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Pleurotus eryngii (also known as king trumpet mushroom, French horn mushroom, king oyster mushroom, boletus of the steppes) is an edible mushroom native to Mediterranean regions of Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa, but also grown in parts of Asia.[1]

In Italian it is called cardoncello; in Chinese, it is called xìng bào gū (杏鮑菇, lit. “almond abalone mushroom”), cì qín gū (刺芹菇, lit. “stab celery mushroom”), or cì qín cè ěr (刺芹側耳, lit. “stab celery side ear”); in Japanese, it is called eringi (katakana: エリンギ).[2]

 

 

 

 

 

Description

P. eryngii is the largest species in the oyster mushroom genus, Pleurotus, which also contains the oyster mushroom Pleurotus ostreatus. It has a thick, meaty white stem and a small tan cap (in young specimens). Its natural range extends from the Atlantic Ocean through the Mediterranean Basin and Central Europe into Western Asia and India.[3] Unlike other species of Pleurotus, which are wood-decay fungi, the P. eryngii complex are weak parasites on the roots of herbaceous plants, although they may also be cultured on organic wastes.[2][3]

Taxonomy

Its species name is derived from the fact that it grows in association with the roots of Eryngium campestre or other Eryngium plants (English names: ‘Sea Holly’ or ‘Eryngo’). P. eryngii is a species complex, and a number of varieties have been described, with differing plant associates in the carrot family (Apiaceae).

  • P. eryngii var. eryngii (DC.) Quél 1872 – associated with Eryngium ssp.
  • P. eryngii var. ferulae (Lanzi) Sacc. 1887 – associated with Ferula communis[4]
  • P. eryngii var. tingitanus Lewinsohn 2002 – associated with Ferula tingitana[4]
  • P. eryngii var. elaeoselini Venturella, Zervakis & La Rocca 2000 – associated with Elaeoselinium asclepium[5][6]
  • P. eryngii var. thapsiae Venturella, Zervakis & Saitta 2002 – associated with Thapsia garganica[7]

Other specimens of P. eryngii have been reported in association with plants in the genera Ferulago, Cachrys, Laserpitium, and Diplotaenia.[3]

Molecular studies have shown Pleurotus nebrodensis to be closely related to, but distinct from, P. eryngii.[3] Pleurotus fossulatus may be another closely related species.[3]

Uses

The mushroom has a good shelf life. An effective cultivation method was introduced to Japan around 1993 and has become popular there in a variety of dishes,[8] and is now cultivated and sold commercially in Australia. Imported product is also commercially available in Australia. It is also cultivated in China, South Korea, Italy, and the United States.[2] It has little flavor or aroma when raw. When cooked, it develops typical mushroom umami flavors with a texture similar to that of abalone.

Pleurotus eryngii may naturally contain chemicals that stimulate the immune system.[9]

Written on February 10th, 2012 , Botany, Mycology Tags:

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