Identifying Mushroom LOG Fruits
This page contains photos of some of Haw River Mushrooms log grown mushrooms at various stages of fruiting, and is intended to help home growers identify their mushroom species as it fruits. This is for educational purposes only and it is the responsibility of the user to positively ascertain the identity of any mushroom they consume.
Baby Shiitake - “Button Phase”
Note, your first mushroom may emerge close to where you put the inoculated spawn, but a fully inoculated log can fruit from anywhere on the log. Young shiitake mushrooms emerge with the cap still attached to the stem and slowly separate as the mushroom cap grows and flattens.
As shiitake mushrooms mature, their caps become flatter. However, this flattening isn’t as dramatic as it is in the Oyster Mushroom, which will actually eventually “reverse umbrella” as it maximizes its spore surface. Choosing when to harvest shiitakes is a bit of an art, choosing between how much exposure to sun, rain, and pest pressure you can allow vs capitalizing on the maximum possible growth of the mushroom. Mushrooms picked younger will have a longer shelf life. Whenever possible, avoid harvesting wet mushrooms as this will greatly reduce shelf life. Sometimes we harvest baby shiitake simply to avoid needing to tarp them during a long rain forecast.