Phoiota nameko is one of the most popular cultivated
mushrooms in Japan, closely ranking behind Shiitake and Enokitake. This
mushroom has an excellent, flavor and texture. P. nameko would
be well received by North Americans and Europeans if it were not for
the thick, translucent, glutinous slime covering the cap. (This
mucilaginous coat is common with many species of Pholiota.)
Although unappealing to most, this slime soon disappears upon cooking
and is undetectable when the mushrooms are served. This mushroom is a
superb edible which can be grown easily on sterilized, supplemented
sawdust, and/or logs.
Whitish, longitudinally radial, becoming light orangish or tawny from
the center as the mycelium ages. On sterilized grain the mycelium is
densely cottony white and becomes speckled with yellowish to orangish
zones at maturity.
Microscopic Features: This mushroom produces cinnamon brown spores.
Suggested Agar Culture Media: Malt Extract Agar (MEA), Malt Yeast Agar (MYA), Potato Dextrose Yeast Agar (PDYA), and Dog Food Agar (DFA).
Spawn Media: Grain spawn throughout.
Substrates for Fruiting:
The supplemented sawdust is recommended. Arita recommends that no more
than 10% rice bran be used as a supplement for oak hardwood
formulations. Some have found that 20% rice bran supports a more
massive first flush and second flush when using Alnus rubra (ren alder). Arita also found that the addition of 15% rice bran was the optimum if using conifer sawdust ( Pinus densiflora - Asian Pine and Cryptomeria japonica
- Japanese Cedar as the base substrate.) This is one of the few gourmet
mushrooms that will give rise to substantial fruitings on conifer wood.
Yield Potentials: Fruitings, on first flush,
give an average of slightly more than 1 lb. of mushrooms from a 5 lb.
block of hardwood sawdust supplemented with rice bran.
- Incubation Temperature: 75-85* F (24-29* C)
- Relative Humidity: 95-100%
- Duration: 2 weeks
- CO2: >5000 ppm
- Fresh Air Exchanges: 0-1
- Light Requirements: n/a
- Initiation Temperature: 50-6-* F (10-15.6* C)
- Relative Humidity: 98-100%
- Duration: 7-10 days
- CO2: 500-1000 ppm
- Fresh Air Exchanges: 4-8 per hour
- Light Requirements: 500-1000 lux
- Temperature: 55-65* F (13-18* C)
- Relative Humidity: 90-95%
- Duration: 5-8 days
- CO2: 800-1200 ppm
- Fresh Air Exchanges: 4-8 per hour
- Light Requirements: 500-1000 lux.
- Two crops in 60 days, 10-14 days apart.
This mushroom is more sensitive to moisture and carbon dioxide levels
that most. For indoor cultivation, a precise initiation strategy is
called for. It is preferred not to use a casing layer as it promotes
contamination, makes cleaning of the mushrooms tedious, and is
unnecessary with good environmental controls in the growing room.
a casing layer not be applied, the block of supplemented sawdust must
be exposed to a "condensing-fog" environment during the primordia
formation period. If the aerial mycelium suddenly dehydrates, and dies
back, surface primordia will be prevented and no crops will form. In
this event, the cultivator mush either roughen the surface of the block
and/or apply a moist casing layer, two second-choice alternatives.
initiate mushroom formation, temperatures are lowered to the 50-60* F
(10-15* C) range, carbon dioxide levels are lowered, relative humidity
is increased to 98-100% rH, light levels are increased to >500 lux,
and the surface mycelium is frequently misted with a fine spray of
water. Approximately a week after initiating, orange streaks of slime form across the exposed surface of the mycelium. It is essential that
the cultivator encourages the formation of this marmalade-looking goop.
Soon thereafter, populations of primordia form and emerge within this
overlaying, glutinous mass. So elastic is this material that it can be
stretched more than 6 inches with each pull. This glutinous layer acts
as a moisture bank promoting mushroom formation and development. Should
this layer collapse due to dehydration. The primordia are at risk of
Rather than removing the entire polypropylene bag, it
is recommended that most cultivators cut off the top portion of the
incubation bag, leaving 3-4 inch side walls of plastic surrounding the
exposed, upper surface of the sensitive mushroom mycelium. These
plastic walls will help collect moisture, enhancing primordia formation.
If done properly, the mushroom stems will elongate to exactly the
height of these walls, facilitating harvest.
casing-less approach, the second flush will be poor unless the surface
is roughened to expose viable mycelium. A paddle with extruding nails
or a wire brush serves this purpose well. Once the surface layer is torn
apart, humidity is again raised to achieve the condensing-fog
atmosphere. Soon thereafter (4-7 days), the mycelium becomes aerial,
fuzzy, regenerates the orange slime layer, giving rise to another break
of mushrooms. To achieve a third flush, its is recommended to turn the
block upside down, roughening its surface, and following similar
strategy to that described above. Fourth and fifth flushes are usually
The advantages of not using a casing layer are: less work; less risk of green mold (Trichoderma) contamination; and the harvested mushrooms are fee of debris. Because of the glutinous nature of the P. nameko fruit bodies, casing debris readily adheres to, and is difficult to remove from the harvested mushrooms and your fingers.
(Information taken from Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms, Paul Stamets)