Shimeji is shaped like mushroom. It has an umbrella and a handle. Shimeji is a general term of mushroom of small to medium size. Mainly, Shimeji is classified. Lyophyllum Shimeji, although it is sometimes classified mushroom of Tricholomataceae.
Shimeji are three varieties: Lyophyllum Shimeji, Lyophyllum fumesum, and Hypsizigus marmoreus. Lyophyllum Shimeji is the smallest of the three. Hypsizigus marmoreus is the largest of the three. Lyophyllum fumesum is born earlier than Lyophyllum Shimeji. Shimeji is an edible mushroom. Another name of Lyophyllum Shimeji is “Daikokushimeji”. Another name of Lyophyllum fumesum is “Senbonshimeji”. It was named “Senbonshimeji” because the mushroom looks like the head of Buddha. Birthplace of this name is Kyoto. Hypsizigus marmoreus was called “Honshimeji” until recently. Lyophyllum Shimeji is one of the most edible fungi which have good taste. Lyophyllum fumesum is one of the most popular as edible fungi. Lyophyllum fumesum is nice crisp and feel good on the tongue. Hypsizigus marmoreus is nice crisp and has good taste. Umbrella’s color of Lyophyllum Shimeji is mixed gray and brown. Handle’s color of Lyophyllum Shimeji is white. Umbrella’s color of Lyophyllum fumesum is mixed gray and white. Handle’s color of Lyophyllum fumesum is white or light gray. Umbrella’s color of Hypsizigus marmoreus is whitish and reddish gray. Handle’s color of Hypsizigus marmoreus is white. Umbrella of Lyophyllum Shimeji is 2~8 cm. The smallest of Lyophyllum fumesum’s umbrella is 5 mm. The largest of Lyophyllum fumesum’s is 10 cm. Umbrella of Hypsizigus marmoreus is 4~15 cm.
Lyophyllum Shimeji is distributed in the whole of Japan. Lyophyllum fumesum is distributed in the whole of Japan to the Temperate Zone of the northern hemisphere. In Japan, it is distributed from Hokkaido to Kyushu. Hypsizigus marmoreus distribute whole of Japan to the Temperate Zone of the northern hemisphere. In Japan, it is distributed from Hokkaido to Kyushu.
Lyophyllum Shimeji live Konara tree and Akamatsu ( Japanese red pine) in autumn. Lyophyllum fumesum live broadleaf tree and Matsu in summer to autumn (July to September). Lyophyllum fumesum tend to live in the same place. Hypsizigus marmoreus live in dead trees of broadleaf of beech in autumn. Hypsizigus marmoreus is mushroom which grows individually. So it is opposite to Nameko mushroom which live in same beech. Usually, many mushrooms are parasitic on plants, dead plants and dead trees. On the other hand, Lyophyllum Shimeji is parasitic on the roots of trees. Lyophyllum Shimeji gets nourishment and give water and inorganic nourishment. Lyophyllum fumesum is parasitic on the roots of trees, too.
Lyophyllum Shimeji are rare. Lyophyllum Shimeji is fungi that cover roots. Its cultivation is difficult, so it is expensive. Lyophyllum fumesum has low frequency of outbreak, so it decreases. Hypsizigus marmoreus is an excellent fungi. It can be boiled, baked, fried. So it is active cultivated. Hypsizigus marmoreus grows and takes in nourishment from dead trees. So artificial cultivation is easier than Lyophyllum Shimeji.
These Shimeji are distributed in each place of Japan. But recently, natural these Shimei become rare or decreased. So it is difficult for us to see natural these Shimeji. However, some of them can be cultivated by us. And, these Shimeji are sold at many store. So we can see them easily.