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Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Agaricales
Family: Omphalotaceae
Genus: Lentinula
L. edodes
Binomial name
Lentinula edodes
(Berk.) Pegler (1976)
Lentinula edodes
View the Mycomorphbox template that generates the following list
gills on hymenium
cap is convex
hymenium is free
stipe is bare
spore print is white to buff
ecology is saprotrophic
edibility: choice
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese香菇
Simplified Chinese香菇
Hanyu Pinyinxiānggū
Vietnamese name
Vietnamesenấm hương
Thai name
Thaiเห็ดหอม (hèt hŏm)
Korean name
Japanese name
Kanji椎茸 or 香蕈

The shiitake (alternate form shitake) (/ʃɪˈtɑːk, ˌʃɪ-, -ki/;[1] Japanese: [ɕiꜜːtake] (listen) Lentinula edodes) is an edible mushroom native to East Asia, which is now cultivated and consumed around the globe. It is considered a medicinal mushroom in some forms of traditional medicine.[citation needed]

Taxonomy and naming[edit]

The fungus was first described scientifically as Agaricus edodes by Miles Joseph Berkeley in 1877.[2] It was placed in the genus Lentinula by David Pegler in 1976.[3] The fungus has acquired an extensive synonymy in its taxonomic history:[4]

  • Agaricus edodes Berk. (1878)
  • Armillaria edodes (Berk.) Sacc. (1887)
  • Mastoleucomychelloes edodes (Berk.) Kuntze (1891)
  • Cortinellus edodes (Berk.) S.Ito & S.Imai (1938)
  • Lentinus edodes (Berk.) Singer (1941)
  • Collybia shiitake J.Schröt. (1886)
  • Lepiota shiitake (J.Schröt.) Nobuj. Tanaka (1889)
  • Cortinellus shiitake (J.Schröt.) Henn. (1899)
  • Tricholoma shiitake (J.Schröt.) Lloyd (1918)
  • Lentinus shiitake (J.Schröt.) Singer (1936)
  • Lentinus tonkinensis Pat. (1890)
  • Lentinus mellianus Lohwag (1918)

The mushroom's Japanese name shiitake (椎茸) is composed of shii (, Castanopsis), for the tree Castanopsis cuspidata that provides the dead logs on which it is typically cultivated, and take (, "mushroom").[5] The specific epithet edodes is the Latin word for "edible".[6]

It is also commonly called "sawtooth oak mushroom", "black forest mushroom", "black mushroom", "golden oak mushroom", or "oakwood mushroom".[7]

Habitat and distribution[edit]

Shiitake grow in groups on the decaying wood of deciduous trees, particularly shii and other chinquapins, chestnut, oak, maple, beech, sweetgum, poplar, hornbeam, ironwood, and mulberry. Its natural distribution includes warm and moist climates in Southeast Asia.[5]

Cultivation history[edit]

The earliest written record of shiitake cultivation is seen in the Records of Longquan County (龍泉縣志) compiled by He Zhan (何澹) in 1209 during the Song dynasty in China.[8] The 185-word description of shiitake cultivation from that literature was later cross-referenced many times and eventually adapted in a book by a Japanese horticulturist Satō Chūryō (佐藤中陵) in 1796, the first book on shiitake cultivation in Japan.[9] The Japanese cultivated the mushroom by cutting shii trees with axes and placing the logs by trees that were already growing shiitake or contained shiitake spores.[10][11] Before 1982, the Japan Islands' variety of these mushrooms could only be grown in traditional locations using ancient methods.[12] A 1982 report on the budding and growth of the Japanese variety revealed opportunities for commercial cultivation in the United States.[13]

Shiitake are now widely cultivated all over the world, and contribute about 25% of total yearly production of mushrooms.[14] Commercially, shiitake mushrooms are typically grown in conditions similar to their natural environment on either artificial substrate or hardwood logs, such as oak.[13][14][15]


Mushrooms, shiitake, raw
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy141 kJ (34 kcal)
6.8 g
Sugars2.4 g
Dietary fiber2.5 g
0.5 g
2.2 g
Thiamine (B1)
0.02 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
0.22 mg
Niacin (B3)
3.88 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5)
1.5 mg
Vitamin B6
0.29 mg
Folate (B9)
13 μg
Vitamin C
3.5 mg
Vitamin D
0.4 μg
2 mg
0.4 mg
20 mg
0.2 mg
112 mg
304 mg
9 mg
1.0 mg
Other constituentsQuantity
Water89.7 g
Selenium5.7 ug

Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA FoodData Central
Mushrooms, shiitake, dried
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy1,238 kJ (296 kcal)
75.37 g
Sugars2.21 g
Dietary fiber11.5 g
0.99 g
9.58 g
Thiamine (B1)
0.3 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
1.27 mg
Niacin (B3)
14.1 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5)
21.879 mg
Vitamin B6
0.965 mg
Folate (B9)
163 μg
Vitamin C
3.5 mg
Vitamin D
3.9 μg
11 mg
1.72 mg
132 mg
1.176 mg
294 mg
1534 mg
13 mg
7.66 mg
Other constituentsQuantity
Water9.5 g
Selenium46 ug

Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA FoodData Central


In a 100-gram (3+12-ounce) reference serving, raw shiitake mushrooms provide 141 kilojoules (34 kilocalories) of food energy and are 90% water, 7% carbohydrates, 2% protein and less than 1% fat. Raw shiitake mushrooms are rich sources (20% or more of the Daily Value, DV) of B vitamins and contain moderate levels of some dietary minerals.

Like all mushrooms, shiitakes produce vitamin D2 upon exposure of their internal ergosterol to ultraviolet B (UVB) rays from sunlight or broadband UVB fluorescent tubes.[16][17][18]

In 2015, a study with 52 adults suggested that regular consumption of shiitake can result in improved immunity.[19]


Fresh and dried shiitake have many uses in East Asian cuisine. In Japan, they are served in miso soup, used as the basis for a kind of vegetarian dashi, and as an ingredient in many steamed and simmered dishes. In Chinese cuisine, they are often sautéed in vegetarian dishes such as Buddha's delight.

One type of high-grade shiitake is called donko (冬菇) in Japanese[20] and dōnggū in Chinese, literally "winter mushroom". Another high-grade of mushroom is called huāgū (花菇) in Chinese, literally "flower mushroom", which has a flower-like cracking pattern on the mushroom's upper surface. Both of these are produced at lower temperatures.



Rarely, consumption of raw or slightly cooked shiitake mushrooms may cause an allergic reaction called "shiitake dermatitis", including an erythematous, micro-papular, streaky pruriginous rash that occurs all over the body including face and scalp, appearing about 24 hours after consumption, possibly worsening by sun exposure and disappearing after 3 to 21 days.[21] This effect – presumably caused by the polysaccharide, lentinan[21] – is more common in East Asia,[22] but may be growing in occurrence in Europe as shiitake consumption increases.[21] Thorough cooking may eliminate the allergenicity.[23]

Other uses[edit]

There is research investigating the use of shiitake mushrooms in production of organic fertilizer and compost from hardwood.[14][15]




  1. ^ Wells, John C. (2008), Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (3rd ed.), Longman, ISBN 9781405881180
  2. ^ Berkeley MJ. (1877). "Enumeration of the fungi collected during the Expedition of H.M.S. 'Challenger', 1874–75. (Third notice)". Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 16 (89): 38–54. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.1877.tb00170.x.
  3. ^ Pegler D. (1975). "The classification of the genus Lentinus Fr. (Basidiomycota)". Kavaka. 3: 11–20.
  4. ^ "GSD Species Synonymy: Lentinula edodes (Berk.) Pegler". Species Fungorum. CAB International. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  5. ^ a b Wasser S. (2004). "Shiitake (Lentinula edodes)". In Coates PM; Blackman M; Cragg GM; White JD; Moss J; Levine MA. (eds.). Encyclopedia of Dietary Supplements. CRC Press. pp. 653–64. ISBN 978-0-8247-5504-1.
  6. ^ Halpern GM. (2007). Healing Mushrooms. Square One Publishers. p. 48. ISBN 978-0-7570-0196-3.
  7. ^ Stamets, P. (2000). Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms (3rd ed.). Berkeley, California: Ten Speed Press. p. 260. ISBN 978-1-58008-175-7.
  8. ^ 香菇简介 [Mushroom Introduction] (in Chinese). Yuwang jituan. Archived from the original on 25 February 2017.
  9. ^ Miles PG; Chang S-T. (2004). Mushrooms: Cultivation, Nutritional Value, Medicinal Effect, and Environmental Impact. CRC Press. p. 241. ISBN 978-0-203-49208-6.
  10. ^ Tilak, Shantanu (2019). "The Shiitake Mushroom-A History in Magic & Folklore" (PDF). The Mycophile. Vol. 59, no. 1. pp. 1, 4. Archived (PDF) from the original on 5 February 2019.
  11. ^ Przybylowicz, Paul; Donoghue, John (1988). Shiitake Growers Handbook: The Art and Science of Mushroom Cultivation. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt. pp. 3–6. ISBN 978-0-8403-4962-0.
  12. ^ Mushroom Newsletter for the Tropics: The Official Publication of the International Mushroom Society for the Tropics. International Mushroom Society for the Tropics. 1980.
  13. ^ a b Leatham GF. (1982). "Cultivation of shiitake, the Japanese forest mushroom, on logs: A potential industry for the United States" (PDF). Forest Products Journal. 32 (8): 29–35. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 July 2011. Retrieved 21 July 2010.
  14. ^ a b c Vane CH. (2003). "Monitoring decay of black gum wood (Nyssa sylvatica) during growth of the Shiitake mushroom (Lentinula edodes) using diffuse reflectance infrared spectroscopy". Applied Spectroscopy. 57 (5): 514–517. Bibcode:2003ApSpe..57..514V. doi:10.1366/000370203321666515. PMID 14658675. S2CID 27403919.
  15. ^ a b Vane CH; Drage TC; Snape CE. (2003). "Biodegradation of oak (Quercus alba) wood during growth of the Shiitake mushroom (Lentinula edodes): A molecular approach". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 51 (4): 947–956. doi:10.1021/jf020932h. PMID 12568554.
  16. ^ Bowerman, Susan (31 March 2008). "If mushrooms see the light". Los Angeles Times.
  17. ^ Ko JA; Lee BH; Lee JS; Park HJ. (2008). "Effect of UV-B exposure on the concentration of vitamin D2 in sliced shiitake mushroom (Lentinus edodes) and white button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus)". J Agric Food Chem. 50 (10): 3671–3674. doi:10.1021/jf073398s. PMID 18442245.
  18. ^ Cardwell, Glenn; Bornman, Janet F.; James, Anthony P.; Black, Lucinda J. (13 October 2018). "A Review of Mushrooms as a Potential Source of Dietary Vitamin D". Nutrients. 10 (10): 1498. doi:10.3390/nu10101498. PMC 6213178. PMID 30322118.
  19. ^ Dai, Xiaoshuang; Stanilka, Joy M.; Rowe, Cheryl A.; Esteves, Elizabethe A.; Nieves, Carmelo; Spaiser, Samuel J.; Christman, Mary C.; Langkamp-Henken, Bobbi; Percival, Susan S. (2015). "Consuming Lentinula edodes (Shiitake) Mushrooms Daily Improves Human Immunity: A Randomized Dietary Intervention in Healthy Young Adults". Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 34 (6): 478–487. doi:10.1080/07315724.2014.950391. ISSN 1541-1087. PMID 25866155. S2CID 5482766.
  20. ^ Chang TS; Hayes WA. (2013). The Biology and Cultivation of Edible Mushrooms. Elsevier Science. p. 470. ISBN 978-1-4832-7114-9.
  21. ^ a b c Boels D; Landreau A; Bruneau C; Garnier R; Pulce C; Labadie M; de Haro L; Harry P. (2014). "Shiitake dermatitis recorded by French Poison Control Centers – New case series with clinical observations". Clinical Toxicology. 52 (6): 625–8. doi:10.3109/15563650.2014.923905. PMID 24940644. S2CID 21541970.
  22. ^ Hérault M; Waton J; Bursztejn AC; Schmutz JL; Barbaud A. (2010). "Shiitake dermatitis now occurs in France". Annales de Dermatologie et de Vénéréologie. 137 (4): 290–3. doi:10.1016/j.annder.2010.02.007. PMID 20417363.
  23. ^ Welbaum GE. (2015). Vegetable Production and Practices. CAB International. p. 445. ISBN 978-1-78064-534-6.

External links[edit]