Observation 92324: Lentinula edodes (Berk.) Pegler

When: 2012-04-08

Collection location: Bon Tempe Reservoir, Marin Co., California, USA [Click for map]

Who: Ron Pastorino (Ronpast)

Specimen available

These were growing on a large old fallen tree, probably Oak. First two photos show the log they were growing on.
Spore print was whitish and not amyloid.
Spores were ~ 5-6 X 2.5-3 microns.
Cheilocystidia was ~ 30-40 X 15-16 microns.
I may be wrong but they seem to match the macro and micro characteristics for Shiitake aka Lentinus edodes. There aren’t many sightings of this species growing in the wild in North America that I can find and it certainly is a first for me if they are really Shiitake.

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that’s Neolentinus ponderosus these days…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2012-06-16 07:36:28 PDT (-0700)

same mushroom, though.

David just found a trio of these in the Sierra, in beautiful fresh shape. They smelled quite nice…a bit spicy like a matsie. Others do eat these, so we tried them yesterday…David liked them a lot, I thought the flavor was OK, if ya like eating mushrooms! ;)

Can always try it. Just be wary.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-06-15 21:02:41 PDT (-0700)

Keep in mind that another choice edible (for me) is Laetiporus sulphureus. When this is found on eucalyptus though, it should be approached with caution. There are multiple poisoning cases with L.s. grown on eucalyptus.

Part of the potential problem may the aromatics tied up in eucalyptus. Not all fungi are capable of degrading Poly Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs).

L.e. grows so readily on most species of Quercus, which is abundant in CA. Probably grows on other hardwoods there too.

I’m a little curious why Lentinus ponderosa hasn’t been cultivated in CA on Ponderosa pine, too. The stem might be too tough, but I’d like to sample a little of it.

By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2012-06-15 20:11:46 PDT (-0700)

since this appears to have become the defacto forum on edible Lentinula in North America, can you speak to L. edodes cultivation on Eucalyptus? I see it’s being done in Brazil on a commercial scale:


Some frinds in California want to try as well.

Looks like several more years’ worth of mushrooms.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-04-16 23:43:17 PDT (-0700)

Shiitake consumes/eats about 1/2" diameter of the log per flush. Looks to me like there should be several more years worth of production from that tree.

I once worked out that an Oregon White oak bedlog 6 inches in diameter would produce 6 flushes of mushrooms, or possibly 7. The fungus always colonizes the sapwood directly under the bark first, and therefore is eating one inch of wood per flush. Six inches diameter, six flushes.

My experiments with Red alder proved rather surprising. Some of my bedlogs were neary obscurred by mushrooms, many of which were No. 2’s because of the proximity of other growing mushrooms. Tasted the same though.

Steph, I did eat some and they were quite good.
By: Ron Pastorino (Ronpast)
2012-04-16 19:05:47 PDT (-0700)
It appears that this large fallen oak was indeed inoculated extensively, probably about 5 years ago.
Did you eat them?
By: Steph Jarvis (Steph Jarvis)
2012-04-10 16:52:29 PDT (-0700)

Very cool Ron!
Did you eat the ferrel Shiitake? Were they good, or tough?

Did you see any more PUFFBALLS?

8.5cm still respectable.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-04-10 15:38:22 PDT (-0700)

Size isn’t everything, unless you’re talking about truffles.

Shiitake quite edible while young and inrolled. My specimen was nearly fully planar, way beyond what I would consider choice edible stage. Still interesting, though, in that the stipe was nearly 1 inch in diameter and the bedlog was only 2 inches diameter.

Daniel, these weren’t quite 7 inches across but the largest
By: Ron Pastorino (Ronpast)
2012-04-10 15:09:51 PDT (-0700)

was about 8.5 cm.
Some of the younger specimens had shaggier caps and I’ve added a photo of one of them where you can see the hairier edges at least.

Can reach at least 7 inches across the cap.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-04-10 11:30:01 PDT (-0700)

I took a specimen I cultivated to the Oregon Mycological Show several years ago, and was assured it was much too large to be shiitake. Grew it from a small 2-inch diameter limb of Quercus palustra, which in my area is purely ornamental. When I tried to move the limb, the fungus fell off from its own weight. Sad.

To my knowledge, I was the second person to fruit this mushroom from a space bag provided by Dr. Mee. Tasty. Based on world consumption many others agree.

While my monster was grown on wood using plug innoculation, I have grown shiitake several times with no plugs. Personally I think of any plugs being damage to the original bedlog, and would not use them unless no other method was available.

Third photo shows sereated gills.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-04-10 11:19:57 PDT (-0700)

Feral suggests it has escaped from cultivation. And since Dr. Henry Mee first imported the fungus in 1978 (I believe), it seems reasonable it could be growing wild now. Especially with all of the Sudden Oak Death Phytopthora. I usually see more scales on the cap, but still reasonably shiitake.

So … anyone up for sampling it?

shouldn’t we call these feral rather than wild?
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2012-04-10 08:13:21 PDT (-0700)

since they are escaped from cultivation and all.

there has been feral shiitake on the southeast coast for a while.

Looks like Shiitake to me
By: Chris (Chris S)
2012-04-09 21:29:53 PDT (-0700)

I’ve been growing them in my yard this year, definitely look like Shiitake to me. (I didn’t plug any logs in Marin, promise!!).

Someone up in Canada
By: Britney Ramsey (Riverdweller)
2012-04-09 21:26:15 PDT (-0700)

just recently found some of these growing wild also. They were huge!

The tree was maybe 20 yards from a trail and about a half mile from a road.
By: Ron Pastorino (Ronpast)
2012-04-09 21:22:41 PDT (-0700)
They were growing very randomly and no signs at all of being plugged.
By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2012-04-09 21:05:36 PDT (-0700)

I have been wondering when this shoe was going to drop.
Let’s hope it doesn’t displace our lovely oak-wood decay fungi.

Thanks for being out and about, Ron. Great observation as always.

Was this close to a road, trail, anything like that? No signs of the log having been plugged or otherwise inoculated?

Created: 2012-04-09 20:56:35 PDT (-0700)
Last modified: 2012-06-15 20:35:50 PDT (-0700)
Viewed: 384 times, last viewed: 2017-12-25 00:34:41 PST (-0800)
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