Grifola frondosa

Hen of the woods

  • Maitake
  • Hen of the woods
Scientific Classification
Kindom: Fungi
Phylum: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Polyporales
Family: Meripilaceae
Genus: Grifola
Species: Frondosa

A large, fleshy polypore, dark grey/brown when young, becoming lighter gray in age. (Some varieties fade to a light yellow at maturity). Fruit body is composed of multiple, overlapping caps, 2-10 cm. in diameter, arising from branching stems, eccentrically attached, and sharing a common base. Young fruitbodies are adorned with fine grey fibrils. The pores on the underside of the caps are white.

  • Cap: in clusters consisting of multiple grayish-brown caps which are often curled or spoon-shaped, with wavy margins and 2-7 cm broad. The under-surface of each cap bears approximately one to three pores per millimeter, with the tubes rarely deeper than 3 mm.
  • Spore print: white
  • Stipe: milky-white with a branching structure that becomes tough as the friut body matures
  • Mycelium: white, longitudinally linear, eventually thickly cottony on enriched agar media, non-rhizomorphic.

Cultivation[edit | edit source]

Parameters[edit | edit source]

Spawn run

  • Temperature: 70-75°F (21-24°C)
  • Humidity: 95-100%
  • Duration: 14-30 days with a 30 day dormancy
  • CO2: 20,000-40,000 ppm
  • Light reqs: n/a

Primordia Formation

  • Temperature: 50-60°F (10-15.6°C)
  • Humidity: 95%
  • Duration: 5-10 days
  • CO2: 2000-5000 ppm
  • Light reqs: 100-500 lux
  • FAEs: 4-8 per hour

Fruit body Development

  • Temperature: 50-60°F (10-15.6°C)
  • Humidity: 85-90% or 95% for antler formation
  • Duration: 14-21 days or 10-14 days for antler formation
  • CO2: <1000 ppm or 2000-5000 ppm for antler formation
  • Light reqs: 500-1000 lux or 100-500 lux for antler formation
  • FAEs: 4-8 per hour

Substrates[edit | edit source]

Supplemented hardwood sawdust, particularly oak, poplar, cottonwood, elm, willow, and alder. Alder and poplar stumps are less likely to support outdoor fruitings, given the hold competitors like Pleurotus ostreatus and allies have on that niche. For indoor cultivation, yields vary substantially between various wood types. Oak is generally preferred, although strains growing on conifers are being developed.[1]

Natural Habitat[edit | edit source]

The species is native to the northeastern part of Japan and North America, and is prized in traditional Chinese and Japanese herbology as an adaptogen, an aid to balance out altered body systems to a normal level.

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Stamets, Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms (Third Edition), 2000
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