Maitake (Hen-of-the-woods) Mushrooms

(incl. VAT)

Commonly found during Autumn months growing in the wild at the base of Oak, Elm, and Maple trees, the Maitake or Hen-of-the-woods mushroom (Grifola frondosa) is also known as the “King of Mushrooms” as they can grow over 50kg in size. A favourite amongst Japanese royalty, this beautiful-tasting gourmet mushroom is as revered for its taste as it is for its health-promoting properties. Native to China, the northeastern part of Japan and North America.

The delicate and feathery texture of the Maitake compliments its earthy-deep, rich, smokey and woody taste said to awaken your fifth taste, umami. Often used as a flavour enhancer to other dishes, it can be roasted, sautéed or added to stir-fries, soups and other dishes. Can be eaten raw and is considered a staple by many in Japan, and for good reason…

A prized medicinal mushroom in Japan, China and other Asian countries where it has been used for thousands of years to help improve our immune system. Having recently been used in phase 1 & 2 medicinal trials to increase the immune systems of cancer victims, largely thanks to the mushroom’s ability to produce beta-glucan D-fraction. With a natural ability to lower blood sugar levels, rich in beta-glucans, and with a diverse range of antioxidants, the Maitake mushroom is a great all-round medicinal mushroom perfectly suited to those people with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and people with weakened immune systems.

At the sake of yield, we harvest our Maitake mushrooms when they are tender and young, it’s at this point that they are at their prime for eating.

We grow our Maitake mushrooms on supplemented hardwood sawdust, and they’re not the easiest of mushrooms to cultivate, with each one taking us around 3 months to grow.

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Storage and Shelf-Life

Stored correctly in a paper bag placed in the bottom of the fridge, hen-of-the-woods mushrooms have a relatively long shelf life of 7-10 days, though they have the most flavour when eaten on the day of purchase.

Avoid storing mushrooms in plastic bags or containers, which will cause them to sweat and quickly spoil.

Additional Info & External Resources

Common Names

Hen-of-the-wood, Grifola frondosa, Ram’s head mushroom, Sheep’s head mushroom, King of mushrooms, the Dancing Butterfly mushroom.

舞茸/Maitake “dancing mushroom” (Japanese), Kumotake “Cloud Mushroom” (Japanese), Signorina mushroom (Italian), Żagwica listkowata (Polish), Polypore en touffe/Poule des bois (French), Eikhaas (Dutch), Гри́фола курча́вая (Russian), Koppelokääpä (Finnish).

Growth Parameters

  • Spawn run: 21-24°C | 95-100% RH | CO2 30,000 ppm | 0 lux | FAE 0-1 | 14-30 days
  • Primordia Formation: 10-15°C | 95% RH | CO2 3500 ppm | FAE 4-8 | 100-500 lux | 5-10 days
  • Fruitbody Development: 13-16°C | 75-85% RH | CO2 <1,000 ppm | FAE 4-8 | 500-1,000 lux | 14-21 days
  • Fruiting Cycle: 2 Crops, 21-28 days apart

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