People are obsessed with this mysterious magic mushroom

jack frost mushroom: close up image of the blue gills

Psychedelic fruiting bodies come in exciting shapes and colors, and the albino Jack Frost mushroom checks both boxes. This species of Psilocybe cubensis comes from a lineage of all-white shrooms known to be as potent as they are colorless. Despite its heavy-hitting parents, data suggests Jack Frost may have only inherited their coloring.

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jack frost mushroom: a bunch of the shrooms in a pile
Jack Frost mushrooms // Photo provided by Dave Wombat

There are many varieties of magic mushroom strains. Some have little brown caps with points on top, others are thick-stalked with blue hues–no matter what they look like, they generally have one thing in common: psilocybin.

Psychedelic fruiting bodies, referred to as magic mushrooms, contain psilocybin, which isn’t active until the body converts it to psilocin. Psilocybin is considered Schedule I by the DEA under the United Nations 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Much like the beginnings of the cannabis legalization movement, some cities and states have decriminalized psilocybin, but legality varies widely in each U.S. locality.

Legal or not, the psychedelia forums lit up when word of the Jack Frost mushroom first dropped. While there isn’t much documented history on the shroom, it’s said things start with Dave Wombat, an originator of many beloved mushroom strains. Thankfully, Wombat had time to answer some questions and set the shroom world straight on the Jack Frost strain.

History of Jack Frost mushroom

Dave Wombat created Jack Frost in 2019 from Wombat True Albino Teachers (TAT) and Albino Penis Envy (APE). The result was an all-white mushroom that developed blue coloring in maturity and a dusting of white that is actually a spore print but looks like a fresh dusting of snow. Originally, it was called TAPE, which played on the combination of the TAT and APE acronyms. Eventually, the white fruits with blue gills inspired the name Jack Frost.

“The culture from this cross produced mushrooms with characteristics from both parent strains…all white fruits with widespread, wavy caps like the TAT, but with slower growth, thicker stems, and striking blue colors when they reach maturity, from the APE side,” Wombat said. “They strike a good compromise between the APE potency and the ease of growth and productivity of the TAT.”

Since the Jack Frost mushroom was introduced, its popularity has skyrocketed. In response, many mushroom breeders have introduced new albino fruiting bodies, but those in the know will be able to tell Jack Frost from other albino shrooms.

Jack Frost mushroom morphology

The Jack Frost mushroom is albino, a.k.a. completely white. Well, white except for the blue tint in its gills that develops once the fruiting bodies mature. This mushroom stalk and cap have the usual shape–with some flare.

The rim of the cap curls upwards, and many may have a large bump right on top. The stalks are also different from the average shroom as they are covered in wilting lumps. Even with more albino mushrooms on the scene than ever, Jack Frost is hard to imitate.

“There has been a proliferation of albino mushroom strains in the last few years. Many of them can look quite similar to Jack Frost in their earlier stages, but they generally don’t blue as vibrantly or in the same way at maturity. Ymir is one of my TAT isolations that does have a similar look but grows much larger, monstrous fruits,” Wombat said.

Wombat has also made new mushroom strain crosses with Jack Frost, like PermaFrost, with Jack Frost and Golden Halo, and Crooked Jack, with Jack Frost and Crooked Mystery. These both have blue gills like their parent but are quite a different shape.

While some strains are similar to the Jack Frost mushroom, it’s possible to tell the difference between this strain and other white shrooms. Also, the strain may look different depending on the isolation. This is a process of germinating and growing spores to select traits to highlight in a culture without breeding something new.

[Actives] jack frost looking good
byu/Ambitious_Exit8251 inMushroomGrowers

Christopher Pauli is co-founder of Tryptomics, a biotechnology firm that regularly tests various batches of popular magic mushroom strains. He explained to GreenState why Jack Frost might look a little different when isolated and grown in different environments.

“The cross of two spores is the breeding aspect, which in this case was done by Dave Wombat, but each person who bought those spores performed their own isolation to get their unique culture of that cross, which is selected based on the environment they’re growing those spores in,” Pauli said. “So, someone growing in coir would likely have a different genotype of Jack Frost than someone who isolated their culture to be more adept for manure.”

While the morphology can vary slightly between mycologists, the word on potency and effects is consistent.

Potency and effects of the Jack Frost mushroom

Those who have eaten Jack Frost mushrooms tout its intense effects, which may be due in part to the historically high potency of its parent Albino Penis Envy. However, this shroom strain doesn’t present with quite as high of marks.

“Jack Frost has really become a lot of people’s favorite to consume…it’s stronger than average, but generally not ‘scary strong’ as APEs are often described. While the effects of different mushroom strains can be highly subjective, there seems to be a general consensus that it provides a positive experience; it was awarded ‘Best Recreational’ at a testing cup a couple years ago,” Wombat said.

As Wombat said, the effects of mushrooms are highly subjective. The set, setting, and each person’s makeup play a role in what a mushroom trip will feel like, but the potency is also relevant.

When it comes to potency, Jack Frost may not present as high on lab reports as it does in personal testimony.
“We’ve tested it quite a bit and generally see it from 0.5% to 1.2% total actives, but have observed very small ones, large ones, and everything in-between depending on how the isolation was done,” Pauli said.

This level of active tryptamines ranks quite average, but many subjective reports report intense visuals, ego loss, and more after eating Jack Frost mushrooms.

Take to Reddit for accounts of eating these mushrooms and testimony from people like Thick_Basil3589 who ate 0.6 grams of the strain are widely available.

“I was prepared for some chill, listening to music, eating some fresh fruits, and so on. Well, Jack thought otherwise, I had hands on the most transcendental experience of my life,” the Redditor wrote.

That psychonaut had a highly physical experience, feeling their cells vibrating, released trauma, and then grounded themselves in a six-hour trip. Intense trips are commonly reported in online mushroom communities when referring to Jack Frost, no matter the percentage of active compounds.

Jack Frost @ Full Potential
byu/Goomba__King inMycologyandGenetics

Beautiful morphology and coveted effects: anyone growing shrooms has likely wanted to try their hand at cultivating Jack Frost. According to Wombat, with the right setup, it’s not too hard.

Cultivating this albino mushroom variety

Jack Frost mushrooms are easy to grow given the right environment and airflow. When asking how to cultivate the best Jack Frost mushrooms, Dave Wombat is the person to ask.

“Jack is generally pretty cooperative as far as cultivation goes. It colonizes and begins fruiting quickly, then the fruits themselves take a bit longer than normal to fully develop compared with regular cubensis strains,” Wombat said.

Growing mushrooms isn’t hard for the prepared shroom grower, but according to Wombat, Jack Frost might be even easier. Much like with the effects, amateur mycologists share their experiences growing Jack Frost and have shared positive results. The real magic comes when it’s time to pick them.

“The ideal time to harvest them is when the fruits are still firm, and their gills turn light blue all over,” Wombat explained. “They will continue to darken all the way to a deep navy blue if they aren’t picked, but they get pretty soggy when they’re over-ripe.”

Pick them at the perfect time, and Jack Frost mushrooms are a beautiful hue with psychedelic effects to boot. While spores are legal, the fruiting bodies they grow are federally illegal. This mushroom variety should be handled with care, even if it can grow like a weed.

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jack frost mushroom: a bunch of the shrooms in a pile
Jack Frost mushrooms // Photo provided by Dave Wombat

Jack Frost vs. other albino magic mushrooms

The all-white coloring of Jack Frost earns it ranks among the albino psilocybin strains of the world, but it has one distinct difference. Albino Penis Envy, a parent of this particular strain, presents almost exactly like Penis Envy proper, but without any coloring. The other parent shroom, True Albino Teachers, also grows completely white. 

Jack Frost differs from these and other albino boomers because of its blue gills. The fruiting body grows all white until it matures. At that point, the gills will start to turn blue, indicating it’s about time to pluck them off the substrate. While Jack Frost stacks up against its fellow albinos, it does stand apart with its special colored gills.

Jack Frost mushroom FAQ

As a relatively new mushroom on the psychedelic scene, Jack Frost is a strain shrouded in mystery–but not for long. Let’s answer some Jack Frost mushroom frequently asked questions and shine a light into the dark.

What is the lineage of the Jack Frost mushroom?

Jack Frost is a magic mushroom strain bred from Albino Penis Envy (APE) and Wombat True Albino Teachers (Wombat TAT). The cross was originally called TAPE, based on the acronyms, but quickly picked up the wintry moniker after presenting with gorgeous blue gills and frosty white spores.

Who invented the Jack Frost mushroom?

Dave Wombat created the first Jack Frost isolation from Albino Penis Envy and True Albino Teachers. Others have grown Jack Frost since, resulting in varying morphologies, but the first came from Wombat.

Are Jack Frost mushrooms legal?

Some states, counties, and cities have decriminalized the entheogen. Look up the laws in your locale to know whether Jack Frost is legal there. That said, psilocybin mushrooms are deemed Schedule 1 by the Drug Enforcement Agency, which means the government asserts that magic mushrooms have a high potential for abuse and little medicinal value.

Do Jack Frost mushrooms grow in nature?

Jack Frost mushrooms don’t grow naturally in the forest like some other psilocybin strains. However, they can grow in nature with some help.

Jack Frost mushroom: a year-round winter wonderland

Whether psychedelics are on the menu or not, it’s hard to deny that Jack Frost is a show-stopping magic mushroom. The blue gills, upturned caps, and lumpy stalks make this strain recognizable even to beginners–oh, and also the fact that it’s all white.
Those trying Jack Frost mushrooms for the first time should consume them wisely to avoid an intense trip. And anyone telling the lore of the fruiting body should remember to credit Dave Wombat with creating this beauty.

Cara Wietstock is senior content producer of 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.