Growing the Amazing Enigma
Cubensis Blob Mutation

The aptly named “Enigma” strain of Cubensis has a fascinating story behind it. This strain is a blob mutation that does not sporulate. It’s eternally stuck living across a single generation, through clones. If that isn’t enough to get you going, then wail till you see the pictures of it.

Then, this strains potency and psychedelic effects have been rumored to be stronger, more potent, and more euphoric than regular Cubensis mushrooms. With this kind of hype around this strain, I decided to look into it and quite miraculously found some enigma liquid culture online from the very friendly and knowledgable bunch over at Mayhems Labs.

This post will describe our first attempt to grow the Enigma strain of Cubensis and provide our impressions of it.

Enigma close up

Table of Contents - Growing the Amazing Enigma Cubensis Blob Mutation

The Enigma of Enigma

The History of Enigma Cubensis

Honestly, I’m not qualified to write about the history of this strain, as I know very little about it. I don’t know who discovered and isolated it or how it got to be. Over the past few years, every so often, I’d see a picture of Enigma on Reddit – an alien, brain-like fruiting body with occasional dark cyan stains, as if to caution that it was oozing psilocin. That was pretty much the extent of my experiences with Enigma up to that point. I do know that the genetics of Enigma has been kept within closed Facebook groups for the past few years. The only way to obtain this culture was if someone from within these groups gifted it to you. This closely guarded strain remained a mystery for several years, and became the stuff of legends. Life, however, has a way of breaking through artificial restraints and spreading out, and eventually, so did Enigma. Regarding the rumors around potency – those were positively verified after the results of the 2021 Psilocybin Cup winners were announced. Enigma and other closely related strains dominated the show.
Cubensis cup oakland

Cultivation of Enigma Blobs

So what exactly is this fungal blob? It’s an isolated mutation of the “Tidalwave” (TW) Cubensis strain (where TW is a cross between B+ and Penis Envy strains). It doesn’t have caps and does not sporulate – meaning it’s eternally stuck living across a single generation, through clones. Deep 🤯.

Growing Enigma is fairly straightforward, though success is far from guaranteed. It follows the same cultivation process as regular cubensis mushrooms, and other than the pinning and fruiting process there are no significant differences in the cultivation steps. In fact, I found colonization by the mycelium to be fast and aggressive, and pinning started soon after FAE was introduced. For the record, I used a pasteurized CVG substrate with 30% composted cow manure, with a mixture of some probiotic nutrients called TrichEvict by Dr. Myc.

Enigma tw2
Enigma Tidalwave Mutation

Growing Enigma is fairly straightforward, though success is far from guaranteed. It follows the same cultivation process as regular cubensis mushrooms, and other than the pinning and fruiting process there are no significant differences in the cultivation steps. In fact, I found colonization by the mycelium to be fast and aggressive, and pinning started soon after FAE was introduced. For the record, I used a pasteurized CVG substrate with 30% composted cow manure (Black Kow), with a mixture of some probiotic nutrients called TrichEvict by Dr. Myc.

Enigma-cubensis
Enigma Pinning

Pinning is precisely the point where the similarities in cultivation end, as what starts growing from that point onwards can only be described as part of the set from the original “Aliens” movie. What looks like capless mushroom pins erupt out en masse, with some of them clumping together into larger blobs. From this point on, growth is very slow, and it can take up to six weeks until the fruits are ready to harvest. These six weeks are where most cultivators face their difficulties with this strain.

Other than this, the only other tips we received around the cultivation of Enigma is that humidity needs to stay high throughout the fruiting process, which means more than usual tending of the tub. The harvesting should be done once the fruiting bodies soften a bit, although I must admit, I’m hesitant to touch them at this early stage to check their rigidity.

Fruiting enigma cubensis
Fruiting Enigma Cubensis

Due to the long fruiting period, the Enigma mycelium cakes tend to contaminate over time. Once contamination sets in, it quickly overruns the cake, leaving many cultivators frustrated. To add to this, second flushes are of Enigma are considered almost impossible for the same reasons. This means that you need to be extra careful during all the phases of cultivation and make sure you do your best to keep everything as clean as possible at all times. Going into a grow with clean grain spawn and well-pasteurized substrate is an absolute must. This also includes avoiding opening the fruiting tub to look at it in awe for hours on end 😋.

Harvesting enigma tidalwave
Harvesting Enigma TidalWave

Harvesting the Blobs

As the days pass, the blobs become larger and more brain shaped. They also start  to show some blue bruising in certain areas, and loose their rigidity, and become a bit softer. This is the time to harvest. 

The fruiting body looks and feels like a fragile cauliflower, and bruises very easily. You need to be extra gentle when harvesting these, and they absolutely deserve every bit of attention 😋. You can gently use a knife to cut the connecting chutes between the fruiting body and mycelium cake and then pry them off. Keeping substrate of the base of the fruit is not as simple as with regular mushrooms, but with a bit of patience, its possible to scrape almost all of the substrate away.

Harvesting enigma cubensis

Preserving and Storing

The enigma fruit dries relatively easily and quickly. Within twelve to twenty four hours at 95°F most of the smaller fruit chunks were bone dry and ready for long term storage. Larger fruit bodies can be broken down into 2-3 inch chunks so they dry faster. Once the chinks are bone dry, they are sealed in vacuum bag with some food grade desiccant gel packs. 

Dry enigma fruit
Dry Enigma Fruit

Preserving Enigma in Honey (Full Bleed)

The enigma fruit dries relatively easily and quickly. Within twelve to twenty four hours at 95°F most of the smaller fruit chunks were bone dry and ready for long term storage. Best sealed in vacuum bag with some food grade desiccant gel packs.

Finding Enigma Liquid Culture Online

Enigma liquid culture can be found online in the form of liquid culture syringes (no spores, remember?).  As mentioned, I got mine from Mayhem Lab (US). I’ve also seen them offered in Canada through Sporelabs.io and other online stores. Are you ready for a new growing experience? If you are, it might be the right time for Enigma to start cultivating you. Or was that….wait.