Mushrooms, shiitake, dried

Fun Facts

  1. Shiitake goes by many different names. The Latin name is Lentinula edodes, although in English they’re sometimes known as black forest mushrooms or Chinese black mushrooms. The name shiitake is Japanese, meaning “shii mushroom”. (Shii is the Japanese name for a type of evergreen tree on which the mushrooms often grow).
  2. Shiitake begin their lives with dark brown to black caps, which become lighter brown and more convex with age. The undersides sport white gills that do not attach to the stem. The spore print is white.
  3. The stem (or stipe) of the mushroom is smooth, fibrous, and light brown with no ring. If you damage the stem, it will bruise a deeper brownish color.
  4. Shiitake mushrooms grow in the Far East, mainly Japan, China, and Korea. They fruit from spring to late summer or early fall.
  5. This species is a true saprotroph, meaning they feed on dead tissue. They like broadleaved trees such as oaks, beeches, and the shii tree (Castanopsis cuspidata).

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