Hericium abietis

Hericium abietis

Abies amabilis

Abies concolor ?

Abies grandis

Abies lasiocarpa

Abies nobilis

Abies procera

Abies sp.

Picea engelmannii

Picea sitchensis

Pinus contorta

Pinus ponderosa

Pseudotsuga menziesii

Tsuga heterophylla 

Tsuga mertensiana

Tsuga sp.

Abies amabilis (Pacific silver fir) decay in tree, Ginns 1985 (Vancouver Island, BC, Canada); also Allen et alia 1996 (BC, Canada); Lowe 1969 (BC, Canada); USDA ARS GRIN collection list (Copper Canyon & Vancouver Island, BC, Canada); Significant source of decay. Yellow pitted trunk rot “living”, fruiting on trunks, Buckland et alia 1949 (BC); Isolated from dead wood on a live tree, Aho & Filip 1982 (Canada); substantial source of decay: Filip et al. 1984 (Washington).

Abies concolor (white fir) An isolation from wood is listed at USDA ARS GRIN but the reference given (Aho & Filip 1982) is not accurate so it is presently unclear to me if this host is correct or not (Oregon).

Abies grandis (grand fir) Anonymous 1960 (Idaho, Montana, Washington); USDA ARS GRIN collection list (4 Idaho collections, 1 was by Weir in 1916); Shaw 1973 & Maloy 1968 (Idaho); ATCC (Canada); “decay in”, “basidiome on” Ginns 1985 (Vancouver Island. BC, Canada); Lowe 1969 (BC, Canada).

Abies lasiocarpa (subalpine fir) Harrison 1973 (Canada); Pilley & Trieselmann 1969 (BC, Canada); Anonymous 1960 (Idaho, Washington); Shaw 1973 (Idaho, Montana, Oregon & Washington).

Abies nobilis (noble fir) USDA ARS GRIN collection list (Oregon) (Collected by Weir in 1916); “decay”, Ginns 1985 (Idaho?).

Abies sp. (fir) Three collections. Pilley & Trieselmann 1969 (BC, Canada).

Picea engelmannii (Engelmann spruce) Martin & Gilbertson 1980 (Idaho, Montana, Washington); USDA ARS GRIN collection list (Washington).

Picea engelmannii (Engelmann’s spruce) Lawrence & Hiratsuka 1972 (BC, Canada) (as H. laciniatum) [Ed.: suspect this may be H. abietis?].

Picea sitchensis (sitka spruce) Martin & Gilbertson 1980 (Alaska); Lowe 1969 & Ziller 1957 (BC, Canada).

Pinus contorta (lodgepole pine) ; USDA ARS GRIN collection list (Big Springs, Montana).

Pinus ponderosa (ponderosa pine) USDA ARS GRIN collection list (Idaho).

Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas-fir) Shaw 1973 (Washington).

Tsuga heterophylla (western hemlock) Anonymous 1960 (Oregon, Washington); Shaw 1973 (Idaho, Oregon, Washington); “decay”, “on break on old windfall”, “old, large windfall”. Ginns 1985 (Queen Charlotte Islands, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada); Lowe 1969 (BC, Canada); USDA ARS GRIN collection list (se Alaska and also Queen Charlotte Islands, Copper Canyon, BC, Canada); Cash 1953 (Prince Edward Island, Canada) (as Hydnum abietis Weir); Significant source of decay. Yellow pitted trunk rot “living”, “standing tree”, “log”, Buckland et alia 1949 (BC).

Tsuga mertensiana (mountain hemlock) Lowe 1969 (BC, Canada); Molnar 1956 (BC, Canada) (POSSIBLE ID. Given as a new record of an undescribed species but said to cause a white-pitted rot so might have been H. coralloides?).

Tsuga sp. Anonymous 1964 (Canada).

Abies, Pseudotsuga (douglas-fir) and Tsuga were mentioned in Hallenberg et alia 2013.

“[…] causes a typical “white pocket rot” of Abies grandis (Dougl.) Lindl. [grand fir], A. lasiocarpa (Hook.) Nutt. [subalpine fir], A. procera Rend. [noble fir], Picea engelmannii Parry ex Engelm. [Engelmann spruce], Tsuga heterophylla (Raf.) Sarg. [western hemlock], Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco [douglas-fir] in the Pacific Northwest. In Canada, it was reported from British Columbia by Bier (1949) as […] causing a “long pitted trunk rot” of western hemlock and true fir.
Foster and Foster (1951) […] as a cause of a rot of western hemlock. In Alaska, Hydnum abietis was reported by Englerth (1947) as the cause of a serious rot of western hemlock, and in one instance of a rot of Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carr [sitka spruce].
 All material that has been examined from California, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington has been on conifers.”
Harrison 1973.

“[…] causes a butt and trunk rot of amabilis [Abies amabilis], grand [Abies grandis], and subalpine fir [Abies lasiocarpa], mountain [Tsuga mertensiana] and western hemlock [Tsuga heterophylla], and occasionally Sitka spruce [Picea sitchensis]. […] “also been found on Douglas-fir and Engelmann spruce.” Allen et alia 1996 (BC, Canada).

“important decay organism in living and dead trees [firs], down wood, and logs”, “decay is found in the butt and lower stem of live trees, and also in stumps, snags and down wood.” Mallams et alia 2010. (Mountains of Oregon, Washington, and northern California).

Main hosts: Amabilis fir, grand fir, subalpine fir, Secondary hosts: Engelmann spruce, mountain hemlock, Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir, Sitka spruce, western hemlock, “Trunk” “The fruiting bodies are generally found on slash and on the ends of cut logs but they may also form on wounds on living trees.” Natural Resources Canada 2015 (Canada) (as “yellow pitted rot”)

“decayed conifer” ATCC (Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada).

“growing on conifers” Henderson 1981 (Pacific NW).

“on conifer stumps or logs” Kuo website & also mykoweb.com.

DAVP identified the following as substrates reported for collections made in BC: Abies amabilis (2), Abies grandis (2), Abies sp. (4), Picea engelmannii (1), Picea sitchensis (1), Pseudotsuga menziesii (2), Tsuga heterophylla (25), Tsuga mertensiana (1) and on unidentified dead wood (4).

“decay in standing Abies or Tsuga” Ginns 1985 ( Vancouver Island, BC, Canada); “on break on old windfall on Abies or Tsuga” Ginns 1985 ( BC, Canada).

“on conifer logs” Anonymous 2014 (Alaska).

Hericium abietis

comments and questions.

“Hericium abietis is restricted to western North America from northern California to southeast Alaska. It grows saprophytically on fallen or standing dead conifers, especially Abies spp.Molina et alia 1993. See also Harrison 1973.

Occurrences for abietis have been reported outside of that range.

  Hericium abietis was said to have been collected in the Ukraine on an Abies sp. in Bisko et alia 2016. 

“on buried conifer wood” Kaya 2009 (Turkey) 

The species identification would seem to be in error due to the country. The account of Kaya 2009 may have referred to alpestre?

Both seem more likely to be a misidentification of another taxa? 

DAVP lists a collection of Hericium americanum from Tsuga heterophylla; also listing two of Hericium coralloides, one of them from a Picea species and another from Tsuga heterophylla. All three occurred in British Columbia so all of those are possibly Hericium abietis. 

Shaw 1973 listed H. coralloides (Washington & Oregon) and H. erinaceus (Oregon) on this species. Both are likely H. abietis. As is Anonymous 1960 (northwestern states) (as Pseudotsuga taxifolia).

Ginns 1985 commented on being unable to document any correctly identified coralloides occurring on a conifer.

Occurrence comments

Occurrence comments

Hericium species are often considered uncommon. Hericium erinaceus is regarded as threatened or endangered some places. It is a legally protected red-list organism in European countries such as England and over a dozen more. 

Disappearance of large expanses of intact old-growth forests is often blamed for their rare occurrence but a major contributor is the eagerness of humans to cut down trees inhabited by lion’s mane due to shedding large limbs and their upper portion. This is sometimes done out of a perception that the tree is therefore dangerous but firewood harvesting and fire-safety activity is commonly involved. If wanting to encourage more hericiums in the world, aggressive removal of their hosts should be replaced by leaving the trees standing and respecting what falls to rot into the ground as important habitat, especially when it is substantial in size. The usual pattern is for fruiting to repeat itself until the wood is exhausted. People frequently think the Hericium species to naturally be rarities or limited to expanses of old-growth forests but when their preferred habitats (injured, dying and dead trees) are left alone to decay they can be surprisingly commonly encountered inside of major urban areas. 

They are often readily overlooked due to fruiting best in mild but damp periods rather than excessively wet periods that can easily damage the carpophores. Fruiting on standing trees or inside of hollows and on the undersides of large fallen debris can also cause them to be missed even when they are abundantly present in the forest. It is also not uncommon for Hericium erinaceus to fruit much higher on trees than will permit safe recovery. This often also helps them be missed as most foragers are not looking for mushrooms that might be located 20 meters high in a tree. And fewer still will take the risk of climbing a tree to harvest a fungus that eats the tree from the inside out.

Molecular work

Molecular work in the genus Hericium.

A handful of attempts have been made towards creating a phylogenetic tree. The biggest point of agreement between them is illuminating that there is a need for work involving larger data sets including international comparisons of what are presently recognized as species. There are also a few collections included that were made outside of their known range of occurrence. These are noted but it is important to be aware not just of their existence but also of the fact that many distribution maps, molecular studies and even libraries of genomic sequences may include them as properly identified samples (for example a Hericium alpestre found in Taiwan was sequenced).

There are a number of specimens reported as having been collected from uncommon hosts. It is presently unclear what may be misidentified collections versus collections found on less common hosts and what part of the outliers may be legitimate discoveries indicating a broader range of occurrence. 

There is also a great need for incorporating a broader sampling of all known species from worldwide sources but Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, Asia and PNW America need extra attention on what is presently considered coralloides or a synonym. In addition to the mess in North America and Europe, there is a softwood lover and a hardwood lover in Asia that need disentanglement.

Published studies of which we are aware:

Hibbett et alia 2000. Nature, 407: 506–508. Evolutionary instability of ectomycorrhizal symbioses in basidiomycetes.

Slippers et alia 2000. Mycologia 92(5): 955–963. Relationships among Amylostereum species associated with siricid woodwasps inferred from mitochondrial ribosomal DNA sequences. [Included Hericium ramosum only as an outlier; gave no indication as to its point of origin.]

Larsson & Larsson 2003. Mycologia, 95(6): 1037–1065. Phylogenetic relationships of russuloid basidiomycetes with emphasis on aphyllophoralean taxa.

Miller et alia 2006. Mycologia, 98(6): 960–970. Perspectives in the new Russulales.

Albee-Scott 2007. Mycological Research, 111(6): 653–662. The phylogenetic placement of the Leucogastrales, including Mycolevis siccigleba (Cribbeaceae), in the Albatrellaceae using morphological and molecular data. [Paper included three Hericium species.]

Das et alia 2011. Cryptogamie, Mycologie, 32(3): 285–293. A new species of Hericium from Sikkim Himalaya India.

Hallenberg et alia 2012. Mycological Progress, 12(2): 413–420. Species complexes in Hericium (Russulales: Agaricomycota) and a new species, Hericium rajchenbergii, from southern South America.

Das et alia 2013. IMA Fungus, 4(2): 359–369. Two new species of hydnoid fungi from India.

Park et alia 2014. Journal of Microbiology & Biotechnology, 14(4): 816–821. Molecular Identification of Asian Isolates of Medicinal Mushroom Hericium erinaceum by Phylogenetic Analysis of Nuclear ITS rDNA.

Chen et alia 2016. Persoonia, 37, 21–36. Global diversity and molecular systematics of Wrightoporia s.l. (Russulales, Basidiomycota).
[Paper included six Hericium species.]

Singh & Das 2019. Nova Hedwigia, 108(3–4): 505–515. Hericium rajendrae sp. nov. (Hericiaceae, Russulales): an edible mushroom from Indian Himalaya.

[Paper included nine Hericium species; several of which did not resolve nicely.]

There was also Atila et alia 2018. Journal of Microbiology, Biotechnology & Food Sciences, 7 (5) 532–536. Genetic Diversity of Hericium isolates by ISSRR and SRAP Markers. 
  However, this last paper seemed to have reversed the images of abietis and coralloides (with their data also being suggestive of their samples being reversed). The authors also cited at least two references which were unconnected to their referenced data. 

Communication with the lead author indicated their source of both was a respected culture bank so it is not clear what to think but a look at the included images is recommended.

st point of agreement between them is illuminating that there is a need for work involving larger data sets including international comparisons of what are presently recognized as species. There are also a few collections included that were made outside of their known range of occurrence. These are noted but it is important to be aware not just of their existence but also of the fact that many distribution maps, molecular studies and even libraries of genomic sequences may include them as properly identified samples (for example a Hericium alpestre found in Taiwan was sequenced).

There are a number of specimens reported as having been collected from uncommon hosts. It is presently unclear what may be misidentified collections versus collections found on less common hosts and what part of the outliers may be legitimate discoveries indicating a broader range of occurrence. 

There is also a great need for incorporating a broader sampling of all known species from worldwide sources but Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, Asia and PNW America need extra attention on what is presently considered coralloides or a synonym. In addition to the mess in North America and Europe, there is a softwood lover and a hardwood lover in Asia that need disentanglement.

Published studies of which we are aware:

Hibbett et alia 2000. Nature, 407: 506–508. Evolutionary instability of ectomycorrhizal symbioses in basidiomycetes.

Slippers et alia 2000. Mycologia 92(5): 955–963. Relationships among Amylostereum species associated with siricid woodwasps inferred from mitochondrial ribosomal DNA sequences. [Included Hericium ramosum only as an outlier; gave no indication as to its point of origin.]

Larsson & Larsson 2003. Mycologia, 95(6): 1037–1065. Phylogenetic relationships of russuloid basidiomycetes with emphasis on aphyllophoralean taxa.

Miller et alia 2006. Mycologia, 98(6): 960–970. Perspectives in the new Russulales.

Albee-Scott 2007. Mycological Research, 111(6): 653–662. The phylogenetic placement of the Leucogastrales, including Mycolevis siccigleba (Cribbeaceae), in the Albatrellaceae using morphological and molecular data. [Paper included three Hericium species.]

Das et alia 2011. Cryptogamie, Mycologie, 32(3): 285–293. A new species of Hericium from Sikkim Himalaya India.

Hallenberg et alia 2012. Mycological Progress, 12(2): 413–420. Species complexes in Hericium (Russulales: Agaricomycota) and a new species, Hericium rajchenbergii, from southern South America.

Das et alia 2013. IMA Fungus, 4(2): 359–369. Two new species of hydnoid fungi from India.

Park et alia 2014. Journal of Microbiology & Biotechnology, 14(4): 816–821. Molecular Identification of Asian Isolates of Medicinal Mushroom Hericium erinaceum by Phylogenetic Analysis of Nuclear ITS rDNA.

Chen et alia 2016. Persoonia, 37, 21–36. Global diversity and molecular systematics of Wrightoporia s.l. (Russulales, Basidiomycota).
[Paper included six Hericium species.]

Singh & Das 2019. Nova Hedwigia, 108(3–4): 505–515. Hericium rajendrae sp. nov. (Hericiaceae, Russulales): an edible mushroom from Indian Himalaya.

[Paper included nine Hericium species; several of which did not resolve nicely.]

There was also Atila et alia 2018. Journal of Microbiology, Biotechnology & Food Sciences, 7 (5) 532–536. Genetic Diversity of Hericium isolates by ISSRR and SRAP Markers. 
  However, this last paper seemed to have reversed the images of abietis and coralloides (with their data also being suggestive of their samples being reversed). The authors also cited at least two references which were unconnected to their referenced data. 

Communication with the lead author indicated their source of both was a respected culture bank so it is not clear what to think but a look at the included images is recommended.

What this is and is not.

What this is and is not

This is simply a list of what host substrates have been reported. It is presently a work-in-progress that will continue to be revised and corrected based on feedback and suggestions.

Organization of the entries is first as a simple list of reported hosts. This is followed by the same set of hosts but with common names, references and collection comments. Collection comments that are broader or have unclear hosts follow that.

An index and cross-listings by-host and by-country/state of occurrence are also planned but those have not yet been completed.

Maybe some day some brave mycological taxonomist will produce a rigorous study leading to a monograph on the Genus Hericium but it is understandable why any sane person would want to steer clear of that nomenclatural morass. 

They say Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. Consider this one fool’s attempted contribution to Hericium lovers everywhere. 

This is part of a larger project that is intended to help those people FIND Hericium species.

In the following list will be found:

Hericium abietis

Hericium americanum

Hericium bharengense

Hericium botryoides

Hericium cirrhatum

Hericium coralloides

Hericium erinaceus

Hericium flagellum

Hericium ptychogasteroides

Hericium schestunovii

Also included are some comments and questions on:

Hericium alpestre & 

Hericium clathroides

It is not my intention to say all of these should be respected or that other taxa should not be. This is just an attempt at creating a framework to work on. Attempts have been made to include notes about divergent opinions, points of confusion, potential errors, questions and unknowns.

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgements

First thanks goes to every author and collector who is cited herein as they did the actual work upon which this assemblage was based. Similarly to the assorted databases and herbarium records online. Those databases are included in the references listed.

I want to also thank a host of helpful friends, book vendors and information services for helping me obtain reference materials. 

However, this project would have been vastly more difficult if not for the activities of a growing number of organizations that exist with the apparent intentions of digitizing everything possible and/or making knowledge more readily available. In alphabetical order: Archive.org, Biblioteca digital del Real Jardín Botanico CSIC (Madrid), Biodiversity Heritage Project, MOBOT’s Botanicus, the Canadian Forest Service, Citationsy, Galica at the Muséum national d’histoire naturelle, Google, Hathitrust, and Alexandra Elbakyan’s Sci-Hub.

softwoods & odd hosts reported for H. coralloides

Abies alba (silver fir) Yurchenko 2002 (Belarus); Global Catalogue of Microorganisms (Czech Republic & Yugoslavia). [Ed.: was this H. alpestre?]

Abies borisii-regis (Bulgarian fir) “on” Zervakis et alia 1998 (Greece). [Ed.: was this H. alpestre?]

Abies fabri (Yunnan fir) “Decay” Chen 2003 (Tibet, China).

Abies firma (Momi fir) Kobayashi 2007 (Japan) (as H. ramosum).

Abies homolepis (Nikko fir) Kobayashi 2007 (Japan) (as H. ramosum).

Abies sp. (fir) ATCC (Yugoslavia). [Ed.: was this H. alpestre?]; Teng 1996 (China); Kobayashi 2007 (Japan) (as H. ramosum); “On decayed” Berkeley 1860 (UK); Jussieu ex Barrelier 1714:118 (as Fungus ramosus], Pollini 1824 and also Micheli 1720:122 (all 3 Italy). Rastetter 1983 seems also likely to be H. alpestre?

Abies spp. (firs) “White rot” Chen 2003 (Tibet, Sichuan, China)

Agathis australis (kauri) “fallen log” This is a conifer. ALA (6 finds from New Zealand: all were submitted as Hericium sp.)

Archontophoenix cunninghamii (Bangalow palm) “Host in contact with soil, fallen, dead, rotten [trunk]” ALA (Queensland, Australia).

Cupressus sp. (cedar) Pollini 1824 (Italy).

Dacrydium cupressinum (rimu) “well rotted podocarp” ALA (New Zealand). This is a conifer.

Ganoderma (?) Reported to have occurred on a Ganoderma fruiting body. Most likely the perception of the Ganoderma being the actual host was not accurate. It seems more probable that they were sharing the same host and became intimately associated. Also reported associated on a single host with Ganoderma. ALA (NZ); H. coralloides was also reported to have been found sharing the same host with a Ganoderma and in one case this was noted to be following it. ALA (Tasmania, Australia).

Picea abies (Norway spruce) Cybertruffle’s Robigalia citing Burova 1968:363. (1 record from Russia).

Picea engelmannii (Engelmann’s spruce) Ginns 1986 (Canada) [Ed.: was this H. abietis?].

Picea glauca (white spruce) Brambilla & Sutton 1969 (Manitoba, Canada) (as H. laciniatum) [Ed.: was this H. abietis?]; Conners 1967 (BC, Canada) [Ed.: was this H. abietis?]; McArthur 1966 (Alberta, Canada) (as H. laciniatum); Conners 1967. (Alberta, Canada) (as H. ramosum). 

Picea sp. (spruce) Lowe 1969 (BC, Canada) (as H. ramosum) Noted as rare host; DAVFP (BC, Canada). [Ed.: Were these H. abietis?]

Pinus sylvestris (scots pine) “on trunk of supposedly living” Yurchenko 2002 (Belarus). [Ed.: H. alpestre?]

Podocarpaceae (these are conifers). Not identified beyond family. “dead standing tree” ALA (New Zealand).

Tsuga heterophylla (western hemlock) DAVFP (BC, Canada). [Ed.: H. abietis?]

Tsuga sieboldii (Southern Japanese hemlock) Kobayashi 2002 (Japan) (as H. ramosum).

“On decayed fir, beech, ash, &c.” Cooke 1871 United States)

Occurring on Abies (fir) and Picea (spruce). Gobice 2013.

Log in conifer forest. Thind & Khara 1975 (Jammu-Kashmir, India)

It grows on the stumps and dead trunks of deciduous trees, mainly birch, rarely beech, elm, alder, oak, linden, aspen, in mixed and deciduous, occasionally coniferous forests.” [citing Nikolaeva 1961]. Russian Red Book online (Mycology.su).

Hericium flagellum

Hericium flagellum

[Proposed to be the accepted name of alpestre based on the rules of priority. Most of the following were as alpestre.]

Abies alba

Abies spp.

Fagus orientalis  ?

Picea abies ?

“on various conifers”

Abies alba (silver fir) Ginns 1984 (Austria); Schmid-Heckel 1988 (Germany). Ginns 1984 comments that H. alpestre is restricted to central and southern Europe and occurs almost entirely on Abies alba (citing Hallenberg 1983); Also in Ginns 1985 (Austria); “growing in the mountains of Central and South Europe […] grows almost solely on Abies, in Europe mostly A. alba (Nuss [Nuß] 1973). It has not been found in the Nordic countries.” Koski-Kotiranta & Niemelä 1988.

Abies sp. (fir) ATCC; Stalpers 1992 (near Ostrava & also Bohemia, Czechoslovakia); also Varstvo gozdov(Slovakia); “[…] almost exclusively been found on newly fallen trunks and on stumps of Abies in the mountains of C and S Europe” Hallenberg 1983. (Austria); Dead tree. Merino Alcántara 2011 (Alpes-Maritimes, Alpes-Côte d’Azur, France); Abies spp. (firs) Rastetter 1983 (in Vosges in France) (as H. coralloides); Also mentioned in Bisko et alia 2016 (Ukraine) who presented alpestre as a form of abietis; Abies was also given in Persoon 1794:151.

Fagus orientalis (oriental beech) Cybertruffle’s Robigalia (unclear if Georgia or Ukraine). [as = H. alpestre forma caput-ursi]

On “conifers and especially on Abies”. Tanchaud 2015 (France) (as H. flagellum).

“des vieux pins & des sapins” (“old pines and fir”) Paulet 1793:427. 

“on various conifers” Rastetter 1983 (at Hohneck and in central and south Vosges in France) (as H. coralloides).

“fairly rotten large trunk of conifer tree, laying on ground, debarked, Picea abies or Abies alba.” EOL (Slovenia).

There have been, and continue to be, various points of confusion involving the divergent views of alpestre, clathroides [see comments], coralloides  [see list of softwood host reports] and flagellum.

wrt European collections:

Hallenberg 1983 reported Hericium alpestre to react with p-cresol.

Hallenberg 1983 also reported that Hericium coralloides had no reaction with p-cresol.

There are have been additional points of confused applications.

Carya sp. (hickory) “grows from dead wood” “on a dead hickory” Coker 1918 (North Carolina, USA) (as Manina flagellum)

Culture jar

Nothing new or original from me here as far as the use of filter disks on jars or using jars for agar.

This is something that has been a valuable tool in maintaining and growing Hericium clones.

filters and jar lids

filters and jar lids

IMGP8451

Holes were made using an art crafter’s thin-metal hole-punch and installed with the side shown facing down so heating does not seal the edge shut.

IMGP8452

Standard heavy filter material as is used in the fungal production industry.

It is some sort of thick porous plastic that holds up to pressure cooking. Looks and feels like it could be polypropylene but I am not sure. Comes in sheets that are most often sold in precut circles. There is some art stock that looks very similar but if held to the light tiny specks of sky are visible through it so it is not the same thing.

IMGP8455

Agar that has been shaken cold and quickly poured.

(These could have been poured using hot agar but this is way faster and simpler.)
This was a PDYA so required a lot of swirling during the pouring process and still had a fair amount of excess settling in the last jar.
Used:
18 grams Uncle Ben’s Instant Potato Flakes
14 grams of bacteriological grade agar
3 grams of dextrose
1 gram of Diamond-V yeast extract (Don’t mistake dark spots as contaminants later!)
750 ml water (tap water which is nonchlorinated from a protected well)

IMGP8456Filter lid jar ready to cook

cold agar shaken and quickly poured - with lid

with lid

cold agar shaken and quickly poured - ready to pressure cook

with foil ready to pressure cook

cold agar ready to pressure cook

cold agar ready to pressure cook

Metal foil just keeps filter disk from getting saturated and potentially compromisable.,

cold agar ready to pressure cook

cold agar ready to pressure cook

These  get stacked in the PC and cooked for 25 minutes at 15 psi.

cooked agar jars cooling down

cooked agar jars cooling down

A cooked bag straight out of the PC can be seen on the left.

cooked agar jars cooling down

cooked agar jars cooling down

Jar on far left above shows settling due to setttling challenge when starting with cold agar. It has never caused problems and generally only affects the last jar poured.

cooked agar jar

cooked agar jar

cooked agar jar

cooked agar jar

cooked agar jar ready to inoculate

cooked agar jar ready to inoculate

This is a rather high priced way to make agar plates compared to petri dishes.

For long-lived cultures like Hericium they can be quite valuable as the thick agar lasts longer before drying. And there is enough room to prevent breaching the container if the Hericium forms microfruit.

Plus these can go straight into a refrigerator and enjoy Winter even if it is the dead of summer. This is how we keep our working cultures alive and happy during summer heat (we also maintain master slants).

They have also proven to be a good tool when cloning Hericiums but the tissue selection is the most important aspect. If it is not both clean and not-at-all waterlogged another choice should be made if possible. It is feasible to get clones from soggy material but they typically require a lot of time and effort to chase clear of molds and other contaminants. This problem is dramatically reduced or eliminated when starting out with a good tissue sample. Inside of thick sections of branches or inside of the basal sections have given great results as have the use of branchy tips from microfruit forming inside of jars or when fruiting has occurred inside of a bag.