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Shiitake mushroom

Lentinula edodes

Black forest mushroom, Chinese forest mushroom, Golden oak mushroom, Oriental black mushroom (Eng.)

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Translated from Japanese, 'shii', refers to the oak tree on which these mushrooms originally grew, while 'take' simply means mushroom. Famous for their rich texture, smoky flavour and health giving benefits. Shiitake mushrooms are the second most commonly cultivated edible mushroom, available worldwide.

Planning

Difficulty
Advanced
Fruiting time
Autumn, Winter

Harvesting

Pick when firm, plump and clean on a daily basis during fruiting periods. First harvest after about 6-12 months.

Propagation

Seed
Freshly felled tree logs are ideal or bags of nutrient enriched sawdust could be used for home growing. Spawn soaked in dowels inserted in holes drilled in the logs and sealed with beeswax.

Special features

Attractive fruits
Edible fruits in lower temperatures

Geography

Origin
Eastern Asia - China and Japan
Natural climate
Temperate

Environment

Light
Full Shade
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil PH preference
Neutral
Frost hardiness
Tender

Uses

Medicinal
Contains polysaccharides (with immune-supportive properties) and the compound Lentinanare (anti-cancer benefits).
Edible
Adds a delicious mild smokey flavour to pasta dishes and soups. Dried mushrooms need to be reconstituted with boiling water.

Personality

Family
Marasmiaceae
Flower colour
N/A
Scent
Mild

Problems

Brown center rot -Browning of gills, protrusion of the stem, brown sunken bruises on the tops of their caps. Use good farm hygiene to prevent an outbreak and remove infected mushrooms as soon as possible as the disease spreads quickly.

Companion plants

English oak
English oak
Quercus robur

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