dwheeler at teleport.com
dwheeler at teleport.com
Sun Sep 7 11:41:14 EST 1997
The following is a list of fungi which I have cultivated in the past 15
years. Some of these are saprophytes, meaning they are grown on either
fresh-cut logs (bed logs) or on sterilized sawdust-bran mixture in
polyethylene bags (space bags). The rest are symbiotic, meaning they
assist the living trees in survival. As in most symbiotic relationships,
this is a mutually beneficial. In the case of these symbionts, the fungi
gather water and nutrients from the soils, and help stabilize soils on
steep slopes. It may be necessary to view the entire thread, as I doubt
all this will fit in one post.
ALPOVA DIPLOPHLOEUS, an edible truffle associated with Red alder (Alnus
rubra), believed to fruit year-round, but very common in the fall. This
species appears to be species specific. It associates only with Red alder
in my experience. Alpovas become a major food supply for Northern Flying
Squirrels, according to research conducted in Washington state by Wes
Colgan and others. First inoculated at View, WA in 10/91, production began
10/92, so expect a crop in a year or two.
AURICULARIA PLATYPHILA, a commercially grown Asian fungus, sometimes
called Black fungus, which was grown on Oregon White oak logs. Inoculation
took place in Lebanon, Oregon about 2/82, but didn't begin fruiting until
6/84, or over two years later. The spawn was obtained from Dr. Henry Mee
in California. While it is a prolific producer of fungi, there is little
current demand in the US compared to price. This fungus has been shown to
lower serum cholesterol levels in humans by 5%, even when eaten with equal
quantities of butter. It is a common additive to hot and sour soup.
BARSSIA OREGONENSIS, an edible truffle associated only with Douglas fir. I
first grew it near Beavercreek, Clackamas County, Oregon with existing
Douglas fir in a Christmas tree plantation. Like most truffles, it is
difficult to describe its aroma: a combination of sweet wine, candy and
sharp metallic aftertaste. While most abundant during the winter, it has
been found almost every month of the year. It is most mature in late
winter to early spring (February-May). I first inoculated existing trees
in 6/92, and obtained fruiting by 12/92. This speed of production may not
BOLETUS CHRYSENTERON, an edible symbiotic mushroom, noted for its deeply
cracked caps. This species was added to an early inoculation of existing
Douglas fir near Beavercreek, Oregon on 7/86, and produced prolifically in
8/87. I have seen it most often associated with Douglas fir plantations
and Christmas tree farms. This is an important early symbiont of recently
planted trees, at least below 1,000 feet elevation.
BOLETUS ZELLERI, an edible symbiotic mushroom, noted for its yellow-red
stem, yellow gills and dark brown cap with red highlights. The inoculation
took place in an existing Douglas fir plantation with trees 3-6 feet tall
at the time. It was inoculated with B. chrysenteron on 7/86, and did not
begin abundant production until 7/88, although several mushrooms were
found in 87 (a very dry year for Oregon).
CALVATIA FORMOSUS, a high-altitude puffball which may be a symbiont of
Noble fir. This was found in May of '89 at nearly 4,000 feet, and
inoculated into a nearby stand of 10-30 feet Noble fir. It has continued
to produce puffballs early each year since that time.
CANTHARELLUS FORMOSUS, previously thought to be C. cibarius, but recently
shown by Eric Danell and others to be a separate species. Eric has had no
success in germinating spores of this species in the greenhouse. It was
inoculated onto only Douglas fir of about 80 years of age near
Beavercreek, Oregon in August of '88, and produced 3 sporocarps in October
of '89. This unremarkable production was, nevertheless, the first
DALDINIA CONCENTRICA, a saprophyte of Red alder, found growing on
inoculated shiitake logs (Lentinula edodes) near View, WA. Apparently this
is one of the most prolific of the hardwood saprophytes in Clark County,
WA. Scraping logs to get rid of sporocarps may aggravate the situation.
Like truffles and puffballs, it contains millions of spores which easily
become air-born. The younger fruiting bodies have a near truffle-like
texture and consistency, and may be edible. It apparently grows much
faster than shiitake mycelium, but does not exclude other mycelium. I have
seen it fruit on logs which have also produced shiitake.
ENDOGONE FLAMMICORONA, small truffle of unknown edibility symbiotic with
Douglas fir. When frozen, this fungus produces a strong butterscotch
aroma. It was first inoculated with existing Douglas fir near Beavercreek,
OR in 8/90, and began producing by 10/91. Because it is a rather
insignificant truffle most of the year, it can easily be overlooked. It
can also be easily mistaken for a very small true truffle in truffle
plantations. Cut surfaces usually make for easy identification: it has a
flame-colored interior, golden-yellow with some reddish highlights. It can
be associated with Douglas fir, but has also been found near Red alder.
ENDOGONE LACTIFLUA, similar to above, except found exclusively with
Douglas fir. Also inoculated in 8/90 and first discovered fruiting in 10/
91, it differs from E. flammicorona by have a distinct latex when cut,
although a hand-lens may be necessary to see it. Both Endogone's are
further distinguished from other truffles by having some of the largest
spores in the fungal kingdom, often visible to the naked eye.
GANODERMA TSUGAE, a common saprophyte of Western hemlock and possibly
other trees, this was originally inoculated onto a large Red alder stump.
There is serious question as to what species this is. Tsugae refers to
hemlock. The fungus forms a distinctive rot, sometimes called laminated
rot in logs. It is possible this fungus has similar medical uses to G.
lucidum, which also shares the same spore sizes.
GEOPORA COOPERI, is esteemed by squirrels, chipmunks and man. In some
books this is called a Fuzzy False Truffle, a poor name because it is
actually a member of the Tuberales and is a true truffle. It is not
common, but is quite tasty. Former president of the North American
Truffling Society Henry Pavalek pronouned this his favorite truffle to
eat. It has a malted chocolate aroma when mature, looks like a head of
lettuce with a thin felt covering, which can erode quickly. This was the
first truffle I cultivated, inoculating in 12/85 near Beavercreek, OR and
fruiting the following June.
GRIFOLA FRONDOSUS, was inoculated into Douglas fir stumps 3-4 feet tall in
February, '95 near Beavercreek, OR. It has not fruited.
HERICIUM ABIETIS, a saprophyte of true firs like Noble fir, this fungus
also grows readily on sawdust/bran mixture which has been sterilized. I
received a bag of pre-inoculated material from Ralph Arnold of the Oregon
Mycological Society Cultivation Committee. In addition to being choice
edibles, Hericium species also grow VERY rapidly, surpassed only by
Pleurotus and Morchella in speed of colonization. The bag fruited less
than a month after receiving it in April, 97. It was nearly
indistinquishable from Hericium erinaceus. In nature it can form massive
fruitings exceeding 50 pounds.
HERICIUM ERINACEUS, sometimes called Goat's Beard or Bear Paw, this very
edible fungus is saprophytic on Oregon White oak and Red alder, and grows
readily on sterlized sawdust/bran mixture. Often a fruiting body may be
formed within 28-30 days of inoculation without opening the space bag! My
first exposure to this fungus was when I started suddenly losing all
sensation in my leg(s). Often this would happen while walking, and result
in either stumbling or falling. It became so bad I worried about crossing
a street. Within a week after first eating this mushroom in 1986, all
symptoms had vanished. They have never returned. This is also one of the
first fungi I had what currently is terms "an allergic reaction" to.
Within hours of ingestion, I came down with a moderate fever of 101-102
degrees. Oddly, I felt better while I had the fever than I had in several
months. I have not had these symptoms since after eating this mushrooms or
others similar to it. I have since learned that the symptoms for immuno-
activation are similar to "allergic reaction," and question whether
"allergic reaction" is appropriate with such mild symptoms.
HYMENOGASTER PARKSII, an edible fungus found exclusively with Douglas fir
in my experience. I first inoculated this at Beavercreek, Oregon in 6/86,
but didn't receive any fruiting at that site until 9/89. I have since
inoculated at several other locations, and usually had fruitings within 1
year of inoculation. Thus the first inoculation seems atypical.
LACCARIA AMETHYSTINA, an edible fungus, but rather insipid. It is abundant
and rather large, and is a good detritus degrader in Douglas fir
plantations. I first inoculated it in 10/86 near Beavercreek, Oregon. The
first fruitings were in 11/87 (a very dry year); but massive fruitings
were found in 10-12/88.
LACCARIA LACCATA, inoculated with L. amethystina at same time and place.
The best fruiting was the first year (11-12/87).
Daniel B. Wheeler
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