What You Should Know
Pleurotus cornucopiae is an attractive fast-growing mushroom that fruits on a wide range of woody substrates. The mushrooms grow in clusters of small, thin fleshed, funnel-shaped caps.
It is quite similar to the better-known Pleurotus ostreatus, and like that species is cultivated and sold in markets in Europe and China, but it is distinguished because its gills are very decurrent, forming a network on the stem.
Typically paler the most other oyster mushrooms, and nearly always on old fallen trunks or large branches, the branching nature of these funnel-shaped oysters helps distinguish them from the Oyster Mushroom.
Other names: White Oyster Mushroom, The Popcorn Oyster.
Pleurotus cornucopiae Mushroom Identification
Cream or light ochre; covered in a fine white bloom when young, becoming smooth with age; convex, 4-12cm in diameter at maturity; becoming centrally depressed and then funnel-shaped with a wavy margin that sometimes splits when old; attached to the substrate via an eccentric stem or occasionally appearing to be stemless; groups of caps often overlapping in tiers.
White or cream, sometimes with a pink tinge; maturing to pale buff; branching; deeply decurrent, becoming shallow grooves that often extend right down to the substrate.
White; up to 5cm long and 1 to 2.5cm diameter, several stems often fused together at the base and sharing a common connection with the substrate; no stem ring.
Elongated ellipsoidal to sub-cylindrical, smooth, 7-10.5 x 3.5-5µm.
White or pale cream.
Odor and Taste
Odor mushroomy, sometimes with a hint of aniseed; taste pleasant but not distinctive.
Habitat & Ecological Role
Saprobic, on rotting wood of deciduous broadleaf trees, particularly elms and Beech.
Pleurotus cornucopiae Cultivation
1. Strain choice
There are lots of strains in production at present, and the Japanese strains are the best.
2. Medium formula
Hypha of Branched oyster growth is bloom, and there are many suitable substrates for cultivating. It contains common straw, wheat straw, cotton seeks bull, sawdust etc. keeping C/N at 20-30:1 to prevent hypha growing egregiously. The medium formula is : Cotton seed nut 50%, sawdust 30%, wheat bran 15%, corn powder 3%, sugar 1%, CaCO3 1%, KH2PO3 0.3%.
3. Cultivation season
The fruit body fruiting phase is short in every flash. The nutrient composition expenditure is low, and the flush is short, too. So the whole cultivation stage pulls long very much, and it is 6 months at least. In an area in which the air temperature is low, it may be last 10 months. To sufficient using the nutrient of the mediums the temperature of the spawn running phase doesn’t exceed 25°C. The scheme is arranged base on the adopted strain, air temperature, and production condition.
4. Cultivation place
Adopting indoor bed cultivation or outdoors shed cultivation. Indoors bed cultivation refers to the stacking method in Negraudia reymaudiana cultivation. Outdoor shed cultivation adopts ridge cultivation or stacking cultivation. The cultivation place is on a high site, faced the south and using water, and draining easily. Keeping off pollution resources. Creating an ecosystem benefit hypha growing and disbenefit to germ growing.
5. Cultivation method
Adopting the processed substance bag cultivation. It can short the flush. The structure of cellulose and lignin is changed after high-temperature sterilization. It is the benefit to mycelium decomposing, absorbing, utilizing.
6. Filling and sterilization
According to the formula weighing the substance. Moisture content is about 65%. The bag is 17×33 cm polypropylene bag. Filling 300-400 gm dry substance in the bag, sterilizing by high-temperature steam. It is best to do that by filling and sterilizing intraday. The temperature rises 100°C, keeping stability and maintaining 14-16 hours. After sterilizing, cooling. When the temperature is under 28°C, inoculating according to inoculation operation demands in time. Spawn running in a running room at 25°C after inoculating, keeping away from the ray.
7. Fruiting management
After impregnation in the running room the suitable temperature, humidity, ray, aeration induces, the hypha come into physiology maturation. It takes about 7 days. Put the bags into the mushroom house, stacking on the bed like the wall. It is five bags high. It is difficult that the button form when the temperature is lower than 15°C in the house. When the temperature is higher than 30°C, taking aeration to cooling down. It is effective in taking aspersion and atomization, too. Don’t atomize into the bag otherwise the button yellow and die. At the same time, it is taking aeration to refresh the air.
The phase of primordial differentiation
On the stage of the hypha coming into physiology maturation and recreation, enlarging temperature difference. And cooling the temperature of the environment to 5-10°C. Giving definite scatter ray to let the hypha of the mediums surface down so that adequately induce to primordial.
The phase of button forming
Making every effort to decrease temperature difference and humidity difference. Keeping the temperature at 18-24 C and humidity at 85-90%. Spraying three times every day. When the water accumulating on the surface of the medium, dry or pour out in time.
The phrase of fruit body growth
When the button grows like a peanut, the humidity can undulate 75%-95%. The temperature and humidity are higher in this range and the fruit body grows thicker. Ridge cultivating, the ventilating windows open 5 cm high in day and open 10-15cm high at night. Indoors cultivating the ventilating windows open full, at night and open half in a day. So that the temperature and humidity of the cultivation environment are higher in the day and those are lower at night.
8. The diseases and insect pest’s prevention and cure
The phase of spawn running in bag
The familiar competitors contain Trichoderma, Penicillium, Mucor, Streptomyces and Neurospora sitophila etc. Discovers can using 0.5-0.7 cm wood rod or iron rod, in the contaminative bags on all sides and firm 5-7 deep bore of cm, then press the bags originally the form line up to rise, when the outsider environment term is in keeping with, through educating of 3-5 days assesses, normal mycelium just start running the compost, again over the hair of 10-15 days assesses, bags full become pure.
The phase of fruit body fruiting
The familiar competitor is Myxomycete. The polluted cultivation bag is disposed of when discovering Myxomycete. At the same time strengthening aeration. The familiar pests contain slug, snail, Drosophilidae and Phorids. Using the 25 ppm Turbair permethrin solution to prevent. Atomizing before fruiting or after harvesting. Don’t atomize the fruit body.
Harvesting and process
The product is primarily exported. Its quality is demanded highly. In general, pileus diameter is under 2 cm. It is the most suitable time to harvest when the fruit body only forms and before the fruit body elongates fully. At the same time batch collecting in time to improve the fine product yield. After one flush cleaning the medium surface for the next flash. It is six flashes in a cultivation period. The general biological efficiencies can achieve above 100%.
Pleurotus cornucopiae Taxonomy and Etymology
The Branched Oyster Mushroom was first described scientifically in 1793 by French naturalist Jean Jacques Paulet (1740 - 1826), who gave it the binomial name Fungus cornucopiae. Its currently-accepted scientific name Pleurotus cornocopiae dates from 1910, when another Frenchman, mycologist Léon Louis Rolland (1841 - 1912), redescribed this species.
Synonyms of Pleurotus cornucopiae include Agaricus dimidiatus Bull., Dendrosarcus cornucopiae Paulet, Fungus cornucopiae Paulet, Agaricus cornucopiae (Paulet) Pers., Agaricus sapidus Schulzer, Pleurotus ostreatus f. cornucopiae (Paulet) Quél., and Pleurotus sapidus (Schulzer) Sacc.
The generic name Pleurotus is Latin for ‘side ear’ and refers to the lateral attachment of the stem; cornocopiae means horns of plenty, and indeed these hunting-horn-shaped mushrooms invariably occur in gregarious hordes. The origin of cornucopia (plural cornucopiae) lies in Greek mythology.
One version of the origin of Cornucopia (and there are several others) was that it a magical horn that the young Zeus accidentally broke from the head of the goddess Amalthea, who has suckled the child while he was hidden away from his father Cronos (or Kronos), who made a habit of eating his newborn sons to thwart a prophecy that he would one day be overthrown by his son. Zeus survived and did ultimately overthrew Cronos. The horn of Amalthea, the Cornucopia, inherited the goddess's divine power of providing unending supplies of nourishing food.
Pleurotus cornucopiae does on occasion provide a bountiful source of food, but on its own, it certainly does not constitute a balanced diet and like nearly all wild mushrooms its availability is limited to just a few weeks of the year.
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