Grifola frondosa, also known as Maitake, Hen-of-the-Woods, Ram’s or Sheep’s head, is a polypore mushroom (a mushroom that has large fruiting bodies that drop spores from pores and tubes on the underside, unlike gilled mushrooms) that grows from the base of trees, favoring oaks. The underside of each cap has about 1 to 3 pores per millimeter! It is a perennial fungus that grows in the same place year after year, and is native to China, Europe, and North America. Maitake grows from an underground tuber-like structure called sckerotium, which is essentially a compacted mass of mycelia. In Japan, these Maitake can grow to more than 100 lbs! These are choice edible mushroom and has been eaten for centuries in China and Japan. Spores are 4–6 x 3–4 µm in size and ellipsoid in shape.
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