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280 days of Urbpandemonium #76

 photo P1020937_zpsosurfoef.jpg

Sometimes a mushroom can only be identified to species if you know what kind of wood it's growing from. If these Reishi (or "Lingzhi"*) mushrooms are growing from a conifer, then they are Ganoderma tsugae.** If the dead log is from a hardwood tree, they are Ganoderma lucidum.** Either way they are part of a species complex of similar-looking glossy durable fungal fruiting bodies, valued in Asian traditional medicine for a very long time. There are many products available containing reishi mushrooms or their purported essence, including chocolate, tea, and coffee. There are kits to grow your own, or you can wild forage it--it's a pretty common group of wood-decaying mushrooms.



* ...Lingzhi is made up of the compounds ling 灵 "spirit, spiritual; soul; miraculous; sacred; divine; mysterious; efficacious; effective" (cf. Lingyan Temple) and zhi 芝 "(traditional) plant of longevity; fungus; seed; branch; mushroom; excrescence".

** [Reishi mushroom's} botanical names have Greek and Latin roots. The generic name Ganoderma derives from the Greek ganos γανος "brightness; sheen", hence "shining" and derma δερμα "skin". The specific epithet lucidum is Latin for "shining." Tsugae is derived from the Japanese word for "hemlock" (tsuga 栂).

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
kryptyd
Jun. 25th, 2015 10:28 pm (UTC)
They are one of the current (or possible recent) trendy superfoods. Very expensive. I'm surprised you can just pick them up. The impression you'd get from health shops is that these things can only be grown by gurus in the mysterious Far East.

Edited at 2015-06-25 10:28 pm (UTC)
urbpan
Jun. 26th, 2015 10:15 am (UTC)
You should see the price on a bag of dandelion greens here.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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