Lions Mane mushroom prefers dead hardwood as a natural habitat. Oak, walnut, beech, maple, and sycamore tree are all ideal for this fungus. Lions mane (Hericium species) is common during late summer and fall in forests of Europe, North America and Asia.
In this article, we’ll explain the natural habitat of lion’s mane, where it can grow, the type of wood it prefers, how to make your own lion’s mane mushroom habitat and where you can find it in the wild.
Here’s what you need to know:
Lions Mane Mushroom Natural Habitat: What wood does it grow on?
Lion’s mane (hericium species) grows only on hardwoods. For example, lions mane mushroom can grow well on oak, maple, birch and black walnut. If you are looking for a smaller scale production of these mushrooms, you can also use poplar, tulip and willow hardwood logs.
In the wild, you’re more likely to find this fungi on decaying trees throughout North America and Canada.
Where to find Lion’s Mane Mushroom in their natural habitat?
Lion’s mane mushroom (hericium species) can be found in North America and Canada growing on dead logs in late summer and fall. Other places lions mane mushroom can be found is in the wounds of dying or dead trees. It is typically always found on hardwoods.
Lions mane is easy to identify with their white cascading spines and their natural attraction to hardwood logs. You’ll also find that they all grow together in a single clump.
Be aware that some inedible mushrooms may sometimes give the appearance of lion’s mane. Always speak with an expert if you are unsure.
Can you make a Lion’s Mane Mushroom habitat?
To grow Lion's Mane in a habitat, you need to start with a culture on agar, and make your own grain spawn. The process for lion's mane is the same as other species:
Grow the culture out on agar to make grain spawn, add it to a bulk substrate, and fruit.
Alternatively, you could also grow lion’s mane from a liquid culture, although you should still look to put the liquid culture on agar for long term storage and re-use.
From there, you would need to take the lions mane spawn and add it to a substrate. Hardwood sawdust with bran seems to work best, which is known as a fruiting block.
Put the fruiting block in a bag in a humid environment, cut some x’s in the side of the bag, and then put the block on it’s side on a plate. Mist inside the bag with a spray bottle a few times a day and make sure there is a lot of fresh air circulating to encourage the lions mane to grow.
The lions mane mushroom should begin to sprout out of the holes in the bag.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom Habitat: What you need to know
In summary, lions mane mushroom have a natural habitat of hardwoods. Typically walnut, beech, maple, birch and black walnut.
You’ll often find them growing on dead logs in late summer or fall in North America or Canada. This fungus may also be in the wounds of dead or dying trees.
You can make a synthetic habitat for lion’s mane mushroom via growing a culture out of agar to make grain spawn, adding it to a fruiting block and keeping it humid, aired and watered to help them grow.
However, if you want to find them in the wild, your best bet is to look for their white spines growing on dead logs in North America and Canada.