Panellus stipticus – Glow in the Dark Bioluminescent Mushroom Cake
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A jar full of something neat and fun with endless possibilities, a glow in the dark grow cake: Panellus stipticus, luminescent panellus mycelium grown on a wood supplemented 1/2 pint cake. Panellus stipticus is a notable luminescent species because even the mycelium is bio-luminescent! These are sold as novelty mushrooms are are not edible. You don’t need to grow a single mushroom to witness a neat fungal light show. So what do you do with it? Good question…
1. Take the jar into a dark room, the darker the better. Allow your eyes sufficient time to adjust to the darkness. Peer intently at the mycelium inside the jar. You should notice a very faint bio-luminescence being produced by the mycelium. It will be faint. Neato!
2. Repeat item #1, however, this time birth the cake from the jar by removing the lid and tamping the solid cake out onto a plate or bowl. There may be some loose vermiculite, so expect a small mess. The bio-luminescence produced by the mycelium will react to the sudden abundance of fresh air when removed from the jar, and should glow with a little brighter intensity. Neato!
3. You may also encourage mushroom production from your glow cakes, by placing a “birthed” cake into a suitable terrarium environment and maintaining high humidity and frequent air exchange. Panellus stipticus responds well to incubation temperatures from 65-80°, and fruits generally between 60-75°.
4. Mushroom production from the grow cake may be easier if placed in a managed outdoor environment: someplace shady, that stays moist, or can be watered easily… think under shrubs, low hanging bushes or plants, etc. If temperatures and conditions are suitable, mushrooms may form within a few weeks. Panellus stipticus responds well to incubation temperatures from 65-80°, and fruits generally between 60-75°.
5.The cake is also suitable to be used as spawn to inoculate other growing media, such as prepared sawdust blocks, chipped hard wood, etc.