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Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Agaricales
Family: Tricholomataceae
Genus: Tricholoma
T. matsutake
Binomial name
Tricholoma matsutake
(S.Ito & Imai) Singer (1943)[2]
  • Armillaria ponderosa Sacc. (1887)
  • Armillaria matsutake var. matsutake S.Ito & Imai (1925)
  • Armillaria matsutake var. formosana S.Ito & Imai (1931)[2]
  • Tricholoma nauseosum (A.Blytt) Kytov. (1989)[2]
Tricholoma matsutake
View the Mycomorphbox template that generates the following list
gills on hymenium
cap is convex
hymenium is adnexed
stipe has a ring
spore print is white
ecology is mycorrhizal
edibility: choice
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese松茸
Simplified Chinese松茸
Literal meaningpine down
Korean name
Japanese name

Matsutake (Japanese: 松茸), Chinese: 松茸 Tricholoma matsutake, is a highly sought species of choice edible mycorrhizal mushroom that grows in Asia, Europe, and North America. It is prized in Japanese, Korean, and Chinese cuisines for its distinct spicy-aromatic odor.[3][4]

Habitat and distribution[edit]

Matsutake mushrooms grow under trees and are usually concealed under litter on the forest floor, forming a symbiotic relationship with roots of various tree species.

Matsutake mushrooms grow in Eastern Asia in China, Japan, Korea, Bhutan and Laos; in Europe, in Estonia, Finland, Norway, Poland and Sweden; and on the Pacific coasts of Canada and the United States.

In Korea and Japan, matsutake mushrooms are most commonly associated with Pinus densiflora.[5]

Similar species[edit]

In the North American Pacific Northwest, Tricholoma murrillianum is found in coniferous forests of one or more of the following tree species: Douglas fir, Noble fir, Shasta red fir, Sugar pine, Ponderosa pine, or Lodgepole pine. In California and parts of Oregon, it is also associated with hardwoods, including Tanoak, Madrone, Rhododendron, Salal, and Manzanita.[citation needed] In northeastern North America, the closely related mushroom Tricholoma magnivelare is generally found in Jack pine forests.[6] A report published in 2000 indicated that Tricholoma nauseosum and matsutake (T. matsutake) are the same species.[7]

Cost and availability[edit]

Though simple to harvest, matsutake are hard to find because of their specific growth requirements, the rarity of appropriate forest and terrain and competition from wild animals such as squirrel, rabbits and deer for the once-yearly harvest of mushrooms. Domestic production of matsutake in Japan has also been sharply reduced over the last 50 years due to the pine-killing nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, and the annual harvest of matsutake in Japan is now less than 1,000 tons, with the Japanese mushroom supply largely made up by imports from China, Korea, the Pacific Northwest, British Columbia, and northern Europe.[8] This results in prices in the Japanese market highly dependent on quality, availability, and origin that can range from as high as $1,000 per kilogram for domestically harvested matsutake at the beginning of the season to as low as $4.41 per kilogram ($2 per pound), though the average value for imported matsutake is about $90 per kilogram.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Brandrud, T.-E. (2020). Tricholoma matsutake. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T76267712A76268018. Downloaded on 09 July 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "Tricholoma matsutake (S.Ito & S.Imai) Singer".
  3. ^ Ashkenazi, Michael; Jacob, Jeanne (2003). Food culture in Japan. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 49. ISBN 978-0-313-32438-3.
  4. ^ "Play That Fungi Music". Archived from the original on May 17, 2010.
  5. ^ Ashburne, John, "In search of the Holy Grail of mushrooms", The Japan Times, 16 October 2011, p. 7.
  6. ^ Trudell, Steven A.; Xu, Jianping; Saar, Irja; Justo, Alfredo; Cifuentes, Joaquin (May 2017). "North American matsutake: names clarified and a new species described". Mycologia. 109 (3): 379–390. doi:10.1080/00275514.2017.1326780. ISSN 0027-5514. PMID 28609221. S2CID 205448035.
  7. ^ Bergius, Niclas; Danell, Eric (5 November 2000). "The Swedish matsutake (Tricholoma nauseosum syn. T. matsutake): Distribution, Abundance and Ecology". Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research. 15 (3): 318–325. doi:10.1080/028275800447940. S2CID 83741330.
  8. ^ (in Japanese) 輸入マツタケに異変 中国産激減、フィンランド参戦, J-CAST, 2007/9/26.
  9. ^ Matsutani, Minoru, "Japan's long love affair with 'matsutake'", The Japan Times, 9 November 2010, p. 3.

External links[edit]