Mycoforestry Part II

dwheeler at dwheeler at
Sun Sep 7 20:35:48 EST 1997

(This is a continuation of mycoforestry posted 9/7/97. It is a listing of
fungi which I have cultivated or attempted to cultivate -- Daniel B.

LAETIPORUS SULPHUREUS, inoculated onto standing Douglas fir stumps to 12
inches in diameter and 4 feet tall in February, 1995. So far no logs have
produced any fungus. However, we are still collecting commercial
quantities of truffles at the base of many of these stumps, which suggests
that the stumps are not truly dead yet. Almost none of the stumps were
girdled at the base.

LENTINULA EDODES, first cultivated from a sawdust/bran log provided by Dr.
Henry Mee of California. (Dr. Mee was the individual who first imported
live Lentinula edodes mycelium into the United States.) I first started
growing this on Oregon White oak logs (Quercus garryana), but since have
grown it on a variety of log species including Western hemlock and Red
alder. I have also seen economic quantities cultivated on Black
cottonwood. Inoculations of Quercus palustra produced disappointing
My first inoculations were done between March and May of 1982 near

LEPIOTA RACHOIDES, a saprophyte first cultivated on a neighbor's compost
pile of grass clippings and White birch whips. The original
inoculants was obtained from the 1987 Oregon Mycological Society
show. I buried pieces of mushrooms within the compost pile, and was
pleased when they began producing in June of 1988. This is a prolific
producer of fungi, large, meaty, and aromatic. It appears to dry well, and
the dried material can be used as a source of future inoculant. I have
since cultivated it several places, but it seems to do best with a
combination of grass clippings and some woody debris, with chips being the
best additive. Douglas fir can be used as chips.

LEPISTA NUDA I have grown on degrading bales of perennial ryegrass straw
near Lebanon, Oregon. I have also cultivated the mycelium on sawdust/bran
mixture and transferred it to dried grass clippings. Either method works
equally well, which suggests straw or dried grass to be an important
component of cultivation. My first success was inoculated in October, 1987
and produced in March-June of 1988. And I've had several successes with it
since. Try using fresh mushrooms as an inoculation source if available,
and disperse via a slurry of water and fresh mushrooms processed in a food

LEUCANGIUM CARTHUSIANA, was first inoculated near View, WA in November of
1993, with production beginning the following October. This strikingly
flavorful truffle is called the Oregon Black truffle, but was originally
named for the Carthusian Mountains of Europe. Europeans seem to have
little regard for it. A shame. It often commands prices higher than the
Oregon White truffle. It has black, pyramidal warts on the exterior, and
abundant internal veins on the inside. The odor is reminiscent of
pineapple and wine, although some specimens have an odor similar to
Bailey's Irish Cream. Choice. It was changed from the genus Picoa, whose
genera have no exterior warts. Oregon has both Picoa and Leucangium, with
up to 7 species currently collected.

MARTELLIA BRUNNESCENS is a small, porous truffle-like epigeous fungi with
a distinctive grapefruit lifesaver aroma when mature. While many immature
specimens may be white on the interior, they quickly turn shades of brown
when dehydrating. It is, unfortunately, not found in quantity, but is an
important indicator for Oregon White and Oregon Black truffles. It is
usually found with Douglas fir, Western hemlock and sometimes Western

MARTELLIA GILKEYAE is a larger Martellia, up to 2.5 inches in diamter,
associated exclusively with Western hazel. The fruiting times are usually
early spring or late winter. Finding this truffle is essentially the same
finding a flavorful spring chanterelle. Try it in omelettes when
available, and
sure of your identification.

MORCHELLA ANGUSTICEPS, or Black morel, is one of the most sought-after
commercially collected mushrooms on the west coast. It is usually a
saprophyte, although Dr. Nancy Smith Weber has said another mycologist
(sorry, have forgot the same) has found it forming mycorrhizae with some
trees. I have seen large fruitings after some forest fires, provided they
were "cool." This means that woody debris up to 3 inches in diameter is
burnt, but larger woody debris remains largely untouched. Even in these
areas, the largest productions are found near buried woody debris or trees
killed by the fire, but which lose their needles _after_ the fire. They
have also been collected in compost, and can grow on sterlized sawdust/
bran blocks. However, I have yet to see any commercial production from
such techniques.

MORCHELLA ELATA, or Conical morel, usually fruit slightly earlier than the
Black morel in our area. I have found this species as early as February
under Black cottonwoods near Troutdale, Oregon. My first inoculation was
in November of 1983, when a neighbor in Portland, Oregon added a
substantial amount of bark mulch to his front yard two houses away
from me. This allowed me to check the area nearly every day. When fruiting
started in April, 1984, I was surprised. I had inoculated with sporocarps
what I thought was one species. But fruiting morels I identified as three
different species! Either my identification was incorrect, or
there are more species than currently considered.

MORCHELLA CRASSIPES, or Bigfoot morel, is the latest of our local Douglas
fir morels. This is one of the species that fruited from my neighbor's
bark mulch (see above). The Bigfoot has a distinctive flared foot base,
and typically is 3-8 inches taller than other morels, (with the exception
of our local M. deliciosus, which grows up to 23 inches tall). I once
found a caespitose cluster of M. crassipes in the Cascade Mountains which
weighed nearly 3 pounds, and had at least 15 different mushrooms connected
by a common base, most of which were in excess of 8 inches tall and nearly
that in circumference.

PLEUROTUS COLUMBIANA, first cultivated near Beavercreek, Oregon on hybrid
cottonwood from a February fruiting on willow from the Columbia River
Gorge. The mycelium is a rapid grower and aggressive. A single log and
stump of freshly-cut hybrid cottonwood was inoculated, and produced well
for two years. I first inoculated it in March of '95, with production
beginning in May of '96.

PLEUROTUS OSTREATUS I first grew near View, WA. Inoculation took place in
March of 1990, and produced mushrooms on sawdust/bran in June, 1990. This
is a very aggressive grower, and can produce fruiting bodies within 2
months of inoculation. As I recall, this was an abnormally cold year,
which seems to have stunted its growth.

PLEUROTUS ULMONARIUS or Elm Oyster, was already inoculated onto true fir
chips by Ralph Arnold when I got it. It had an inoculation date of
February, 1995 on the bag. Unfortunately, the bag split open before it
could be expanded onto Douglas fir logs. However, several distinctively
stemmed Pleurotus are still visible on the bag today (September 7, 1997).

PLUTEUS CERVINUS is a fairly common secondary fungus on Red alder
inoculated with Lentinula edodes. I have grown it and seen it growing on
both Red alder and Western hemlock near View, WA. I used a mature
sporocarp as the original inoculation source in March of 1991, with
fruiting mushrooms seen the following April. It seldom fruits in quantity,
and I have yet to see it in commercial quantities (more than 1 pound).

RHIZOPOGON PARKSII was inoculated at Beavercreek, Oregon in June of 1986,
along with two other species below: R. villescens, and R. vinicolor.
(Probably R. villosulus was included, but I have no preserved collection
to verify this statement.) Abundant sporocarps were harvested in July of
1987. This is significant, because R. villescens was believed to be rare
until about 20 collections of this fungus were submitted from this site.
It is species specific with Douglas fir.


RHIZOPOGON VILLOSULUS was inoculated in October, 1990 at Beavercreek and
harvested in June of 1991. It was grown on Douglas fir.


Daniel B. Wheeler

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