of total actives, so it really depends on the isolation, cultivation technique, and morphology from what we’ve seen,” said Pauli. “Overall, it’s highly variable there that some are grouped in with the most potent mushrooms we’ve tested and some are well below average potency of cubensis.”

Between the 10 strains with Enigma morphology, Tryptomics didn’t note any potency differences from how they present. It didn’t matter if the mushrooms were a coral structure or fins, the potency wasn’t relevant to the structure of the Enigma mushroom. An Enigma strain ranked in the top third of the 2021 Psilocybin Cup for total tryptamines, supporting the idea that potency depends more than morphology with this one.

Breeding enigma mushrooms

This mutation isn’t only interesting to look at, but it has implications for how Enigma mushrooms procreate. Without caps, there aren’t any spores to spread new generations of Enigmas. Many believe that this mushroom lineage can only grow through liquid culture, but Pauli shared that mycologists are experimenting with other methods.

The mushroom appears to be spore-less because it lacks gills which has traditionally meant that the culture cannot be passed via spore print. This makes the process of growing Enigma more complex since purchasing liquid cultures is considered illegal, but the legality of selling a spore print is less concrete. Legalities aside, cultivators generally trade or gift enigma via plate, slant, stasis tube, or liquid culture.

Some mycologists are developing new kinds of enigma. Enigma mushrooms are dikaryotic or made of two spores. Some breed the lineage with another monokaryotic (one spore) cubensis strain to make a spore-producing enigma strain.

Julian Mattucci’s work goes in the other direction, reverting the two-spore Enigma to a monokaryotic culture. This culture is then bred with another one-spore shroom to create a mushroom strain that holds the power to present an Enigma mutation.

Nuncio shared with GreenState that Magic Myco is doing their own work strengthening enigma after years of weakening genetics.

“Our newest works we have backcrossed it which invigorated it and made mushrooms again. However bullet effects still present. the same mutations made is way into our Trinity and other strains since most of my strains are also made with Tidal Wave,” Nuncio revealed.

These methods have yet to be solidified; liquid culture remains the best way to spawn an Enigma variety.

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enigma mushroom
Photo provided by Doma Nuncia from Magic Myco

Enigma mushrooms FAQ

Enigma mushrooms are wild to look at and appear somewhat randomly in an otherwise non-mutated flush, so people have some questions about them. Let’s answer some frequently asked questions about Enigma morphology.

Is an Enigma a mushroom strain?

Enigma mushrooms aren’t strain, it’s a blob mutation that changes how a shroom appears or the morphology. There are a few ways enigma presents from scallops or fins, like coral, or more blobby.

What do Enigma mushrooms look like?

Enigma mushrooms have interesting morphology because they don’t have caps. This shroom mutation looks like a brain, coral, blobs, or even fins.

Are all Tidal Wave magic mushrooms Enigma?

Tales dictate that the first documented enigma mutation was isolated in a flush Tidal Wave shrooms, but not all Tidal Waves are enigma.

Enigma mushrooms are a feast for the eyes

All mushrooms are awe-inspiring. The way they pop from the ground as if they’ve been there all along is mystical, and some of the mushroom morphology in the world is jaw-dropping.
Every form that Enigma grows in falls into the stunning morphology category. Though the true history of the Enigma aligns with its name, what people do know is that it’s interesting to look at and sometimes pretty potent. Is it an enigma? No, it’s simply one of the most interesting to look at magic mushrooms out there.

Cara Wietstock is senior content producer of GreenState.com and has been working in the cannabis space since 2011. She has covered the cannabis business beat for Ganjapreneur and The Spokesman Review. You can find her living in Bellingham, Washington with her husband, son, and a small zoo of pets.