|teeth on hymenium|
|no distinct cap|
|lacks a stipe|
|spore print is white|
|ecology is parasitic|
Hericium erinaceus (also called lion's mane mushroom, monkey head mushroom, bearded tooth mushroom, satyr's beard, bearded hedgehog mushroom, pom pom mushroom, or bearded tooth fungus) is an edible and medicinal mushroom belonging to the tooth fungus group. Native to North America, Europe and Asia it can be identified by its long spines (greater than 1 cm length), its appearance on hardwoods and its tendency to grow a single clump of dangling spines. Hericium erinaceus can be mistaken for other species of Hericium, which are all popular edibles that grow across the same range. In the wild, these mushrooms are common during late summer and fall on hardwoods, particularly American beech.
Although H. erinaceus is native to Europe, it has been red listed in 13 European countries due to poor germination and establishment. This specific genus fruits between August and December in the United Kingdom, and will continue to produce spores until as late as February in the following year. It is able to withstand cold temperatures and frost conditions.
Hericium erinaceus contains a number of polysaccharides, such as β-glucan, heteroglucans, and heteroxylans, as well as several cyathane derivative diterpenoids known as hericenones and erinacines.
H. erinaceus is commonly consumed in Asian countries for its purported health benefits, though to date, there have been no randomly controlled trials in humans regarding its potential effects, either positive or negative.
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