Introduction This fleshy polypore has long been a favorite edible Of all the species represented in

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especially in the treatment of lung cancer

Common Names: Zhu Ling (Chinese for "Hog Tubv")

Chorei-mailake (Japanese for Wild Boar s

Dung Maitake") Tsuchi-maitake (Japanese for "Earth Maitake") Umbrella Polypore Chinese Sclerotium

Taxonomic Synonyms & Considerations: Gilbertson and Ryvarden (1987) follow tradition by l eepine diis mushroom w' bin the AyporusMPoHporus Fr. ^s mushroom i

Snty rSeied to as G a - dilate 'ersoor, Fries) Donk and more infrequently called r ha. uiAuely. erent life cycles. The close appearance of P. umbellatus and G.fwndosa easily con fuses amateur collectors (jJncoff (1993)). G. frondosa has smaller, non-cylindrical spores, lacks the sclerotial stage in its life cycle, and arises from a multiple fori ing base.

Description: The mushrooms arise from underground sclerotia rfhe near black sclerotium resembling pig's dung in form, but wood) in texture, swells with water and generates a multi-branched, circular shaped mushrooms with umbellicate caps. These bouquets of mushrooms arise from a common stem base. The fr.iitbodies are whitish at first, becoming dingy brown with age, with an underside featuring circular to angular pores.

Distribution: Infrequently occurring throughout the deciduous woodlands of north-central and northeastern North America, in the temperate regions of China, anu in Europe wherewas first described. Giibertson & Ryvarden (1987) reported this mushroom from the states of Montana andWas, 'ngton. If this mushroom indeed grows ir the Pacific Northwest, it ;s exceedingly rare, as I have never found it, and know no one who has

Natural Ha^-tat: Found on the ground, arising from dead roots or buried wood, on stumps, or in soils rich in lignicolous matter, preferring birches, maples, willows, and beeches. Predominantly growing in deciduous woodlands, this mushroom has been reported from coniferous forests, although rare. Weir (1917) reported th" mushroom from Montana grow' ig on spruce (Picea sp).

Microscopic Features: Spores 7-10 x 3-4 //, white in deposit, smooth, cylindrical. Hyphal system dL litic, non-septate, clamp connec aons present on the generative hyphae

AvaTable Strains: Strains are available from most culture libraries. However, most of the strains that I have tested are non-fr !i!ng '.n culture. Hence, strains which can produce under indoor, controlled condi:ions are needed.

Mycelial Characte st s: White, longitudinally linear, soon densely cottony, forming a thi ck peel able mycelial mat on agar, gra::i and in sawdust media. On sterilized sawdust, the mycelium, as it ages, forms outer layers of yellowish, gelatinous exudate. This mushroom causes a wh;te rot

Fragrance Signature: Musty, sour, slightly bitter, not pleasant

Natural Method of Cultivation: The roots of stumps are inoculated by digging trenches into the root zones which have been already parasitized by, for instance, the Honey Mushroom, Armillaria mellea.

Figure 341. Sclerotia of North American P. umbellatu s.

figure 342. A soft, delicate, fleshy truitbody arises from a sclerotium

Logs of beech, birch, willow, maples and/or oaks are given multiple cuts into which sawdust spawn or slices of fresh sclerotia are packed. The logs are re buried underneath a layer of sandy soil and covered with rich humus and deciduous leaves. After three years, the trenched logs are unburied and new sclerotia can be harvested. For sclerotia harvest, late spring is best. Fraitbodies are generated from the sclerotia in the late summer to early fall, when the ground temperature hovers between 50-60° F, (10-15° C.). For more information, consult Fungi Sinica, 1980. (See Figure 343.)

Recommended Courses for Expansion of Mycelial Mass to Achieve Fruiting: Liquid culture to grain to sawdust to supplemented sawdust/chips. The cultivation of this mush room initially parallels that of Maiiakc, Grifola frondosa, another fleshy polypore. according to Jong (1992). My own successes with this mushroom have been limited. G. umbellata can be grown via two methods: from a sclerotium or directly from the mycelial mat by-passing the sclerotial stai e. Sclerotic production is stimulated by the microflora in soils, and by the absence of li . Therefore formation of sclerotia under laboratory conditions is difficult. However there is an alternative strategy. , , , . f

Zh Atig behaves as a secondary saprophyte, depending Jjo4 the degradative abili ties c other

Witorend r a wood substrate into usable platform for fruiting In my expenments, frux -gs did not r< ult whe ■■■ i same formula was prepared from fresh starting material (i.e. sawdust/chips/bran). I have had limited success at fruiting this species on the remains of sterilized, recycled Shiitake and [i ishi blocks Nevertheless 45-60 days of incubation precede any mushroom form! ion 1 his method has only resulted in short, lateral, hardened plateaus with pored surf s, wh h athievec: o ly afew centimeters in height.The pores contained spoliating basidia.This abbrev Fn ody formatic y be a function of an insufficiently developed sclerotial stage. Sclerotia st -re nutrition prior to fruiibody initiation. More research is required before indoor cultivation yields fruitings comparable to other Polypores like Reishi or Maitake. Suggested Agar Culture Media: MYPA, PDYA, OMYa or DFA.

1st, 2nd & 3rd Generation Spawn Media: Two expansions of grain spawn with the final spawn stage being sawdust

Substrates for Fruiting: Outdoor plantings require the placement of either spawn or sclerotia into figure 342. A soft, delicate, fleshy truitbody arises from a sclerotium

Growth Parameters

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