The Shiitake (Lentinula edodes) is an edible mushroom native to East Asia, which is cultivated and consumed in many Asian countries. Shittake's cultivation in the west is generally limited to hobby cultivators.
- Cap: 5-25 cm broad, black when young, dark brown to light brown with age and hemispheric, expanding to convex and planar at maturity.
- Spore print: white
- Spores: 5-6.5 x 3-3.5 microns, ovoid to oblong ellipsoid.
- Bruising: brown
- Gills: white and even at first, serrated with age
- Stipe: fibrous and tough
- Veil: absent
- Mycelium: white at first, becoming longitudinally linear and cottony-aerial in age, rarely rhizomorphic. In age or in response to damage, the mycelium becomes dark brown.
Fruit body Development
Shiitake mushrooms prefer broad-leaf hardwoods such as oak, ironwood, sweetgum, beech, poplar, cottonwood andalder. The species fruits well from wood chips, sawdust or whole logs.