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Lion’s Mane Mushrooms: A Complete Guide

January 12, 2023

One of the most intriguing mushrooms, and not just because of its look, are the lion’s mane mushrooms. This special mushroom has intriguing nutritional qualities, a wealth of wellness and medical possibilities, and an alluring past in traditional Chinese medicine and spirituality.

This shaggy mushroom is a member of the tooth fungus genus, which is distinguished by its fruiting bodies that resemble teeth or spines. In temperate woods across the Northern Hemisphere, lion’s mane grows on hardwood trees, giving specific preference to the American beech.

In this guide, we’ll explore all of the fascinating intricacies of the lion’s mane mushroom, from its classification to how and where it grows.

Lion’s Mane Mushrooms: Classification

The lion’s mane mushroom is classified as hericium erinaceus. As a member of this genus, the lion’s mane mushroom is closely related to other edible mushrooms such as the bear’s head tooth, spine-face mushroom, and comb tooth fungus. The lion’s mane mushroom, as well as a number of similar species in the hericium genus, are referred to as monkey’s head, bearded tooth, hedgehog mushroom, pom pom mushroom, and bearded mushroom.

Key Identifying Features and Appearance

Lion’s mane mushrooms are large, white, pom-pom-like mushrooms. The term “lion’s mane” refers to the gills, which have a hair or needle-like appearance that cascades downward as they expand.

It doesn’t appear to be a regular mushroom. It lacks a stem and a true cap. Instead, it has long, slender spines that typically extend over a centimeter and emerge from a single cluster. Although they eventually become brown or yellow as they mature, lion’s mane mushrooms are primarily white in hue. They too have white spore prints.

These mushrooms tend to grow anywhere from two to 15 inches in diameter. Their shape is somewhat rounded, very compact, and boasts spines that do not branch and instead will simply hang downwards. Read more:

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