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Cultivated Flammulina velutipes
Flammulina velutipes.JPG
Wild enokitake, Flammulina velutipes
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Agaricales
Family: Physalacriaceae
Genus: Flammulina
Species: F. velutipes
Binomial name
Flammulina velutipes
(Curtis) Singer (1951)
  • Agaricus velutipes Curtis (1782)

Enokitake (榎茸, エノキタケ, Japanese pronunciation: [enokitake], /ɪˌnkiˈtɑːk/), also Enokidake (榎茸, エノキダケ, Japanese pronunciation: [enokidake], /ɪˌnkiˈdɑːk/) Futu (In India found in wild at Bastar region of Chhattisgarh) or Enoki (榎, エノキ, Japanese pronunciation: [enoki], /ɪˈnki/),[1] is a long, thin white mushroom used in East Asian cuisine (such as that of China, Japan, Vietnam and Korea). These mushrooms are cultivars of Flammulina velutipes, also known by the name golden needle mushroom, Futu Mushroom or lily mushroom. Wild forms differing in color, texture, and sliminess are called names including Futu, seafood mushrooms, winter mushrooms or winter fungus, velvet foot, velvet stem or velvet shank.[2]

This mushroom is available fresh or canned, with experts recommending fresh enoki specimens with firm, white, shiny caps, rather than those with slimy or brownish stalks that are best avoided.[citation needed] It is traditionally used for soups, but can also be used for salads and other dishes. The mushroom has a crisp texture and can be refrigerated for approximately one week.[3]


The mushroom naturally grows on the stumps of the Chinese Hackberry tree (Celtis sinensis, "enoki" in Japanese), but also on other trees, such as ash,[which?] mulberry and persimmon trees. There is a significant difference in appearance between the wild and cultivated types of the mushroom. Cultivated mushrooms have not been exposed to light, resulting in a white color, whereas wild mushrooms usually display a dark brown color. Cultivated mushrooms are grown in a carbon dioxide (CO2)-rich environment to nurture the development of long thin stems, whereas wild mushrooms produce a much shorter and thicker stem.

The wild variety of the mushroom may be found from September through to March, hence the name Winter Fungus.


Flammulina velutipes
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Mycological characteristics
gills on hymenium
cap is convex
hymenium is adnexed
stipe is bare
spore print is white
ecology is saprotrophic
edibility: choice

The names enokitake (榎茸エノキタケ), enokidake (榎茸エノキダケ) and enoki (エノキ), are derived from the Japanese language. In Chinese, the mushroom is called jīnzhēngū ("gold needle mushroom") or jīngū ("gold mushroom"). In India it is called Futu in Korean, it is called paengi beoseot (팽이버섯) which means "spinning top mushroom", and nấm kim châm in Vietnamese.

Health properties[edit]

Enokitake mushrooms contain antioxidants,[4][5] like ergothioneine.[5] Animal testing has indicated possible applications in the development of vaccines and cancer immunotherapy.[6]

Research at the National University of Singapore, first published in 2005, stated that the stalk of the golden needle mushroom contains a large quantity of a protein, named "Five"/"FIP-fve" by the researchers, that helps in the regulation of the immune system. The mushroom also contains Flammutoxin, a cytolytic and cardiotoxic protein[7][8] that has proven to be non-toxic when absorbed orally.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dictionary.com (2012). "enokitake". Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com, LLC. Retrieved 14 May 2012. 
  2. ^ Shanghai Xuerong Biotechnology Co Ltd on Seafood Mushrooms
  3. ^ "All About Mushrooms". Retrieved 2 Oct 2014. 
  4. ^ Bao HN, Ushio H, Ohshima T (March 2009). "Antioxidative activities of mushroom (Flammulina velutipes) extract added to bigeye tuna meat: dose-dependent efficacy and comparison with other biological antioxidants". Journal of Food Science. 74 (2): C162–9. doi:10.1111/j.1750-3841.2009.01069.x. PMID 19323731. 
  5. ^ a b Bao HN, Ushio H, Ohshima T (November 2008). "Antioxidative activity and antidiscoloration efficacy of ergothioneine in mushroom (Flammulina velutipes) extract added to beef and fish meats". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 56 (21): 10032–40. doi:10.1021/jf8017063. PMID 18841979. 
  6. ^ "New look at two wonder mushrooms". National University of Singapore. 2001–2012. Retrieved 14 May 2012. 
  7. ^ Tomita T, Ishikawa D, Noguchi T, Katayama E, Hashimoto Y (July 1998). "Assembly of flammutoxin, a cytolytic protein from the edible mushroom Flammulina velutipes, into a pore-forming ring-shaped oligomer on the target cell". The Biochemical Journal. 333 (1): 129–37. PMC 1219565Freely accessible. PMID 9639572. 
  8. ^ Lin, JY; Wu, HL; Shi, GY (November 1975). "Toxicity of the cardiotoxic protein flammutoxin, isolate from edible mushroom Flammulina velutipes". Toxicon. 13 (5): 323–31. doi:10.1016/0041-0101(75)90191-9. PMID 54950. 
  9. ^ Tomita, Toshio; Dai Ishikawa; Takayasu Noguchi; Eisaku Katayama; Yohichi Hashimoto (8 April 1998). "Assembly of flammutoxin, a cytolytic protein from the edible mushroom Flammulina velutipes, into a pore-forming ring-shaped oligomer on the target cell". Biochemical Journal (333): 129–137. 

External links[edit]