Shiitake Mushroom Gills from Copper Knoll Farms in New Jersey

What is a Spore Print?

In this blog post we are sharing a characteristic of mushrooms that is used for identification. Each mushroom has traits that are important for people to properly identify what they are. The most helpful is a spore print. Mushrooms have spores that they release from their gills or pores. Spores are how mushrooms reproduce and are not visible to the eye but a collection of spores can be seen by doing a spore print. Each mushroom produces a specific pattern and/or color of spore print.

How To Make a Spore Print 
For mushrooms with gills, such as shiitake, cut the stem off and place the mushroom cap gills down onto a piece of aluminum foil. Cover the mushroom with a container and leave it undisturbed for 12-24 hours. After the time has passed, remove the mushroom and observe the spore print.

Shiitake Mushrooms Spore Print
Above is an example of a spore print from our shiitake mushroom. Shiitake mushrooms have white spore prints.

Please keep in mind that on our farm we carefully select oak logs from our forest under our Forest Management Plan which we then inoculate with organic spawn from a reputable source. So we know we have true shiitake mushrooms for our customers!

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