Lentinula Edodes
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Lentinula Edodes

Scientific classification
L. edodes
Binomial name
Lentinula edodes
(Berk.) Pegler (1976)
Lentinula edodes
View the Mycomorphbox template that generates the following list
Mycological characteristics
gills on hymenium
cap is convex
hymenium is free
stipe is bare
spore print is white to buff
ecology is saprotrophic
edibility: choice
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese
Hanyu Pinyinxi?ngg?
Vietnamese name
Vietnamesen?m hng
Thai name
Thai? (hèt h?m)
Korean name
Japanese name

The shiitake (;[1]Japanese: [?i:take] Lentinula edodes) is an edible mushroom native to East Asia, which is cultivated and consumed in many Asian countries. It is considered a medicinal mushroom in some forms of traditional medicine.[2]

Taxonomy and naming

The fungus was first described scientifically as Agaricus edodes by Miles Joseph Berkeley in 1877.[3] It was placed in the genus Lentinula by David Pegler in 1976.[4] The fungus has acquired an extensive synonymy in its taxonomic history:[5]

  • Agaricus edodes Berk. (1878)
  • Armillaria edodes (Berk.) Sacc. (1887)
  • Mastoleucomyces edodes (Berk.) Kuntze (1891)
  • Cortinellus edodes (Berk.) S.Ito & S.Imai (1938)
  • Lentinus edodes (Berk.) Singer (1941)
  • Collybia shiitake J.Schröt. (1886)
  • Lepiota shiitake (J.Schröt.) Nobuj. Tanaka (1889)
  • Cortinellus shiitake (J.Schröt.) Henn. (1899)
  • Tricholoma shiitake (J.Schröt.) Lloyd (1918)
  • Lentinus shiitake (J.Schröt.) Singer (1936)
  • Lentinus tonkinensis Pat. (1890)
  • Lentinus mellianus Lohwag (1918)

The mushroom's Japanese name shiitake () is composed of shii (?, sh?, Castanopsis), for the tree Castanopsis cuspidata that provides the dead logs on which it is typically cultivated, and take (?, "mushroom").[6] The specific epithet edodes is the Latin word for "edible".[7]

It is also commonly called "sawtooth oak mushroom", "black forest mushroom", "black mushroom", "golden oak mushroom", or "oakwood mushroom".[8]

Habitat and distribution

Shiitake grow in groups on the decaying wood of deciduous trees, particularly shii, chestnut, oak, maple, beech, sweetgum, poplar, hornbeam, ironwood, mulberry, and chinquapin (Castanopsis spp.). Its natural distribution includes warm and moist climates in southeast Asia.[6]

Cultivation history

The earliest written record of shiitake cultivation is seen in the Records of Longquan County (?) compiled by He Zhan () in 1209 during the Southern Song dynasty.[] The 185-word description of shiitake cultivation from that literature was later crossed-referenced many times and eventually adapted in a book by a Japanese horticulturist Sat? Ch?ry? (?) in 1796, the first book on shiitake cultivation in Japan.[9]

The Japanese cultivated the mushroom by cutting shii trees with axes and placing the logs by trees that were already growing shiitake or contained shiitake spores. Before 1982, the Japan Islands' variety of these mushrooms could only be grown in traditional locations using ancient methods.[] A 1982 report on the budding and growth of the Japanese variety revealed opportunities for commercial cultivation in the United States.[10]

Shiitake are now widely cultivated all over the world, and contribute about 25% of total yearly production of mushrooms.[11] Commercially, shiitake mushrooms are typically grown in conditions similar to their natural environment on either artificial substrate or hardwood logs, such as oak.[10][11][12]



In a 100 gram amount, raw shiitake mushrooms provide 34 calories and are 90% water, 7% carbohydrates, 2% protein and less than 1% fat (table for raw mushrooms). Raw shiitake mushrooms are rich sources (20% or more of the Daily Value, DV) of B vitamins and contain moderate levels of some dietary minerals (table). When dried to about 10% water, the contents of numerous nutrients increase substantially.

Like all mushrooms, shiitakes produce vitamin D2 upon exposure of their internal ergosterol to ultraviolet B (UVB) rays from sunlight or broadband UVB fluorescent tubes.[13][14]


Fresh and dried shiitake have many uses in the cuisines of East Asia. In Japan, they are served in miso soup, used as the basis for a kind of vegetarian dashi, and as an ingredient in many steamed and simmered dishes. In Chinese cuisine, they are often sautéed in vegetarian dishes such as Buddha's delight.

One type of high-grade shiitake is called donko () in Japanese[15] and d?ngg? in Chinese, literally "winter mushroom". Another high-grade of mushroom is called hu?g? () in Chinese, literally "flower mushroom", which has a flower-like cracking pattern on the mushroom's upper surface. Both of these are produced at lower temperatures.


Health effects

Basic research is ongoing to assess whether consumption of shiitake mushrooms affects disease properties,[16][17][18] although no effect has been proven with sufficient human research to date.[19]

Shiitake dermatitis

Rarely, consumption of raw or slightly cooked shiitake mushrooms may cause an allergic reaction called "shiitake dermatitis", including an erythematous, micro-papular, streaky pruriginous rash that occurs all over the body including face and scalp, appearing about 24 hours after consumption, possibly worsening by sun exposure and disappearing after 3 to 21 days.[20] This effect - presumably caused by the polysaccharide, lentinan[20] - is more common in Asia[21] but may be growing in occurrence in Europe as shiitake consumption increases.[20] Thorough cooking may eliminate the allergenicity.[22]

Other uses

There is research investigating the use of shiitake mushrooms in production of organic fertilizer and compost from hardwood.[11][12]


See also


  1. ^ Wells, John C. (2008), Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (3rd ed.), Longman, ISBN 9781405881180
  2. ^ "Shiitake Mushroom".
  3. ^ Berkeley MJ. (1877). "Enumeration of the fungi collected during the Expedition of H.M.S. 'Challenger', 1874-75. (Third notice)". Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 16 (89): 38-54. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.1877.tb00170.x.
  4. ^ Pegler D. (1975). "The classification of the genus Lentinus Fr. (Basidiomycota)". Kavaka. 3: 11-20.
  5. ^ "GSD Species Synonymy: Lentinula edodes (Berk.) Pegler". Species Fungorum. CAB International. Retrieved .
  6. ^ a b Wasser S. (2004). "Shiitake (Lentinula edodes)". In Coates PM; Blackman M; Cragg GM; White JD; Moss J; Levine MA. Encyclopedia of Dietary Supplements. CRC Press. pp. 653-64. ISBN 978-0-8247-5504-1.
  7. ^ Halpern GM. (2007). Healing Mushrooms. Square One Publishers. p. 48. ISBN 978-0-7570-0196-3.
  8. ^ Stamets 2000, p. 260
  9. ^ Miles PG; Chang S-T. (2004). Mushrooms: Cultivation, Nutritional Value, Medicinal Effect, and Environmental Impact. CRC Press. p. 241. ISBN 978-0-203-49208-6.
  10. ^ a b Leatham GF. (1982). "Cultivation of shiitake, the Japanese forest mushroom, on logs: A potential industry for the United States" (PDF). Forest Products Journal. 32 (8): 29-35.
  11. ^ a b c Vane CH. (2003). "Monitoring decay of black gum wood (Nyssa sylvatica) during growth of the Shiitake mushroom (Lentinula edodes) using diffuse reflectance infrared spectroscopy". Applied Spectroscopy. 57 (5): 514-517. doi:10.1366/000370203321666515. PMID 14658675.
  12. ^ a b Vane CH; Drage TC; Snape CE. (2003). "Biodegradation of oak (Quercus alba) wood during growth of the Shiitake mushroom (Lentinula edodes): A molecular approach". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 51 (4): 947-956. doi:10.1021/jf020932h. PMID 12568554.
  13. ^ Bowerman, Susan (31 March 2008). "If mushrooms see the light". Los Angeles Times.
  14. ^ Ko JA; Lee BH; Lee JS; Park HJ. (2008). "Effect of UV-B exposure on the concentration of vitamin D2 in sliced shiitake mushroom (Lentinus edodes) and white button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus)". J Agric Food Chem. 50 (10): 3671-3674. doi:10.1021/jf073398s. PMID 18442245.
  15. ^ hang TS; Hayes WA. (2013). The Biology and Cultivation of Edible Mushrooms. Elsevier Science. p. 470. ISBN 978-1-4832-7114-9.
  16. ^ Nakano H; Namatame K; Nemoto H; Motohashi H; Nishiyama K; Kumada K. (1999). "A multi-institutional prospective study of lentinan in advanced gastric cancer patients with unresectable and recurrent diseases: effect on prolongation of survival and improvement of quality of life. Kanagawa Lentinan Research Group". Hepato-gastroenterology. 46 (28): 2662-8. PMID 10522061.
  17. ^ Oba K; Kobayashi M; Matsui T; Kodera Y; Sakamoto J. (2009). "Individual patient based meta-analysis of lentinan for unresectable/recurrent gastric cancer". Anticancer Research. 29 (7): 2739-45. PMID 19596954.
  18. ^ Bisen PS; Baghel RK; Sanodiya BS; Thakur GS; Prasad GB. (2010). "Lentinus edodes: a macrofungus with pharmacological activities". Current Medicinal Chemistry. 17 (22): 2419-30. doi:10.2174/092986710791698495. PMID 20491636.
  19. ^ "Shiitake mushroom". WebMD. 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  20. ^ a b c Boels D; Landreau A; Bruneau C; Garnier R; Pulce C; Labadie M; de Haro L; Harry P. (2014). "Shiitake dermatitis recorded by French Poison Control Centers - New case series with clinical observations". Clinical Toxicology. 52 (6): 625-8. doi:10.3109/15563650.2014.923905. PMID 24940644.
  21. ^ Hérault M; Waton J; Bursztejn AC; Schmutz JL; Barbaud A. (2010). "Shiitake dermatitis now occurs in France". Annales de Dermatologie et de Vénéréologie. 137 (4): 290-3. doi:10.1016/j.annder.2010.02.007. PMID 20417363.
  22. ^ Welbaum GE. (2015). Vegetable Production and Practices. CAB International. p. 445. ISBN 978-1-78064-534-6.

Cited literature

  • Stamets, P. (2000). Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms (3rd ed.). Berkeley, California: Ten Speed Press. ISBN 978-1-58008-175-7.

Further reading

  • Shen, J. et al. "An Evidence-based Perspective of Lentinus Edodes (Shiitake Mushroom) for Cancer Patients" (pp. 303-317), in: Evidence-based Anticancer Materia Medica (editor: William C. S. Cho). 2011. Springer. ISBN 978-94-007-0525-8
  • Tsuji, Shizuo (1980). Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art. New York: Kodansha International/USA.
Journal articles

External links

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