is native to various countries in east Asia. Most commonly they are
found in Japan and China. They grow best in cool, dry to moist
(but not wet), and dark conditions. Temperature strongly affects two
different aspects of the mushroom's life... mycelia growth and the
fruiting body growth. Mycelia growth is strongest between 41º
and 90º F (5-32º C),
while the fruiting body grows best in temperatures between 50º
F (10-20º C). The fruiting
body also requires more humidity and light than the mycelia does.
edodes growing on a log. Shiitake mushrooms can usually be found on
species of trees that belong to the
Like all fungi, the Shiitake
mushroom plays and important role in the decomposition of its
environment. As a member of the Basidiomycota phylum,
Lentinula edodes is capable of synthesizing lignin peroxidase.
Lignin peroxidase is an enzyme in plants found in their
secondary walls, which means they are able to digest wood. Not so oddly enough,
Lentinula edodes is
usually found growing on trees or fallen logs.
has been shown to be susceptible to a mold called
cultivated so frequently without complete crop failure, it should be noted that
the Shiitake is not as susceptible to this mold compared to other
species of Lentinula.