Cultivation of Other Mushrooms

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In addition to the aforementioned species, certain other fungi have been or still are subject to some form of primitive cultivation. The method used to grow cultivated paddy straw mushrooms (Volvariella volvacea) is similar to that

Figure 7. A longitudinal section of Fistulina hepatica. Its common names are beefsteak fungus, ox-tongue, and poor man's beefsteak.

used for the common white mushroom (17-21). Both methods are based on the preparation of special beds and the introduction of mushroom spawn, but the paddy straw mushroom is mainly cultivated on a small scale using traditional, much less scientifically refined methods.

The jelly fungus (Auricularia polytricha) is quite popular in the Far East and is produced in large quantities in China. A proportion of this crop is grown on logs or polypropylene bags set up with the specific intention of encouraging the fungus. A similarly haphazard process has been used to cultivate Pleurotus ostreatus, the oyster mushroom. Several other fungi have been grown deliberately on a small or experimental scale. These include Pho-liota nameko, Pleurotus eryngii (Fig. 3), Stropharia rugo-soannulata, Auricularia spp., Tremella fuciformis, Tuber spp., Tricholoma matsutake, Tricholoma titans (Fig. 4), Flammulina velutipes, Morchella esculenta (7), Fistulina hepatica (Fig. 5-7), Agrocybe aegerita, Armillaria mellea, and Dictyophora indusiata. Though some sort of systematic cultivation is probably feasible for many fungi, the major obstacle to large-scale production is the difficulty of obtaining economically worthwhile yields.

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