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Small World Mycology

Cordyceps militaris - Genetics

Cordyceps militaris - Genetics

Regular price $33.00 CAD
Regular price Sale price $33.00 CAD
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Scientific Name: Cordyceps militaris


Common Names: Caterpillar mushroom


Description:  A potent medicinal mushroom used in Chinese medicine to increase energy, stamina, and immune function.  Cordyceps species naturally colonize and fruit from their own matching insect species, killing the insect in the process.  As a result these mushrooms fruit from smaller containers of substrate, and require more control over environmental conditions and greater supplementation which can lead to contamination.  Cordyceps is an Ascomycota , unlike the other edible and medicinal mushrooms we offer which are Basidiomycota.  The fruitbodies are vibrant orange and resemble clusters of slender fingers.  Cordyceps is used in teas, tinctures and capsules, but is tender enough to be used in cooking, though many fruitbodies would be required to make a meal.

Growth ConditionsPetri Dish, Slant, or Liquid CultureGrowth Medium: Malt extract or potato water agarTemperature: 21 deg CSpawn RunGrowth Medium:  supplemented riceTemperature: 21 deg CBag Filter Type: "T" * Use small jars instead of bags for fruitingPrimordia FormationTemperature:  16-19 deg CHumidity: 95-100 %Time (days): 3-4 weeksLight (Lux): 400-600 lux (16 hr on 8 hr off)

Fruit-body Growth

Temperature:  16-19 deg CHumidity: 80-95 %Time: 1-2 weeks 

Light: 400-600 lux (16 hr on 8 hr off)Harvest Hint:  Cordyceps should be grown with much thinner substrate (only half inch thick) instead of an almost cubic sawdust block, like the wood decomposing mushrooms.  Light and temperature in the growing jar, bin, or bag must be controlled, but humidity and oxygen will be at the proper level without cutting the bag open or any adjustment (keep the growing room humidity 60-70 % to prevent bags drying quickly while keeping it dry enough to inhibit growth of contaminants).  The mushrooms can grow up to 4 inches long, often reaching the top of a small mason jar before sporulating.  At maturity bumps at the tips of the mushroom fingers enlarge, and at this point the fruitbodies must be harvested.

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