The fantastical and visually intriguing Reishi are actually polypores whose naturally lacquered surface emphasizes their brilliant rusty red and buttery yellow hues. Grown primarily as a medicinal mushroom (their Chinese name “Ling Zhi” translate as “mushroom of immortality”), they are easily dried for use in teas or decorations. Reishi will grow outdoors on natural logs (best in southern USA) or sterilized sawdust. Careful manipulation of light, temperature, humidity and CO2 levels present when fruiting occurs determines which of two forms Reishi will take. The seashell like CONCH shape develops with abundant light levels, high humidity, high levels of oxygen and plenty of airflow. The elegantly branched ANTLER shape forms in conditions of moderate light, high humidity, high CO2 levels and minimal airflow –readily achieved with use of a clear plastic bag or large glass jar.
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