Cultivation Difficulty: Moderate
Substrate: hardwood chips and sawdust, straw and composts
Colonization/Fruiting Temperatures: 70-80F/60-70F
Available In: Culture in slant or petri dish*
A large and adaptive edible species best suited for outdoor culture in the home garden. Indoor fruitings are possible but the king stropharia requires an unsterile casing to stimulate mushroom development and is slow fruit. These difficulties are avoided by simply inoculating a garden compost pile.
We have seen good results from buried sawdust spawn blocks of the king stropharia. In spring, the fully colonized substrate block was removed from the bag and buried along with a mixture of moist straw and fresh hardwood chips. Many mushrooms fruited directly above the buried block throughout the summer. Large strands of mycelium are visibly spreading throughout the rich garden soil. Techniques for integrating the king stropharia, also known as the wine cap mushroom, into the garden can be found in the book Mycelium Running by Paul Stamets. The presence of mushroom mycelium in the garden soil acts as a natural fertilizer, conditioning the soil for improved garden paroduction.
The king stropharia's massive size, attractive appearance and ease of cultivation mark it as desirable for home cultivators. Very young mushrooms that do not have darkened gills from spore production are considered most desirable for eating.
The culture offered here is from a specimen collected in Cape Cod, Mass
*Note: Culture supplied as living mycelium in a test tube slant. Culture can be stored under refrigeration for several months. Slants are best suited for long distance travel, international shipments, or long term culture storage. To ensure freshness of culture, slant requests are made to order, please allow 2-4 weeks for processing and shipment. Petri plate cultures can usually ship within 1-2 days.