The South American shroom strain is best known for holding the world record for the largest Psilocybe cubensis strain. It consistently produces massive fruiting bodies that are highly photogenic, making this variety a popular one amongst cultivators. It also has a potency that is well above average, so it’s popular among magic mushroom users as well.
In this ultimate guide to the South American shroom strain, we’ll explain the strain’s history, where to buy spores, how to cultivate these massive shrooms, and the average potency you can expect. We’ll also offer some alternative strains that provide a similar experience in case you can’t find South American spores.
What Are South American Shrooms?
South American shrooms are a strain of psilocybin mushrooms that was originally collected in Venezuela. The first sample was taken by Spore Chicks, which was a magic mushroom spore vendor that has since gone out of business. Other shrooms throughout South America — like the Argentina strain and the Amazon strain — are named after more specific regions where the original sample was collected, so it’s unclear why this strain, in particular, is named more generally.
In any case, the South American shroom has an above-average concentration of psilocybin and psilocin, though most users report a well-balanced psychedelic experience that isn’t as overwhelming as some other strains with similar potency.
For several years, a sample of the Orissa India strain held the world record for the largest cubensis fruiting body, but a South American shroom grown by Shroomery user P. Menace has since earned that distinction.
Like many other strains that originate in South America, it’s possible that the South American strain was used in religious ceremonies by the tribes that inhabited the area hundreds or even thousands of years ago. However, there is no hard evidence that the South American strain was around or used by humans that long ago; it’s likely that the strain is a close relative of others in the area that have been documented by European explorers and even in ancient cave paintings.
South American Shroom Specs:
|Substrate Recommendation||Rye Grain or Brown Rice Flour|
|Sold By||Ralphsters Spores, Spores 101, Free Spores, High Desert Spores|
Strains vs. Species: What’s The Difference?
The term “strain” should be used to distinguish between shroom samples that are genetically identical but differ in appearance, potency, or growth tendencies. The term “species” should be used to distinguish between shrooms that have varying genetics. Strains within one species — like Golden Teachers and Penis Envy shrooms — can be drastically different, but any variances in appearance, chemical makeup, or growing habits are attributed to their origin and the conditions that exist there rather than genetics.
There are hundreds of strains within the Psilocybe cubensis species, all of which are unique because of the climate and soil where they originated.
Humans use the term “strain” for other fungi and for plants. You might know of dozens of marijuana strains — like Wedding Cake and Northern Lights — but they are all genetically identical and belong to the same strain. We also use strains to differentiate between samples of kratom and kava that look different or have varying potencies.
South American Shrooms Potency & Psilocybin Content
Shroom potency is a difficult thing to nail down because growing conditions can affect psilocybin and psilocin content quite a lot. Trip reports from users who take South American shrooms typically note that the experience is robust but never feels overwhelming, similar to Golden Teachers.
Based on the subjective experience of this mushroom, we estimate the total tryptamine content to be somewhere between 1.2% and 1.6% by dried weight.
For comparison, the average is somewhere between 0.6% and 1.2% of total tryptamine levels.
Where to Buy South American Shroom Spores
South American shrooms are relatively popular thanks to the size of the fruiting bodies, so you shouldn’t have too much of an issue finding spores.
If you live in Canada, Spores 101 will also be able to supply you with spores for this strain.
How to Grow South American Shrooms
South American shrooms have a similar growth pattern to many other strains of Psilocybe cubensis, so the process will be similar no matter which strain you choose. This strain, in particular, grows well on brown rice flour and rye grain.
You can expect rapid colonization from the South American strain, which means it has great resistance to mold and disease. Still, you want to make sure that you do everything you can to eliminate contamination.
Expect large fruiting bodies from South American shrooms, as well as three to four voluminous flushes. The shrooms typically grow densely packed, so you can get a decent harvest even on minimal substrate.
For more detailed instructions, you can check out our complete guide to cultivating magic mushrooms.
If you enjoy growing the massive South American strain or you love the balanced experience you get when consuming this strain, you can also check out the below strains for some similar options:
1. Golden Teacher Shrooms
The Golden Teacher strain is one of the most widely known and most frequently consumed magic mushroom strains. It’s best known for providing a balanced psychedelic experience that is suitable for beginners and potent and meaningful enough for experienced psychonauts. This strain provides a similar user experience to South American shrooms.
2. Amazon Shrooms
Amazon shrooms also come from South America, and while the user experience is different than you’d expect from the South American strain, the growing experience is similar. The Amazon strain is also an aggressive colonizer, making it resistant to mold and disease, and the fruiting bodies are known to be quite large and impressive.
3. Orissa India Shrooms
The Orissa India strain is another great option if you’re after massive fruiting bodies. This strain previously held the record for the largest cubensis strain before a South American sample earned that distinction. This strain has a higher potency than the South American strain, so keep that in mind if you plan on consuming this one.
4. Paraguay Shrooms
Paraguay shrooms are likely close relatives of the South American strain, especially given that they originate in a similar geographic area. These shrooms are known for their large size, although they aren’t quite as large as the Amazon or South American strains. Much like the South American strain, Paraguay shrooms colonize rapidly and resist mold better than many other varieties.
5. Xapuri Shrooms
Xapuri shrooms hail from Brazil, where they were allegedly collected on the side of BR317. This strain is known for voluminous fruiting bodies that rival many other species from South America. This strain won’t colonize as quickly as the South American strain. It’s recommended more for intermediate and experienced cultivators, as it doesn’t have the same resistance to mold.
Final Thoughts: South American Shrooms
The South American shroom strain is best known for holding the world record for the largest fruiting body of any Psilocybe cubensis strain. While the average size of this strain is impressive, many people also praise it for its effects when consumed. It has an above-average potency — probably nearing 1.5% psilocybin and psilocin by weight — but it’s known to provide a beautifully balanced psychedelic trip that provides mild visual hallucinations, euphoria, and a sense of connection to the world for most users.
South American shrooms are rapid colonizers, making them a great mold-resistant strain for beginners and experienced growers alike. If you enjoy growing this strain because of the massive and photo-worthy fruiting bodies it produces, you can also check out the Amazon, Orissa India, Paraguay, and Xapuri strains. Golden Teachers are a good alternative for those who enjoy the balanced psychedelic effects of the South American strain.