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Agrocybe aegerita

Black Poplar

(Information taken from Paul Stamets: Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms)

This mushroom has a mellow and attractive flavor when young. Agrocybe aegerita grows prolifically on deciduous wood debris, ofter forming large clusters - both in nature and in the controlled environment of the growing room. This species is an excellent candidate for stump recycling, especially in the southeastern Uninted States.

Mycelial Characteristics: Longitudinally linear, becoming cottony, usually not aerial. White at first, soon becoming spotted brown, and eventually tan brown. Primordia usually form on malt extract agar.

Microscopic Features: This mushroom produces brown spores.

Suggested Agar Culture Media: Malt Yeast Peptone Agar (MYPA), Potato Dextrose Yeast Agar (PYDA), Oatmeal Yeast Agar (OMYA), and Dog Food Agar (DFA)

Spawn Media: Cereal grains (rye, wheat, milo, sorghum, etc.) Sawdust is recommended for the 3rd generation, which can then be used as spawn for inoculation directly into slices cut into stumps. Sawdust spawn is also recommended for inoculation into sterilized, supplemented hardwood sawdust.

Substrates for Fruiting: This species can be fruited on supplemented oak and alder sawdust/chips. Willow, poplar, cottonwood, and maple also support substantial fruitings.

Yield Potentials: Up to 1 lb. of fresh mushrooms per 5-6 lb. block of sterilized sawdust/chips/bran. Given the size of fruitings occurring naturally, large diameter willow, poplar, and cottonwood stumps could sustain massive fruitings for many years.

---Growth Parameters---

Spawn Run:

  • Incubation Temperature: 70-80° F (21-27° C)
  • Relative Humidity: 95-100/li>
  • Duration: 20-28 days
  • CO2: >20,000 ppm.
  • Fresh Air Exchanges: 0-1 per hour.
  • Light Requirements: n/a

Primordia Formation:

  • Initiation Temperature: 50-60° F (10-16° C)
  • Relative Humidity: 95-100/li>
  • Duration: 7-14 days
  • CO2: <2,000 ppm.
  • Fresh Air Exchanges: 4-8 per hour.
  • Light Requirements: 500-1000 lux.

Cropping Cycle:

  • Two flushes, 10-14 days apart.

Comments:This mushroom benefits from the application of a 1/2 inch casing directly onto the top surface layer of mycelium. However, if a condensing fog environment is provided, combined with high turbulence, an even plane of primordia can form absent any casing layer. For cluster formation, primordia should be encouraged to appear in groups of 4-20.

This species figures as one of the best for recycling stumps in the humid southeastern Uninted States. The willow-populated swamps of Louisiana seem like an ideal setting for the deliberate cultivation of A. aegerita. Regions of Chile, Japan, and the far East, as well as southern Europe have coincident weather patterns that should support growth.

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