Reishi is a type of polypore mushroom that grows from the ground overnight and is woodier than many other types of fungi. Despite being extremely tough to chew, their toughness helps them survive the season. All of the species in the Ganoderma genus, including but not restricted to Ganoderma Lucidum, Ganoderma tsugae, and Ganoderma multiple, are referred to as reishi. Looking at these species’ names can reveal a lot about them. Latin’s gan (shiny) and derm (skin) words refer to these mushrooms’ resinous or lacquered-appearing surface. Similar brilliance is evoked with Lucidum. Tsugae, on the other hand, refers to the hemlock tree as a favored substrate. A pileus is a cap, as those of you who are familiar with mycological terminology may well know, thus multiple offers us a plethora!
These characteristics are shared by all of these species: a burgundy red cap that arises in a knobby manner and frequently fades into orange and finally wʜɪᴛe at its expanding tip. The surface appears polished or lustrous and has aged over time. A wʜɪᴛe, densely pored surface that bruises brown and exudes medium brown spores can be found behind the cap. The pore surface has a medium brown color, while the flesh is wʜɪᴛe. Reishi caps can alter in appearance depending on gas exchange. Classic conch shapes, such as circles or kidney shapes, are produced in high-oxygen settings. Antlers appear where carbon dioxide predominates.
When reishi emerges, it looks like felt-tipped knobs that are investigating their surroundings. If there is enough oxygen present, these first stems may take on their distinctive conch shape; otherwise, they may stay antlers. A robust and determined fungus, reishi will tear through bags in pursuit of air. However, they take a time to develop, so be patient while you observe them. The fruiting body can be shaped in fascinating ways by adjusting gas exchange and light! Ingenious uses of G. multiple as a building material and sculptural component have been combined by one grower in Sɪɴɢᴀᴘᴏʀᴇ, Kiat of Bewilder, to produce beautiful and unusual light fixtures! His work serves as an inspiration for the numerous underutilized uses of fungus.
Harvesting: When reishi reaches maturity, the edge from which it is developing will mellow from wʜɪᴛe or orange to a more matte red. It will start to discharge spores at this time. Reishi is more understanding of harvest timing and our fleshier fungi since they are woody. Choose them when they are the size or form you prefer, up to a short time after they have reached peak maturity and are beginning to dull. However, it’s important to note that mushrooms that are plucked with their Wʜɪᴛe edge still present will likely store better. Cut the reishi near the base of the stem with a sharp knife or by snapping.
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Video resource: Noal Farm