Strain: Hericium abietis AM-G87
Common Names: Bear's Head Mushroom, Western Coral Hedgehog, Hóu Tóu Shān (猴頭杉), Yamamomi (ヤマモミ), La tête de l'ours, La testa di orso, Stachelbärte, Geritsium (герициум)
Hericium abietis is found throughout North America. It causes a white rot in conifers; this is a form of wood decay featuring a selective attack on lignin and hemicellulose in wood. The fruit bodies grow singly or occasionally in small groups on the dead wood of conifers, especially fir (Abies sp.) and Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii). It can also be cultivated on conifer sawdust.
The fruit body forms a compact, branched mass with long spines hanging down. The branches originate from a single, thick, tough base. The color of the fruit body ranges from white to creamy, light yellowish, to salmon-buff. The hanging spines are usually 0.5–1 cm (0.2–0.4 in) long, although some may be as long as 2.5 cm (1.0 in); they are soft and brittle, and typically grow as clusters at the tips of the branches. Typically, fruit bodies have dimensions in the range of 10 to 75 cm (4 to 30 in) tall and wide, but they have been known to attain massive sizes; one noted specimen was about 100 pounds (45 kg). Hericium abietis produces a white spore print. Spores are spherical or nearly so, smooth to slightly roughened, amyloid, and measure 4.5–5.5 by 4–5 μm. The hyphae are monomitic (consisting of only generative hyphae), and they have clamp connections.
Cellulose Decomposers: Softwood Sawdust
Most popular species under cultivation are naturally wood inhabiting fungi. So, growing on sawdust is a logical choice. Sawdust is mixed with wheat bran (or another nitrogen source) at 5-15% and Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3) (a buffering agent) at 2-3%, and filled into autoclavable bags. The bags are sterilized for a minimum of 1 hour at 121°C (15 psi when at sea level). Note sterilization exposure times vary depending on pressure and elevation. Finally, the substrate is cooled to at least 25°C (approx. 80°F) then, inoculated with grain or liquid spawn and incubated at appropriate temp for the species until colonization is complete.
Recommended species on softwood sawdust
Armillaria mellea, Auricularia auricula-judae, Fomitopsis officianalis, F. pinicola,Ganoderma resinoceum, G. tsugae, Hericium abietis, Hypsizygous ulmarius, Laetiporus conifericola, Pleurotus pulmonarius, and Stropharia rugoso-annulata
History: Isolated By Aloha Medicinals field team
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