They grow wild in forests, predominantly in older forests, and are generally found at the base of oak trees. Instead, it has small pores that it uses to release its spores. Thoroughly clean the hen of the woods. But extracts are a good option too, because certain healthy nutrients become more concentrated, and thus you can get more out of a spoonful of extract than you would from eating a pound of fresh mushrooms. They are highly valued for both their medicinal effects and their culinary uses. Naturealm Maitake Mushroom Extract Powder —  This is my favorite, as it is pure with no added fillers. The Latin name for maitake mushrooms is Grifola frondosa. But it’s only really been for the past couple of decades that they’ve started to really grow in popularity in North America and Europe. Hen of the Woods can be found in the northern United States and Canada, Japan, China, and many European countries. You can even dehydrate slices of maitake and eat them like potato chips. It grows on the ground at the base of oak trees. The best time to forage for hen of the wood mushrooms is from mid to late August, but they can go right into November if the conditions are right. Some similar mushrooms include chicken of the woods (laetiporus sulphureus) which has a more yellowy orange color. Each cap can be between 3/4s of an inch (2 cm) and 3 inches (8 cm) across, and about a quarter-inch in thickness. Even placing it up on a couple of bricks will help. Maitake means “dancing mushroom” in Japanese. The Hen of the Woods mushroom get’s it’s name because it looks like the feathers of a hen. I am … However, you should still check with an expert and don’t eat any mushrooms that you can’t 100% positively identify. They are best picked young while they are tender, as they can get woody and bitter when they’re more mature. They are most commonly found in Japan, China, and the northeastern United States and Canada. If you live in a wooded area or near some fields, you know that mushrooms grow…, Mushroom hunters love to forage for hen of the woods mushrooms. They are a brownish-grey with creamy-silvery hues on each ‘fan.’. Soak your log in cold water for about two hours. Luckily their large size and the wavy pattern will give you something distinct to look for. Hen of the Woods is also great cooked.  You can add them to any dish that you would add White or Cremini mushrooms.  Pizza, soup, casserole, pasta, stir-fry, salad, omelets, sautéed — the list goes on. In Chinese medicine, they’re also used to treat diabetes and hypertension. You should also expect to wait a while for the mycelium to mature before you will get a good yield. Start off by getting an oak log that’s at least 3 feet long and 6 inches wide. Sauté one pound of Hen of the Woods mushrooms in butter until soft and golden.  Add broth or stock, Keep this on the heat to reduce and thicken the sauce. Or meripilus giganteus which will stain black when bruised, but is also edible. You don’t necessarily need to have a full-grown oak tree in your yard to make it work, but try your best to emulate how they’d normally grow. Depending on weather conditions, maitake can grow from early autumn all the way into late November. Hen of the woods, maitake, sheepshead, hen of the forest, these delicious, bountiful mushrooms have lots of names. This mushroom is a polypore, meaning they disperse spores through small pores (holes) on the underside of their caps. You can even find them on dead oak trees and stumps. Most that you may confuse them with are also edible as well, so it’s not as big of a concern compared to some other species. They can also help to control diabetes by reducing blood glucose levels and helping to prevent insulin resistance. Another familiar mushroom, colloquially called Hen-of-the-Woods (Grifola frondosa), is less hospitable to its host. There aren’t many lookalike mushrooms that you could confuse with maitake. Eating freshly cooked maitake mushrooms will provide you with the most health benefits. Hen of the woods will grow back in the same spot every year. It is typically found in late summer to early autumn. But in particular, they contain high doses of vitamin D (good for your nervous system and bone development) and antioxidants. The second fall mushroom is the Sheepshead Mushroom (Grifola Frondosa), also known as Maitake, Rams Head, and Hen of the Woods. There are lots of crevices where dirt and twigs can become wedged. *We may earn a commission for purchases made using our links.  Please see our disclosure to learn more. Dosage will depend on what you’re taking it for, so contact your doctor before starting to consume maitake mushrooms as a supplement regularly. They are a bracket fungus that tends to grow on and around wood, especially oak trees. 50-count fully colonized Maitake Mushroom plug spawn with growing instructions. While side effects are not common, it is advisable to check with your healthcare practitioner before taking Hen of the Woods / Maitake extracts if you are pregnant or breast-feeding, have diabetes, hypertension, autoimmune disease, or have recently had surgery. Where to find Hen of the Woods: In the Northeast frondosus has a rather lengthy season, from late August in coastal Maine through mid-November in the Hudson Valley of New York, but throughout its range I have found the third week of September to be the best time to look. Looking like a ruffled chicken, the edible hen of the woods mushroom grows like large circular bouquet of spoon-shaped caps, each grayish brown on top and white beneath, emerging from a branching, whitish base. Using dowels to inoculate your log is best. Most cooks agree that they’re best when sauteed, but there are many ways you can cook them. Grifola frondosa is a polypore mushroom that grows in clusters at the base of trees, particularly oaks. Fall inoculation can be done as well, with logs planted as soon as the ground thaws in the spring. Instead, you can use a damp paper towel to wipe each piece of mushroom after you’ve brushed them off. They can be found mostly in the northeastern United States, but also show up throughout North America, Europe, and Asia as long as the climate supports them. Also known as maitake, or…, Pheasant back mushrooms (Cerioporus squamosus) are also known as dryad's saddle or hawks wing mushrooms.  They…. Growing your own can be very satisfying, and there are a variety of ways you can preserve them. These mushrooms can be grown at home, but they are more difficult to grow than certain other types, such as oyster mushrooms. Maitake mushrooms contain a number of beneficial compounds like beta-glucans, potassium, fiber, and amino acids. All About the Delicious Hen of the Woods Mushrooms, *We may earn a commission for purchases made using our links.  Please see our, Naturealm Maitake Mushroom Extract Powder, The Easy Guide on How to Identify Magic Mushrooms, Hunting and Cooking Hen of the Woods Mushrooms, Foraging for Pheasant Back Mushrooms – 5 Pro Tips. 2.) Mushroom Wisdom Maitake Extract Capsules — These capsules contain D-fraction, which is one of the reputed immune-boosting compounds in this mushroom. I'm Bill Parker, the guy behind MushroomSite.com. Set the log outdoors on stones or lean it upright to keep it off the ground. In this article, I’ll explain what maitake mushrooms are, how to identify them, and how to forage for them or try to grow them yourself. Drying will cost you some of the maitake’s nutrition and flavor, however. Mushroomsite.com is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. Perhaps they do not have quite as many health-giving benefits as the two ‘Kings of Mushrooms’ (Reishi and  Cordyceps), but their taste and flexibility will make you want to cook with them over and over. Start by picking off any obvious larger pieces of leaves, sticks, or other organic matter that might be on the mushrooms. Water the log at two-week intervals; the log should feel moist, but not wet, at all times. Maitake mushrooms don’t tend to grow on open ground. Keep them whole until you are ready to use them, as this increases their shelf life. Drill holes into the log. You can also dehydrate them by slicing them thinly and placing them in a food dehydrator until they’re brittle and break in half easily. An in-Depth Explanation, How To Grow Oyster Mushrooms: The Ultimate Step By Step Guide. They tend to be found at the base of trees where there’s lots of dead leaves and other organic matter to help shade them from sunlight. Hen of the Woods mushroom is the nickname for the maitake mushroom. Slice the mushrooms into quarter-inch thick slices, Lay the slices flat on absorbent paper and sprinkle with salt. Host Defense Maitake Extract — I add this high-quality organic tincture to my smoothies. So the first time you eat it, I would recommend trying a small portion and then waiting for an hour or more to see if you have any kind of adverse reaction to them. Maitake are a mushroom that is highly regarded for both its taste and health benefits. Often times the old oaks where they are found are immediately on the edge (even overhanging) of a body of water, and frequently near tidal areas along the coast of maine. Maitake mushrooms have no gills, but leave a white spore print. It is native to China, Europe, and North America. Like most mushrooms, you will have the best luck foraging for them in the Fall. The potential for it to inhibit the growth of some types of cancers looks promising, but not yet thoroughly tested. Here is a quick, easy and delicious Hen of the Woods mushroom recipe, Thinly slice chicken or turkey breast. These mushrooms are easy to identify, and most similar lookalike mushrooms are also edible, so foraging for them doesn’t pose a high risk. After six months, you’ll start to notice mushroom pins beginning to grow around where you placed the dowel. They’ll retain their freshness in the freezer for about 6 months. That will help to remove any residual dirt that’s still left behind. Then use a 5/16ths drill bit to drill holes all along the log, drilling about 1.5 inches deep. Grow your own organic mushroom and impress your friends with your harvest. When and where to find them (ecology) They are found from Sept. 1 to as late as early November in some years on mature oaks that often have dying branches. It can take a couple of years for the log to fully mature and start giving a good crop. More info about the hen of the woods, or maitake, is here.) Here we'll detail some of the more common and fairly easy to identify edible mushrooms of Alabama and the Southeast. Dry and then break apart into small pieces. It also takes longer to grow, so even for farmers there’s a longer turnaround time between when a log is inoculated and when they actually have fully mature maitake to harvest. Cut them into pieces and individually freeze them on a cookie sheet, then put them in an airtight bag. The Chicken of the Woods gets it’s name because it taste like chicken. But they also like to grow near maple and elm trees as well. Grifola frondosa, commonly known as hen-of-the-woods or maitake, is an edible … Once your sauce has reached the desired thickness, pour over the chicken rolls and serve. Since maitake mushrooms are only available in the fall, you’ll find large amounts of them only once a year. You might also hear them go by several other names including hen of the woods, sheep’s head, ram’s head, the signorina mushroom, dancing mushroom, king of the mushrooms, kumotake (cloud mushroom,) and more. Chanterelles. These mushrooms grow in a sort of fan or petal shape, and the clusters are usually quite large, commonly growing to between ten and thirty pounds. If you’ve ever grown shiitake mushrooms before, then the process should seem quite familiar to you. Chicken of the Woods (orange) and Hen of the Woods (brown) These mushrooms can be found in the spring if you are lucky, but will likely be found beginning in July through fall. But usually, it’s easier to just buy pre-inoculated maitake dowels online. Luckily, there are Hen of the Woods Grow Kits, which will make the process a bit easier. Maitake is the Japanese name for these mushrooms, which means ‘dancing.’  And the name is appropriate, as these mushrooms do have an appearance that suggests movement. But they can pop up almost anywhere with a temperate forest climate. Red oak is particularly good. Inexpensive, fun, and yielding delicious results, foraging for local, natural plants is gaining popularity across the nation. What are maitake mushrooms (hen of the woods?) There’s a high demand for maitake mushrooms from a variety of different industries, which can drive up the price. The growing season depends mainly on moisture and 60-65 degree temperatures, so in the US, focus your efforts from September to October especially after rainfall. If you have any favorite recipes for Hen of the Woods mushrooms, I’d love to see them.  Pleaes leave them in the comments section below. Golden chanterelles grow in northern Georgia, most often in pine forests or under other conifers. Posted on October 7, 2013 by Christian Grantham. 6 to 12 months later, you should have Maitake growing in your garden. The mushroom is commonly known among English speakers as hen-of-the-woods, ram's head and sheep's head. Maitake are a polypore bracket fungus that grows at the base of oak trees and other hardwoods in temperate forests from August to November. Once you’ve hammered your dowels into your log, you’ll want to use cheese wax to seal it shut. Because of their dull brownish color, they can be hard to see, especially in the fall when the ground is covered with leaves. You can try growing your own maitake mushrooms at home using an oak log and some inoculated dowels. Try to space them so that you can get about 30 holes on the log. You will need to water your log to keep it moist at all times. Paint the melted wax over the dowel holes using a pastry brush, making sure to completely seal it. They’re one of the most popular mushrooms in Japan and China for both their delicious taste and reported medicinal qualities. Freshly cut hard wood is preferred, but wait until three weeks after cutting before you begin plugging your logs. If you’re buying maitake supplements, buy from reputable suppliers who grow the mushrooms organically and sell 100% extract with no added fillers. While the wood must still be alive both to have adequate moisture content and to eliminate the possibility that it is already infected by other mushroom spore, it is still recommended that cut logs be inoculated rather than standing timber. Use 1-inch long oak dowels if you do. Large, rich hen-of-the-woods mushrooms (also know as maitake mushrooms) are commonly found in the summer and fall around the base of oak trees. The wax will help keep competing fungi and bacteria out of your log, as well as insects. Studies have shown that maitake mushrooms slow down the growth of some types of tumors, particularly breast cancer. Hen of the Woods is a large polypore tasting similar to eggplant. (Note that people often confuse this species with the hen of the woods, which is a completely different mushroom. Some can even reach 100 pounds. Hen of the Woods Mushrooms have many names.  Their botanic name is the somewhat romantic sounding ‘Grifola Frondosa.’  In Italy, they are called Signorina.  They also go by the less romantic names of ‘sheep’s head’ and ‘ram’s head.’. Maitake grow wild around the base of oak trees and other hardwoods in the autumn. Once the butter has melted, add the garlic and onion. Even though they can grow upwards of over 30 pounds – and even over 100 pounds in Japan – hen of the woods mushrooms can be tricky to come across, blending in with the forest flora surrounding them. Maitake mushrooms are sought-after by chefs because of their earthy aroma and taste, their unique texture, and their sheer versatility. Then use a soft brush like a toothbrush to wipe away any more stubborn soil from the mushroom. But why? Oak savannahs are an ideal location for maitake mushrooms to grow, so try to find a forest in your area with lots of oak trees to maximize your chances. Can You Eat Maitake Mushrooms? This year my foraging yielded six mushrooms weighing in at over 34 pounds.