Enoki Mushrooms


The Enoki mushrooms grow naturally on the stumps of the Chinese Hackberry tree, called enoki in Japanese, but on some other trees as well, such as mulberry and lotus. There is a significant difference in the appearance between wild and cultivated mushrooms.

The cultivated Enoki mushrooms are not exposed to light and that is why they are white; on the other hand, wild mushrooms usually have a dark brown colour. Cultivated mushooms grow in an environment of high CO2 content and have a very thin strain, whereas wild mushrooms have a smaller one.

The variety available in the supermarkets is always cultivated on a subastrate of sawdust or corn cobs, as well as on additional components. Then, mushrooms are placed for another 30 days in a slightly cooler but more humid environment. Mushrooms available in the supermarkets often seem like having a bottle around their base.

The Enoki mushrooms are easily cultivated; they have been cultivated in Japan for over 300 years, first in wood and later in bottles. In North America, a second species, Flammulina populicola, has been cultivated and is available in packets.