Mushroom is a achlorophyllus , basidiocarpic spore bearing fungus that
grows above soil or in dead and decaying organism . Mushroom are
considered highly nutritious food as it is rich in low calorie fiber ,
proteins and antioxidants. Mushrooms are cosmopolitan and may be
edible and non edible. Some are poisonous and it’s consumption may
lead to death. Wild mushrooms are the source of food for wild animals
including insects. They also enrich the soil fertility and also act as
pollution reductor. Cultivated mushrooms are the source of nutrition,
income and livelihood for farmers.
Some of the edible cultivated as well as wild varieties of mushroom
that are found in Nepal are mentioned below;
1.Oyster Mushroom ( Pleurotus spp );
These group of mushrooms are called ‘kanya chyau’ in Nepali . The fruiting bodies of these mushroom are distinctly shell or spatula in shape with different shades of white, yellow, pink or light brown depending upon the species. Some of the common cultivated oyster mushroom are King oyster, Pink oyster, yellow oyster and white oyster. Oyster mushroom can be grown at moderate temperature ranging from 20° to 30°C and humidity 55 to 70% for a period of 6 to 8 months in a year. These mushrooms prefers hardwood and decidious trees to grow as wild species . Although, they can be grown on cereals straws , sawdust and different agricultural waste materials.
2.Paddy straw mushroom ( Volveriella volvacea )
These mushroom are most preferable to farmers and can be grown in tropical and subtropical regions. They are prodigiously fast growing mushrooms that requires warm temperature of range 24–35°C and cannot survive below 7°C . spp. The paddy straw mushroom have good combination of flavour , aroma, delicacy and high content of protein, vitamins and minerals and appears white to brown in colour. It is best grown in fresh dried paddy straw.
3.White button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) ;
They are called ‘Gobre chyau’ in Nepali. They are the most cultivated variety in the world and also known as table mushroom. Commonly, they are found in field and grassland. Body is of medium size and consist pileus(cap) ranging 2-7 cm in diameter with short white stem. It’s production can be obtained year round though temperature between 28° to 30°C is considered best for these mushrooms. White button mushrooms are grown on the medium consisting a mixture of plant wastes that includes cereal straw, sugarcane bagasse etc, salts, supplements that includes rice bran, wheat bran and water.
4.Milky mushroom ( Calocybe indica )
These mushrooms are known as ‘dudhe chyau’ in Nepali . They grows on substrate rich in organic matter and found in grasslands, fields and road verges. They generally appears after in summer after rainfall. The robust mushrooms are full white in colour , fleshy and umbrella shaped with firm consistency and consist of cap measuring 10-12 cm. They can be cultivated in hot humid season at temperature ranging from 25° to 35° C. Different types of cellulose containing agricultural residues can be used as substrates for it’s cultivation such as paddy straw, wheat straw, barley straw, sugarcane bagasse, wheat bran and cotton waste. However, paddy straw is considered as the best substrate.
5.Shitake Mushroom ( lentinula edodes) ;
Also called ‘Mirge chyau’ in Nepali. These mushrooms are native to east asia but are cultivated worldwide. They grows in woods of decidious trees. Commercially , they are grown in artificial substrates, sawdust blocks and hardwood logs. Its cultivation is done in mid and high hills of Nepal. It’s fruiting bodies are usually light to reddish brown in colour with a convex pileus (cap) and supported by a fibrous stalk. The pileus consist white gills on the underside.
6.Stump Puffball ( Lycoperdon pyriforme , wild species) ;
This mushroom is called ‘putpure chyau’ in Nepali. It grows on decaying wood of decidious and coniferous trees and is considered edible in immature stage when its inner flesh is still white. The colour changes to yellowish brown as it ages . They consist of pear shaped fruiting body or nearly spherical sometimes. The central pore of mushroom ruptures at the late maturity to allow the wind and rain to disperse it’s spores. The base is attached to the wood by means of rhizomorphs.
7.Morels ( Morchella spp , Wild species ) ;
In Nepali, it is called ‘Guchhi Chyaau’ .The Morels are beige to dark brown coloured mushrooms that have very characteristic conical shape. There are three species of morels are found in Nepal. They are : Morchella esculenta, M Conica and M Smithiana. They are distributed in mid-western hills of Humla and Jumla district. They appears in high organic manure, high soil moisture and in forest and also in apple orchards.
8.Common ink cap ( Coprinus atramentarius ) ;
The common ink cap consist of light ink cap that are borne on white stalk which are typically 3 to 7 cm high. This species is commonly found along roadsides and waste areas where there is rotting wood in the soil. It occurs in lawn too . They must be cooked within a few hours of picking as they rapidly turn black and release the spores in a black liquid .These mushrooms are edible but If they are consumed with alcohol or within 24 hours of having alcohol, it will cause extreme nausea, stomach ache and palpitations.