Types of Mushrooms available to grow in New Zealand
New Zealand is an unique place — given it is a distant Island Nation — the landmass cut off from the continent for about 100 million years. This leaves us with an interesting agriculture dynamic. Along with mammal and plant species, fungi spores have taken a ride over the years. Some have proliferated, while most don’t make it. Nowadays, bio-security is very tight and extra precaution is taken at the border. even taking fungal spores into consideration. There are a handful of mushroom strains that have been approve to be grown in New Zealand on a home-garden and commercial level. Button, oyster and magic mushrooms nz are the most common. Most strains that are grown have been bred so that they grow consistent fruit bodies. within a desired temperature range, and have higher yields. While some globally established strains are being considered to be allowed into New Zealand. here is a list of the strains we currently have and are able to grow.
The Commercial imported strains –
Phoenix Grey Oyster (Pleurotus Pulmonarius) – a.k.a. Italian Oyster
edible mushrooms nz are abundant in the wild on most continents and were first thought to be cultivated during World War II. Grey oyster mushrooms are one of the easiest mushrooms to grow and can be grown on a variety of substrates using low tech methods – and very compared to other mushroom species. Oyster mushrooms are nutrient-dense, offer strong health and medicinal benefits and can be grown on agricultural waste products such as straw and wood chip. They grow in temperatures ranging from 5-25 Celsius, however the temperature will affect the speed of growth. The Grey Oyster mushroom has a great flavour, lower spore-load than most oyster mushrooms and produces bunches that can easily be separated. The shelf life is from 5-10 days at 1 Celcius, making it the top choice for the hobbyist to commercial grower. Grows well indoors and outdoors from spring to early winter.
Pink Oyster (Pleurotus Djamor) – a.k.a. flamingo magic mushrooms nz.
Grow in clusters, similar to grey oyster mushrooms,. but prefer warmer temperatures and will abort growth at temperatures under 15C. As a subtropical species, pink oyster mushrooms tolerate higher heats and are bright pink in colour. Like grey oyster mushrooms they can be grown with pasteurised substrate and relatively low tech equipment. This mushroom is a rapid coloniser and usually begins to pin on day 7-9, while fruit bodies develop quickly and are best to pick before they get too old for better shelf life. If harvesting is left too late, spore release begins and shelf life is shortened, only staying presentable for a few days. Pink colour turns orange as soon as it hits the hot pan. Firmer in texture than the grey oyster with a unique bacon-like flavour. This mushroom is extremely eye-catching and really gets some attention: certainly recommended to everyone to grow! Grows well indoors and outdoors from spring to autumn (South Island is more like late spring to end of summer).
grow mushrooms nz (Shiitake (Lentinula Edodes))
Shiitake is native to East Asia and grows in clusters on decaying deciduous wood. Shiitake cultivation dates back to the early 1200’s and makes up 25% of all mushroom cultivation worldwide. Shiitake requires patience to grow with a long incubation period of 2-3 months and multiple maturing stages. Once blocks are ready they can produce for a long time, usually blocks will begin to get covered in green mould (trichoderma) before they run out of nutrients, spent blocks will continue to produce well outdoors in the garden.
Enoki (Flammulina Velutipes) – enokitake, also known as velvet shank.
Is mostly known for its use in Japanese cuisine. Enoki naturally grows on decaying wood and have small brown caps growing in clusters. (As opposed to the long, thin, white, noodle-like clusters of cultivated enoki that you often find at markets and in stores – or in many Japanese & Chinese dishes). They are a ‘winter mushroom’ as they require temperatures colder than 15C to grow. Enoki are very fragile but are highly nutrient dense and full of flavour. Grows well indoors and outdoors from late spring to early autumn.
King Stropharia (Stropharia Rugosoannulata) – a.k.a. garden giant, a.k.a. wine cap, a.k.a. burgundy mushroom.
A field mushrooms nz with many names and many uses. It is grown in the garden and tolerates full sunlight. King Stropharia can be grown where hard-frosts occur by simply adding a thick layer of wood chip or covering patch with frost cloth to protect the mycelium over winter. This edible mushroom is used in permaculture for important roles such as quickly breaking down wood chip to build soil, helping navigate nutrients from soil to plants, as well as an effective filtration system for grey water and nitrogen run off. This water filtration technique is inexpensive and low tech even on larger scales. King Stropharia fruits abundantly after rainfall from spring to autumn, a prolific producer and highly recommended to any hobbyist grower, gardener, or anyone interested in applying fungi to mycoremediation and soil building.
magic mushrooms nz : Morel (Morchella)
Not to be confused with “False Morels” which look very similar and can be highly poisonous, morels are a delicacy among many cultures and frequently used in French cuisine. Morels are difficult to cultivate commercially with any consistency, making wild harvested Morels a multimillion-dollar industry in the Northern Hemisphere. Morels have a unique honeycomb-like structure and generally pop-up in spring time. They can be grown in the backyard with a bit of luck, a bit of timing, and a bit of quality spawn.
The NZ Natives –
Turkey Tail (Trametes Versicolor)
A common “polypore” field mushrooms nz that grows on every continent except Antarctica. Its shape and variety of colours often resemble that of a turkey’s tail, hence the name. Although this mushroom has the texture of a gumboot, it has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries and is currently undergoing clinical trials in cancer research for its immunity boosting properties. Turkey tail is easy to grow and relatively easy to forage. Turkey tail is most commonly used in teas or dual-extracted with alcohol to make tinctures.
Coral Tooth (Hericium Coralloides now known as Hericium Novae Zelandiae) – a.k.a Pekepekekiore in Te Reo (the Maori language). NZ’s Lions Mane.
Part of the large family of Hericiaceae. (Hericium means hedgehog in Latin). Coral Tooth is the native cousin of “Lion’s Mane” which is known globally for its cognitive and nerve regeneration benefits. Coral Tooth grows on dead hardwood trees, especially in beech forest and has a unique look, similar to icicles or snowflakes. This variety of Hericium has a crayfish/crab like flavour when cooked and adds an interesting umami depth to culinary dishes. Personally we have found this mushroom excellent for memory and cognitive function, taking roughly 1 teaspoon daily as a dried powder at night. Excellent for sleep and noticeably enhanced dream states. A personal favourite of mine for these cognitive benefits.
Tawaka (Agrocybe Parasitica now known as Cyclocybe Parasitica) – a.k.a Poplar mushroom.
Found on living and dead poplar trees in late summer and early autumn usually in clusters. Tawakas have a long stalk and a hanging skirt or ‘veil’ with a bold, meaty flavour. The stem is very wood/ fibrous and not that nice to eat on larger fruit bodies. Pretty common fruiting mushroom from spring to autumn across NZ. Tawakas can cause heart rot to some hardwoods, generally lives on poplar and native beech trees. Can be growing on sawdust blocks and dowels into logs.
Artist’s Bracket (Ganoderma Applanatum) – a.k.a. artist’s conk a.k.a. bear bread.
This is a cousin to the famous field mushrooms nz (Ganoderma Lucidum). This fungus grows on living and dead trees, commonly causing heart rot to beech and poplar trees once mycelium begins colonising. Known as ‘artist’s conk’ for its use as a drawing medium. Ganoderma Applanatum has also been used in Japanese and Chinese traditional medicine for centuries while studies now show that it contains chemical compounds with anti-tumour, antibacterial, and anti-fibrotic properties.
Native NZ Oyster (Pleurotus Parsonsiae) – also known as velvet mushroom.
Similar in taste to the Phoenix Oyster but with a much firmer texture and a more velvet like cap. Care should be taken growing this mushroom indoors as the spore release can be very heavy. Grows large dense clusters that are difficult to separate. Because of the massive spore load and difficultly to separate the clusters it is not the best species for large or small commercial operations. The yield from this mushroom is very good however, making it great for the home and hobbyist grower who just wants the high yield.
Frequent Ask Questions On edible mushrooms nz
Are mushrooms in New Zealand safe to eat?
Most fungi in New Zealand are not safe to eat.” If you want to learn more about mushrooms, your best bet is to get a book such as A Photographic Guide to Mushrooms and Other Fungi of New Zealand, by G S Ridley. Mushrooms are popping up all over the region thanks to a climate perfect for growing fungi.
What types of edible mushrooms nz?
Wood ear and field mushrooms are two edible mushrooms in this large group. A further category are mycorrhizal: fungi which exist in a symbiotic relationship with the roots of plants.
Are New Zealand Fungi edible?
Some New Zealand fungi are edible, while others are unpalatable or poisonous. A few are deadly poisonous and can be easily confused with edible ones. There is no general rule to distinguish them, and tasting is never recommended when searching for edible fungi.
Can oyster mushrooms be grown in New Zealand?
Trying to grow overseas species in New Zealand, scientists are looking potentially edible indigenous species. A white oyster mushroom which grows on dead cabbage trees has proved to be a tasty mushroom, but whether it has a commercial future remains to be seen.
How do you know if mushrooms are edible NZ?
A good test for edibility however is the taste test, if a tiny amount is placed on the tongue and chewed a burn like chilli means the mushroom is poisonous, a pleasant mushroomy taste means it is edible and an unpleasant taste means you wouldn’t want to eat the mushroom anyway.
Which wild mushrooms are edible in NZ?
Mushrooms are perfectly safe to touch, just wash your hands afterwards.
Orange pore fungus/ Favolaschia calocera.
Vermilion waxcap/ Hygrocybe miniata.
Robust bracket/ Fomitiporia robusta.
Hare’s foot inkcap/ Coprinopsis lagopus.
Velvet foot/ Flammulina velutipes.
Ear fungus/ Auricularia cornea.
Which NZ mushrooms are poisonous?
Death cap (Amanita phalloides) The death cap is arguably the most dangerous mushroom in New Zealand. …
Fly agaric (Amanita muscaria) …
Poison pie (Hebeloma crustuliniforme) …
Earthballs (Scleroderma sp.) …
Brown roll rim (Paxillus involutus)
How do you tell if a mushroom is safe or poisonous?
Mushrooms with white gills are often poisonous. So are those with a ring around the stem and those with a volva. Because the volva is often underground, it’s important to dig around the base of a mushroom to look for it. Mushrooms with a red color on the cap or stem are also either poisonous or strongly hallucinogenic.
What edible mushrooms nz should you not touch?
The most common dangerous magic mushrooms nz are those belonging to the Amanita genus, especially Amanita phalloides, aptly called “death cap” mushrooms. They contain toxic compounds called amatoxins that damage liver cells. These mushrooms are white with umbrella-shaped tops and a cup at the base of their stem.
Can you eat a poisonous mushroom if you cook it?
Cooking doesn’t make a poisonous mushroom safe. In fact, you can be poisoned by breathing in the cooking fumes from some poisonous mushrooms. Even non-poisonous mushrooms can cause unpleasant reactions in people who are sensitive to them. Symptoms from eating poisonous mushrooms can be delayed for many hours.
Can I eat the mushrooms nz in my garden NZ?
ALL MUSHROOMS ARE EDIBLE – SOME ONLY ONCE!
As a general rule, you shouldn’t eat wild mushrooms unless you’re sure they are not poisonous. Field mushrooms, however, differ from non-edible fungi (like puffballs and toadstools).
Are there death cap mushrooms in New Zealand?
Death cap mushrooms grow around oak and chestnut trees in a few places in New Zealand.
Is the New Zealand blue mushroom edible?
Entoloma hochstetteri is not edible, but whether or not it is poisonous is unknown. Entoloma hochstetteri grows in woodlands of western parts of both the North and South Islands of New Zealand where it is associated with Nothofagus and Podocarpus species. It has also been found in In