lion's mane spores

Lion’s Mane Spores: From Mushroom Growing Kits to Totems

How much do you know about lion’s mane spores? You can grow your own edible lion’s mane at home with our easy-to-use mushroom growing kits or with a totem

Lion’s mane spores are used to develop the fruited body, eventually. A germinated spore will form hyphal thread. These hyphal threads ultimately lead to the development and growth of the mycelium. The mycelium can be thought of as the mushroom’s root system. The fruited lion’s mane will develop through the mycelium.  Lion’s mane spores helped to develop our growing kits. We have grown out the multi-generational mycelium, which developed because of the initial germination of lion’s mane spores. This mycelium was then added to an appropriate growing medium. This is how the lion’s mane mushroom grow kit was born. 

Read below for more information on the lion’s mane mushroom, including some fascinating history. At the bottom of the page you will find information on how to grow lion’s mane with totems at home. You can also use our lion’s mane mushroom growing kit for an easier grow, indoors or out, any time of the year.

A wild edible that may be hiding nearby 

Hericium erinaceus, more commonly known as lion’s mane mushroom, is an edible mushroom that grows native throughout North America, Asia, and Europe.  In the wild lion’s mane is often found on hardwoods like American beech trees. The lion’s mane mushroom has long white spines that give it the appearance of a beard or mane (lion’s mane has also been referred to as bearded tooth mushroom, bearded hedgehog mushroom, and satyr’s beard).

Lion’s mane grow in a single clump and can be found fruiting during the late summer and fall. Many consider this to be a gourmet mushroom and a choice edible found by foragers. When cooked, the texture can have a meaty, stringy quality to it, especially if not overcooked. There is a sweetness to the flavor, and many distinguish a flavor similar to a crustacean, like lobsters or crabs.

Background information on lion’s mane shows its intriguing history

The Journal of Restorative Medicine 2017 provides us with some background information regarding lion’s mane and its use in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Take a look:

Hericium erinaceus, most commonly known as lion’s mane, is an edible fungus, with a long history of use in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The mushroom is abundant in bioactive compounds including β-glucan polysaccharides; hericenones and erinacine terpenoids; isoindolinones; sterols; and myconutrients, which potentially have neuroprotective and neuroregenerative properties. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties and promotion of nerve growth factor gene expression and neurite (axon or dendrite) outgrowth, H. erinaceus mycelium shows great promise for the treatment of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. The fungus was well tolerated in two clinical studies, with few adverse events reported.

This study makes the claim that lion’s mane has a variety of potential benefits to human health. It is information like this that gets people interested in consuming the mushroom more frequently. The supplement market for lion’s mane is clearly growing too, as more health-conscious consumers are trying the mushroom in their diet. 

Using lion’s mane spores and clones to make totems 

Lion’s mane spores were originally used to develop the mycelium for all of our lion’s mane plug spawn and lion’s mane sawdust spawn. This spawn can then be used to inoculate totems and logs.  Totems are a great option for those who wish to grow mushrooms outdoors. They are simple to create, requiring logs, a tool for cutting the logs, some nails, a hammer, and your mushroom spawn of choice.  Here is an easy step-by-step guide to follow for developing your own totems for growing lion’s mane mushrooms:
  1. Find a long that is about 3’ long with a diameter of about 8”. 
  2. Cut the log into three sections; one section being 1 ½’ long, another section at 1’ 4” long, and a section about 2” long. 
  3. Find a suitable place for cultivation. Areas that are shaded all year are recommended options. 
  4. Drill about 20 holes on the face of your 1 ½’ log section. 
  5. Hammer your mushroom plugs into the holes or use supplemented saw. Cover the holes with beeswax, cheese wax, or soy wax.
  6. Place this log on the ground and put the log section that is 1’4” on top.
  7. Secure these two logs together with a few nails. 
  8. Drill about another 20 holes in the top of the log. 
  9. Hammer more shiitake mushroom plugs into the newly-drilled holes. Cover the holes with beeswax, cheese wax, or soy wax.
  10.  Attach the 2” piece of wood with another few nails on top of the second log. 
This totem should now resemble the initial log, but with mycelium in the middle. The mycelium will grow up and down throughout the log sections, and after a year will begin to fruit. The large diameter of the logs will take the mycelium awhile to eat through the totem, so they can continue to fruit for over 10 years!
Back to blog