Hericium abietis (PNW conifers)
- Similar Species
- Tree Association
- Medicinal Info
Hericium abietis causes a white pocket rot of conifers; this is a form of wood decay featuring a selective attack on lignin and hemicellulose in wood. The fruit bodies grow singly or occasionally in small groups on the dead wood of conifers, especially fir and Douglas fir. It can also be cultivated on conifer sawdust. The species is found throughout North America
Hericium is taken by mouth for age-related mental decline, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, depression, anxiety, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and to improve overall mental function and memory. It is also taken by mouth for long-term inflammation of the stomach lining (chronic atrophic gastritis), stomach ulcers, H. pylori infection, diabetes, cancer, high cholesterol, and weight loss.
Hericium is applied to the skin for wound healing.
As food, the fruiting body of Hericium is consumed in Chinese and Japanese dishes.
How does it work?
Hericium may improve the development and function of nerves. It might also protect nerves from becoming damaged. This might help prevent conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease. Hericium erinaceus also seems to help protect the mucous membrane layer of the stomach. This might help improve symptoms related to long-term swelling of the stomach lining (chronic atrophic gastritis) or stomach ulcers.
The fruit body forms a compact, branched mass with long spines hanging down. The branches originate from a single, thick, tough base. The color of the fruit body ranges from white to creamy, light yellowish, to salmon-buff. The hanging spines are usually 0.5–1 cm (0.2–0.4 in) long, although some may be as long as 2.5 cm (1.0 in); they are soft and brittle, and typically grow as clusters at the tips of the branches. Typically, fruit bodies have dimensions in the range of 10 to 75 cm (4 to 30 in) tall and wide, but they have been known to attain massive sizes; one noted specimen was about 100 pounds (45 kg).
Hericium abietis produces a white spore print. Spores are spherical or nearly so, smooth to slightly roughened, amyloid, and measure 4.5–5.5 by 4–5 μm. The hyphae are monomitic (consisting of only generative hyphae), and they have clamp connections.
Hericium abietis is edible and choice. David Arora suggests that cooking the mushroom produces a flavor similar to fish, and that it is suitable for sauteing, marinating, or preparing as a curry dish.
Steamed “Crab” (Hericium erinaceus) with butter Fungi Recipe, Steamed Crabs