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magic mushroom spores

COMMONLY CULTIVATED MAGIC MUSHROOM SPORES SPECIES IN NEW ZEALAND

 

This page provides a summary of some of the species of magic mushroom spores  that are cultivated by both home hobbyists and commercial growers in New Zealand. We are lucky to have a good selection of mushroom species to cultivate here, which span a diverse range of flavours, textures and nutritional profiles, and with different seasonal preferences of each species, can result in year-round mushroom production in most areas without the need for heating of the grow space. Due to our strict biosecurity regulations, there are a few species that you may read about in overseas material which are not available here. Take note that attempting to import spores, spawn or cultures from overseas can land you with hefty fines and / or criminal charges if not run through the correct legal channels. The safest option is to purchase spawn from NZ based suppliers, such as us here at MycoLogic.

NATIVE PHOENIX OYSTER MUSHROOMS

(Pleurotus pulmonarius)

Oyster magic mushroom spores  are one of the easiest mushrooms to grow at home. They are also delicious, versatile in cooking, and are a healthy and nutrient dense food. Here at MycoLogic, the main kind of oyster mushroom that we grow is a native variety of the Phoenix Oyster Mushroom, Pleurotus pulmonarius. The native variety is preferred over the more common commercial Asian strains due to its deeper flavour, more robust texture, and of course its natural evolutionary adaptation to the local environmental conditions, meaning a reduced need for energy intensive temperature and humidity controls.

Experience Level: Beginner

Substrate: Can be grown on various substrates including but not limited to pasteurised straw or woodchips, or sawdust blocks. Can also be grown outdoors on logs inoculated with dowel spawn. Our native oyster mushroom grow kits are a super easy way to grow some oyster mushrooms at home.

Growing Conditons: Phoenix oyster magic mushroom spores  will colonise and fruit at any temperatures between 5°C and 30°C, with around 15-20°C being optimal. They will grow slower in cold conditions (but taste excellent) and in higher temperatures they grow faster. Quality begins to decline in temperatures above 25°C with mushrooms becoming heat stressed and sporulating quickly. For high quality fruits, oyster mushrooms require LOTS of fresh air exchange, and a medium to medium-high humidity of around 75-85%

SHIITAKE

(Lentinula edodes)

One of the most popular gourmet fungi on the planet, and for good reason – shiitake magic mushroom spores  feature a complex umami flavour profile along with a firm but succulent texture which makes them a unique and delicious addition to many dishes. Most often used in asian cuisine, shiitake mushrooms are also utilised in a range of different styles of dishes by innovative chefs to showcase their flavours in a special dish.

Experience Level: Advanced (indoor), Beginner (outdoor logs)

Substrate: Grain spawn is used to inoculate sawdust blocks, which can be supplemented with 10-20% wheat bran (by dry weight). Shiitake do not fruit well from substrates supplemented with soy hulls or other legume products. Shiitake mushrooms can also be grown outdoors on logs inoculated with dowel spawn.

Growing Conditons: Blocks are incubated for approximately 90 days at 15 to 25°C and with as minimal disturbance as possible.. After the mycelium has colonised the block, it will begin to ‘popcorn’ (form white lumps over the surface). After this then the block will begin to form a brown crust on the surface. When the block is covered by at least 80% brown crusting then it is ready to put into fruiting conditions. Shiitake blocks are removed from the bag and fruited as a ‘naked’ block. Shiitake will fruit at temperatures between 15 to 25°C with medium to high humidity and moderate air exchange.

NATIVE NZ SHIITAKE

(Lentinula novae-zelandiae)

Our own unique kiwi twist on the classic shiitake. Native shiitake is endemic to Aotearoa, meaning it is only found naturally here and no where else in the world! It has a delicious flavour much similar to asian shiitake, with darker coloured caps that can often feature a slight red colouration. It is slightly trickier to grow than commercial shiitake strains but the process is more or less the same.

Experience Level: Advanced (indoor), intermediate (outdoor logs)

Substrate: Grain spawn is used to inoculate sawdust blocks, which can be supplemented with 10-20% wheat bran (by dry weight). NZ shiitake do not fruit well from substrates supplemented with soy hulls or other legume products. NZ shiitake can also be grown outdoors on logs inoculated with dowel spawn.

Growing Conditons: Blocks are incubated for approximately 90 days. After the mycelium has colonised the block, it will begin to ‘popcorn’ (form white lumps over the surface). Native shiitake blocks do not tend to develop a bown crust during incubation like asian shiitake do (the brown crust will form during fruiting). After 90 days if the blocks are popcorned, NZ Shiitake blocks are removed from the bag and fruited as a ‘naked’ block. They will fruit at temperatures between 10 to 25°C with medium to high humidity and moderate air exchange.

PEKEPEKE-KIORE / ‘NZ LIONS MANE’

(Hericium novae-zealandiae)

This absolutely unique and otherworldly-looking magic mushroom spores  is endemic to Aotearoa, and is not found anywhere else in the world. It is a close relative of the northern hemisphere mushroom ‘Coral Tooth’ (Hericium coralloides), so named for its intricately branched coral-like structure. These mushrooms have a unique and delicious flavour featuring a delicately savoury but sweet umami profile which is unlike any other mushroom. On top of this, mushrooms of the Hericium genus (including the internationally famous ‘Lions Mane’ Hericium erinaceus) are prized around the world for their medicinal properties including primarily their effects as a tonic for the nervous system and cognitive function, as well as their ability to support immune function.

Experience Level: Advanced

Substrate: Grain spawn is used to inoculate sawdust blocks, which can be supplemented with 10-20% wheat bran, or up to 50% soy hulls, or another supplement of your choice (by dry weight). These mushrooms can also be grown outdoors on logs inoculated with dowel spawn. It should be noted that logs inoculated with this species commonly take at least two, if not three years to begin producing fruits!

Growing Conditons: Blocks are incubated until they are well colonised. Note that the mycelium of this species is wispy and thin, not dense and white like many other species – it is not hugely visible when its colonising substrate but you can see it if you look and observe closely! Once well colonised, slits are cut in the bag and it is introduced to fruiting conditions. For this species, a small X cut (3-4cm wide) is usually cut near the top of the front face of the bag, considering that the fruits will hang / droop so need space to do that without hitting the shelf. These mushrooms will fruit at between 10 to 25°C with medium-high to high humidity and a decent amount of fresh air exchange.

TAWAKA / POPLAR MUSHROOM

(Cyclocybe parasitica)

Another endemic species unique to New Zealand is Tawaka, a magic mushroom spores  which can grow to a large size and is known for its firm, meaty texture and savoury flavour. A gorgeous looking mushroom with a smooth and velvety light brown cap.

Experience Level: Intermediate to advanced (indoor), beginner (outdoor logs)

Substrate: Grain spawn is used to inoculate sawdust blocks, which can be supplemented with 10-20% wheat bran, or up to 50% soy hulls, or another supplement of your choice (by dry weight). Can also be grown outdoors on logs inoculated with dowel spawn.

Growing Conditons: Blocks are incubated until they are well colonised and covered with dense white mycelium. At this point, slits are cut in the bag and it is introduced to fruiting conditions. Slits can be cut in an X shape on the front face of the bag or on the top of the bag. Some people also prefer to fruit tawaka from a open-topped bag similarly to enoki. This mushroom enjoys wamer temperatures and will fruit at around 16 to 30°C with medium to high humidity.

ENOKI

(Flammulina velutipes)

These small, slender magic mushroom spores  are a common feature in asian cuisine. Enoki grow wild in native New Zealand bush, however they look different when grown outdoor compared to the cultivated versions you may see in the supermarket. The cultivated versions are often grown in darkness (causing them to be very pale) and in a high CO2 environment (causing them to stretch out long and thin with small caps). Whether they’re grown in natural or controlled conditions, they’re delicious either way. They have a unique slightly fruity flavour and a delicate but crunchy texture. They’re often used in a similar way to mung bean sprouts in stir frys, noodle soups, hot pots and dumplings. These mushrooms tend to prefer cooler temperatures and fruit best from autumn through winter and into early spring.

Experience Level: Intermediate (indoor), beginner (outdoor logs)

Substrate: Grain spawn is used to inoculate sawdust blocks, which can be supplemented with 10-20% wheat bran, or up to 50% soy hulls, or another supplement of your choice (by dry weight). Can also be grown outdoors on logs inoculated with dowel spawn.

Growing Conditons: Sawdust-based substrate bags are inoculated with grain spawn and incubated at around 20°C until colonised. Enoki are commonly grown in narrower width bags than other species (to create a ‘meals worth’ size cluster at harvest time) but can also be grown on larger blocks. Once fully colonised, the top of the bag is cut off, leaving a high ‘collar’ to encourage upward vertical growth of the mushrooms. Some growers scratch the top surface of the block to encourage pinset. Enoki fruit best at temperatures between 10 to 20°C with medium to high humidity.

TURKEY TAIL

(Trametes versicolor)

This magic mushroom spores  is grown and foraged around the world for its prized medicinal properties. While not strictly ‘edible’ (the mushrooms are tough and leathery with a earthy fungal flavour), they are brewed into a tea or prepared as extracts or tinctures for their immune boosting and anti-cancer properties.

Experience Level: Intermediate (indoor), beginner (outdoor logs)

Substrate: Grain spawn is used to inoculate sawdust blocks, which can be supplemented with 10-20% wheat bran, or up to 50% soy hulls, or another supplement of your choice (by dry weight). These can be purchased as a ready-made grow kit. Can also be grown outdoors on logs inoculated with dowel spawn.

Growing Conditons: Sawdust-based substrate bags are inoculated with grain spawn and incubated at around 20°C until colonised. Once the block is covered with dense white mycelium, the air is squeezed out of the top part and then three horizontal slits are cut in the front face of the bag. Fruits will develop from there appearing first as white blobs and slowly over the course of a month or so forming into the familiar fanned out turkey tail fruitbody. Turkey tail fruit best at temperatures between 10 to 28°C with medium to high humidity and plenty of fresh air.

HAKEKE / WOOD EAR

(Auricularia novozealandica)

This magic mushroom spores has a unique appearance which does oftentimes literally look like ears growing on wood. Formerly known as Auricularia cornea, the species which grows in Aotearoa New Zealand was recently split off as its own endemic species subtly different to those found in South East Asia. Hakeke have a mild flavour and an interesting crunchy texture. They’re commonly used sliced finely in asian dishes such as stir frys, hot pots, noodle soups and dumplings. These mushrooms rehydrate well from being dried. They were once the product of a sizeable export industry in the late 1800s and early 1900s sending large bales of dried wild harvested mushrooms from the North Island to China. The export industry dried up when a method to cultivate them efficiently was developed in China in the 1960s.

Experience Level: Intermediate (indoor), beginner (outdoor logs)

Substrate: Grain spawn is used to inoculate sawdust blocks, which can be supplemented with 10-20% wheat bran, or up to 50% soy hulls, or another supplement of your choice (by dry weight). Can also be grown outdoors on logs inoculated with dowel spawn.

Growing Conditons: Sawdust-based substrate bags are inoculated with grain spawn and incubated at around 20°C until colonised. Once the block is covered with dense white mycelium, the air is squeezed out of the top part and then multiple 3ish cm long slits are cut in the front face of the bag. Fruits will develop from there appearing first as tan blobs and slowly over the course of a month or so forming into clusters of the jelly-like lobed hakeke fruitbodies. Hakeke fruits best at temperatures between 16 to 28°C with medium to high humidity and moderate to high fresh air exchange.

KING STROPHARIA

(Stropharia rugoso-annulata)

These garden giants, also known as burgundy magic mushroom spores or wine caps are impressive in their size and huge crops from outdoor woodchip / mulch beds. Patches of woodchip mulch can be inoculated anywhere in the garden, whether that’s around fruit trees, in the vege garden or landscaped areas. For eating, the large mushrooms are best harvested at a young stage, just before the cap opens up. They have a unique flavour and are well suited to stews and sauces. They are also a fun ornamental addition to the garden given the ‘toadstool’-like appearance of the mushrooms.

Experience Level: Beginner

Substrate: Spawn matrix (a mixture of organic materials including woodchips) is used to inoculate layers of fresh, non-coniferous woodchip mulch or straw in outdoor beds.

Growing Conditons: Mulch beds of woodchip from non-coniferous trees, or straw, approximately 5-10cm deep over soil is ideal. A layer of mulch is laid down, then spawn is spread across it, and then ‘sandwiched’ with another layer of mulch. These mushrooms enjoy dappled shade / partial sunlight. Patches do not need to be watered except for during drought conditions. After 9-12 months, the first mushrooms will begin to appear when environmental conditions are suitable. Most common times to see crops of these mushrooms are in the late spring and early autumn. Mulch can be topped up annually to keep the patch going for years.magic mushroom spores

SHAGGY MANES

(Coprinus comatus)

Also known as shaggy ink caps or lawyers wigs, you’ll never see these tasty magic mushroom spores  for sale in the shops, and the reason for that is that they must be cooked an eaten within a couple of hours of picking. After this they begin a process of ‘auto-digestion’ whereby the cap of the mushroom will slowly dissolve into a black, ink-like liquid which is filled with the mushrooms spores. But, if the mushrooms are picked in their prime (when the cap is still a tall torpedo shape and its base is still joined to the stem) then they are a delicious mushroom to fry up and eat on toast, add to an omelette, or crumbed and fried as a side dish for an evening meal.

Experience Level: Beginner

Substrate: Spawn matrix (a mixture of organic materials including compost and manure) is used to inoculate a patch of ground which is rich in organic matter like compost, manure and grass clippings. Shaggy mane patches can be created directly on lawns in amongst the grass, or in vege garden beds.

Growing Conditons: To create the patch, a layer of substrate (organic compost, horse manure, grass clippings or a blend of these) is laid down a few cm deep. Colonised spawn matrix is then crumbled over the surface before being ‘sandwiched’ in with another layer of substrate. If this is done on the lawn, you can then optionally resow grass seed on top, or simply just wait for the grass to naturally grow back through the substrate. After 6-12 months, magic mushroom spores will start to grow from the patch when environmental conditions are suitable. These mushrooms will most commonly fruit in the autumn months, but can pop up at almost any time of year during wet weather. The patch can be topped up with more substrate each year to keep the patch going.

BLACK MORELS

(Morchella importuna)

In the magic mushroom spores world, morels are highly prized by foragers and chefs alike. Their complex savoury and earthy flavour can tickle ones brain at a primal level and once you’ve tasted morels for the first time you’ll likely maintain a craving for them for the rest of your life! For most of human history, morels have been a wild foraged mushroom, being notoriously difficult to cultivate. However, in the past decade or so, advances in the scientific understanding of morel biology has led to sucessful cultivation (and especially outdoor cultivation) of certain species of the Morchella genus, with a primary focus on black morels. Here at MycoLogic we have dedicated several years of R&D efforts to find a suitable strain and develop methods for somewhat reliable outdoor cultivation of morels. We have been thrilled to pick fresh, delicious morels from our inoculated patches – it almost feels like cheating, but we’re not complaining!

Experience Level: Intermediate

Substrate: Spawn matrix (a mixture of organic materials including bark chips and soil) is used to inoculate a patch of ground which features a base layer of dense, loamy or clay-like soil, topped off with a mulch layer consisting usually of coniferous material such as pine bark chips, or pine or macrocarpa woodchip mulch.

Growing Conditons: To create the patch, firstly the dense soil layer must be created unless the suitable dense loamy grey coloured soil already exists in the patch. Soil sold as ‘topsoil’ (preferably unsupplemented with compost etc) usually works well for this and fine sand or silt can be added as well. Morel spawn is then crumbled over this layer, before being topped off with approx 5cm deep of coniferous bark chips or woodchips from pine or macrocarpa (pine or macrocarpa needles mixed in with the mulch is fine too). Approx 300g of gypsum per m2 is sprinkled over the area to help gain the correct pH for morels. A morel patch will take 9-12 months to become established and after that, if conditions are right, it can produce fruits in the spring time (usually September to November in NZ).

PINK OYSTER MUSHROOMS

(Pleurotus djamor)

Pink oyster are another variant of oyster magic mushroom spores  boasting a bright, coral-like pink colouration which is intense when the mushrooms are young and less bright as they mature. Pink oyster mushrooms are not native to New Zealand, they originate from Indonesia and as such, they prefer warm growing conditions. Pink oyster mushrooms will not thrive in cooler temperatures and as such they’re most commonly grown in the summer. Their flavour is milder than phoenix oyster mushrooms, and the texture is a bit tougher. The mushrooms are thinner and less meaty than phoenix oyster mushrooms, and so many people cook them until slightly crispy for a ‘vegan bacon’ type effect, which can be nice in the right dish.magic mushroom spores

Experience Level: Beginner (during warm weather 16°C or warmer)

Substrate: Can be grown on various substrates including but not limited to pasteurised straw or woodchips, or sawdust blocks. This species does not do well on outdoor logs in New Zealand as the mycelium dies off in cold weather. Our pink oyster mushroom grow kits (seasonal release) are a super easy way to grow some pink oyster mushrooms at home.

Growing Conditons: Pink oyster magic mushroom spores will colonise and fruit at temperatures between 16°C and 32°C, with around 20-25°C being optimal. For high quality fruits, pink oyster mushrooms require LOTS of fresh air exchange, and a medium to medium-high humidity of around 75-85%

VELVET OYSTER MUSHROOMS

(Pleurotus parsonsiae)

Velvet oysters are another variant of oyster magic mushroom spores , so called for the fact that their caps have a slightly rough, velvet-like texture to them. This species is closely related to Pink Oyster Mushrooms (Pleurotus djamor) although the velvet oyster is native to New Zealand, and is closer to a white to grey colour, although young mushrooms can sometimes have a faint pink blush. Their flavour is milder than phoenix oyster mushrooms, and the texture is a bit tougher. The mushrooms are thinner and less meaty than phoenix oyster mushrooms, and so many people cook them until slightly crispy for a ‘vegan bacon’ type effect, which can be nice in the right dish.

Experience Level: Beginner (during warm weather 14°C or warmer)

Substrate: Can be grown on various substrates including but not limited to pasteurised straw or woodchips, or sawdust blocks. This species does not do well on outdoor logs in New Zealand as the mycelium dies off in cold weather.

Growing Conditons: Velvet oyster mushrooms will colonise and fruit at temperatures between 14°C and 30°C, with around 18-23°C being optimal. For high quality fruits, velvet oyster mushrooms require LOTS of fresh air exchange, and a medium to medium-high humidity of around 75-85%

BROWN OYSTER MUSHROOMS

(Pleurotus australis)

Brown oysters are another variant of oyster magic mushroom spores , so called for the fact that their caps have a darker brown colour to them compared to most other oyster mushrooms – although the cap colour of young specimens can be closer to purple than brown. This species is native to both New Zealand and Australia. They are most commonly found growing in warmer times of the year growing on kanuka, pohutakawa or gorse trunks. The fruitbodies can get very large and have a thick, dense composition. Their flavour is milder than phoenix oyster mushrooms, and the texture is a bit tougher. These mushrooms do not generally perform well under indoor cultivation (except in expert hands) and so are best grown outdoors on gorse or kanuka logs.

Experience Level: Advanced (indoor), Intermediate (outdoor logs)

Substrate: Most commonly grown outdoors on gorse or kanuka logs. Have been known to fruit from pine logs as well.

Growing Conditons: Brown oyster mushrooms enjoy warmer temperatures for fruiting, around 16 to 26°C. They are well adapted to conditions with less humidity and will be happy with medium / ambient levels of humidity.

BUTTON / FIELD MUSHROOMS

(Agaricus species)

Your common supermarket magic mushroom spores  (Agaricus bisporus) also known as button, portobello or cremini mushrooms. These are not commonly cultivated by hobbyists in New Zealand, due to the fact that the cultivation process is quite involved and they are easily and cheaply available at any supermarket. It is possible to cultivate them, though, although the process is not covered on this website.

Experience Level: Advanced

Substrate: Agaricus mushrooms are a secondary decomomposer, meaning that they grow on substrates which have already been partially broken down. In commercial Agaricus farms, a special blend of materials like straw and animal manures are ‘hot composted’ (requiring a pile at least several tons in volume) until it has broken down into a rich compost. The heat generated by the composting process naturally pasteurises the substrate. This substrate is then inoculated with grain spawn and laid into beds. Traditionally, deep wooden trays have been used but these days, more high tech systems involving stainless steel shelving and conveyor belts for substrate are utilised for commercial scale production. The beds are ‘cased’ with a top layer of pasteurised peat, and put into fruiting conditions.magic mushroom spores

Growing Conditions: Button and portobello mushrooms incubate and fruit at temperatures between 16 to 25°C. They require a good amount of fresh air exchange and medium-high to high humidity.

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