1. CAP (size - shape stages - colors)
The primordia start dark reddish. The cap is a fairly dark reddish (deep colors) and thick. It starts dome like and goes to plane at maturity and continues to grow until it is upturned and convoluted, with the gills a very deep brown, with streaks of purple (spore deposits) across and around the cap.
2. STEM (length - girth - flesh - colors)
It can be short and fat or long and hefty. It depends on the air and humidity. The PF race responds to this seriously. with lots of air and humidity, the PF stem is long, slender, thick fleshed and white. The flesh of the PF race is unique amongst all the races. It is very much like soft moist BREAD. But sometimes there can be a bit of fibrousness here and there.
3. VEIL (deliquescent - partly deliquescent - persistant anulus)
The PF race has a definitely deliquescent veil. When the veil breaks during growth of the shroom, it usually breaks off from the stem and breaks up around the gills, leaving veil remnants all over the gills and mainly on the edges. But, sometimes there is a veil that becomes like an anulus (around the stem) but at close inspection, the veil will not be attached securely and usually might just hang in part. Also, there is serious differences amongst the races at how the gills attach to the stem under the cap. The PF gills attach closely. Whereas the Malaysian gills have a rather large gap where the gills attach to the underside of the cap. Gill stem and cap attachment is a definite trait of races, but unfortuneatly, further observations and notes are required for any in depth descriptions. But note that all these races have distinct gill attachment traits that adds to the differences!
4. SPORULATION (at what developement stage does it begin?)
The PF race is a slow maturing shroom. It can grow large and the cap expand, but the gills will still be biege or light colored. Then, after about a day or two, the purple deposits of the spores will appear on the stem, and the gills will be darker brown. But sometimes, sterile specimens will appear. These are shrooms that don't develope spores and the gills remain distinctly light colored (biege - tan - yellowish). They have no spores. I once knew someone who cloned this type of sterile strain and claimed it to be the best in potency, overall. This fits with the observation that potency diminishes as sporulation developes. So without sporulation ever starting, the potency doesn't diminish in relation.
5. TENACIOUSNES (Strength of attachment of the stem base to the cake)
The PF is the champ at this. Usually the PF shroom as a large base (big foot). In fact, "BIG FOOT" should be the sur name of the PF race. This makes the PF race the most tenacious to the substrate of them all. When harvested, it is common to pull off large chunks of cake in the process.
6. SHAPE SHIFTING (shapes and changes of flush to flush -
strain to strain)
The PF race is the champ in this also. It goes from ugly little abhorts and convoluted dwarfs, to tall robust white thick stemed specimens with large deep reddish colored caps that go to plane and then wildly upturn at full maturity.
7. SIZE TENDANCIES (overall size of the mushroom at maturity)
Small to about as big as they get.
8. GESTATION PERIOD (generalized time of primordia appearance after
The PF might be the champ here also. It is the first of any of these shrooms observed to form primordia invitro. The others can, but the PF is a speed demon in comparison. And the PF invitro primordiation is far more numerous if allowed to develope and not birth so quick. But also, many if not most of the primordia will abort. The PF shroom is the champ at aborting shrooms also. That is why it has such a love hate relationship with the hobbiests.
9. POTENCY (This simply comes down to how fast the shroom loses its
latent potency - relating to the advent of sporulation)
The PF potency gets a big thumbs up from everywhere. Its advantage is that is a slow maturer, so it gives a wider envelope for the shroom to be harvested in its peak potency. A lot of hobbiests rate the PF race number one in potency. But that is not written in stone.
10. FLUSHING (Ability to repeat flush)
The PF race usually flushes rather poorly on the first flush, giving mostly abhorts. And it can flush nicely the first time. But with a recasing treament. the second flush will be totally different and be excellent. The third flush is always decent and one can squeeze the lemon for nice looking healthy third flush stragglers. But all in all, it is good for three interesting flushes, PF style.
It appears that the PF spore race garners a love hate affair. People either hate it or love it. Even after enduring a severe flogging from the 1999 spore wars (PF copy cats and spore sellers claimed that it was actually a poisonous mushroom - which was believed by the unitiated for a short while). Now, it has regained its favored position amongst a host of mycophiles as either their favorite or at least near the top of the list. Interestingly, there are many who claim that the PF race is the most potent. But then there are many who don't. But whatever the judgement call would be, it is not a bad cubie, so that makes it as good as any, and in my opinion, DAMN good.