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Coprinus Comatus

Shaggy Mane

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

Shaggy Manes have long been a favorite amongst mushroomers in North America and Europe. Easy to identify, often growing in massive quantities, this brilliant white mushroom is hard to miss and difficult to confuse with poisonous species. Their fragile constitution and unique method of self-destruction, combined with their mild but excellent flavor, has made the Shaggy Mane a popular mushroom amongst hikers and hunters.

This species adapts to a wide variety of indoor and outdoor substrates. Although the commercial cultivation of this mushroom is limited by its predisposition to disintegrate into an inky mess. This mushroom in fantastic for those who can consume it within two days of picking.

Mycelial Characteristics: Mycelium usually white, cottony, aerial, often develops "tufts" (hyphal aggregates) with maturity. Most strains form mycelial mats asymmetrically shaped along the outer edge.

Microscopic Features: This mushroom produces black spores.

Suggested Agar Culture Media: Potato Dextrose Agar (PDA), Potato Dextrose Yeast Agar (PDYA), Malt Extract Agar (MEA), Malt Peptone Yeast Agar (MPYA), Dog Food Agar (DFA), or Oatmeal Yeast Agar (OMYA).

Spawn Media: Grain (rye, wheat, sorghum).

Substrates for Fruiting: The straw/manure compost can support substantial fruitings of this mushroom. Another excellent medium can be made from the manure and urea-enriched sawdust discharged from horse stables. Paper and pulp waste also support fruitings. Like most coprophiles, this mushroom greatly benefits from the placement of a peat moss based, casing soil.

Yield Potentials: When soya flour was added at a rate of 2o paper pulp fiber (giving the substrate a 0.5itrogen content), yields approached 80 iological efficiency. However, these yields were lower than that generated from manure compost which often exceed 100 iological efficiency.

---Growth Parameters---

Spawn Run:

  • Incubation Temperature: 70-80° F (21-27° C)
  • Relative Humidity: 95-100/li>
  • Duration: 12-14 days
  • CO2: 5000-20,000 ppm.
  • Fresh Air Exchanges: 0-1
  • Light Requirements: n/a

Primordia Formation:

  • Initiation Temperature: 60-70° F (16-21° C)
  • Relative Humidity: 95-100/li>
  • Duration: 12-15 days after casing.
  • CO2: 500-1000 ppm.
  • Fresh Air Exchanges: 4-8 per hour.
  • Light Requirements: 500-1000 lux for eight hours per day.

Fruitbody Development:

  • Incubation Temperature: 65-75° F (18-24° C)
  • Relative Humidity: 80-90/li>
  • Duration: 5-7 days.
  • CO2: 500-1000 ppm.
  • Fresh Air Exchanges: 4-8 per hour.
  • Light Requirements: 500-1000 lux for eight hours per day.

Cropping Cycle:

  • Two to three flushes, four to ten days apart.

Comments: This is a great mushroom to grow in your yard and in compost piles. Once an outdoor patch is established, Shaggy Manes can fruit for many years. For impatient cultavators, indoor cultivation is recommended. For mycological landscapers not concerned about territorial confinement of their mushroom patch, the Shaggy Mane is an excellent companion to garden plants.

After pasteurized compost is inoculated, the substrate is completely colonized in two weeks with a cottony, non-rhizomorphic mycelium. When colonization is complete, a moist casing (peat moss/gypsum) layer is applied. After 10 days, the mycelium can be seen reaching through the upper surface of the casing. At this stage, lower the temperature, increase watering, and introduce light to stimulate fruiting. Yields can be substantially increased if the casing layer is vigorously raked just as the mycelium begins to show on the surface of the casing.

The primordia form as circular dials, between the size of a dime to a quarter. The primordia are unique in that they are wide and flat. An inner collar forms within the dial and arises to form a dome. This dome soon shoots up to form a recognizable mushroom. The circular zone visible at the primordial stage becomes the movable ring resting on the stem of the mature mushroom.

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