Lyophyllum shimeji (Lyophyllum shimeji) photo and description

Lyophyllum shimeji (Lyophyllum shimeji)

  • Department: Basidiomycota (Basidiomycetes)
  • Subdivision: Agaricomycotina (Agaricomycetes)
  • Class: Agaricomycetes (Agaricomycetes)
  • Subclass: Agaricomycetidae (Agaricomycetes)
  • Order: Agaricales (Agaric or Lamellar)
  • Family: Lyophyllaceae (Lyophilic)
  • Genus: Lyophyllum (Lyophyllum)
  • Species: Lyophyllum shimeji (Lyophyllum simeji)

Synonyms :

  • Hon-shimeji

  • Tricholoma shimeji
  • Lyophillum shimeji

Lyophyllum shimeji - Lyophyllum shimeji

Until recently, it was believed that Shimeji Lyophyllum (Lyophyllum shimeji) is distributed only in a limited area covering the pine forests of Japan and parts of the Far East. At the same time, there was a separate species, Lyophyllum fumosum (L. smoky gray), associated with forests, especially conifers, some sources even described it as a mycorrhizal forming agent with pine or spruce, outwardly very similar to L.decastes and L.shimeji. Recent molecular studies have shown that no such distinct species exists, and all finds classified as L. fumosum are either L.decastes (more commonly) or L. shimeji (Lyophillum simeji) (less commonly in pine forests). Thus, as of today (2018), L. fumosum species has been abolished, and is considered a synonym for L.decastes,significantly expanding the habitat of the latter, practically to "anywhere". Well, L.shimeji, as it turned out, grows not only in Japan and the Far East, but is widespread throughout the boreal zone from Scandinavia to Japan, and, in some places, is found in pine forests of the temperate climatic zone. It differs from L.decastes only in larger fruit bodies with thicker legs, growth in small aggregates or separately, binding to dry pine forests, and at the molecular level.growth in small aggregates or separately, tied to dry pine forests, well, at the molecular level.growth in small aggregates or separately, tied to dry pine forests, well, at the molecular level.


Hat: 4 - 7 centimeters. In youth it is convex, with a distinctly bent edge. It evens out with age, becomes slightly convex or practically spread; in the center of the cap, a pronounced wide, low tubercle is almost always preserved. The skin of the cap is slightly matte, smooth. The color range - in gray and brownish tones, from light grayish brown to dirty gray, can acquire yellowish gray shades. On the cap, dark hygrophane spots and radial stripes are often well discernible; sometimes a small hygrophane pattern in the form of a "mesh" can be present.

Plates: frequent, narrow. Loose or slightly adherent. In young specimens, they are white, later darken to beige or grayish.

Leg: 3-5 centimeters in height and up to one and a half centimeters in diameter, cylindrical. White or grayish. The surface is smooth, can be silky or fibrous to the touch. In the growths formed by mushrooms, the legs are firmly attached to each other.

Ring, bedspread, volva: none.

Flesh: firm, white, slightly grayish in the stem, firm. Does not change color at cut and break.

Smell and taste: pleasant, slightly nutty taste.

Spore powder: white.

Spores: round to broadly ellipsoidal. Smooth, colorless, hyaline or with fine-grained intracellular content, weakly amyloid. With a large spread in size, 5.2 - 7.4 x 5.0 - 6.5 microns.


Grows on soil, litter, prefers dry pine forests.

Season and distribution

Active fruiting occurs in August - September.

Lyophyllum shimeji grows in small aggregates and groups, rarely singly.

Distributed throughout Eurasia from the Japanese archipelago to Scandinavia.


The mushroom is edible. In Japan, Liophyllum shimeji, called there Hon-shimeji, is considered a delicacy mushroom.

Similar types and differences from them

Crowded lyophyllum (Lyophyllum decastes) also grows in aggregates, but these aggregates consist of a much larger number of fruit bodies. Prefers deciduous forests. The fruiting period is from July to October.

Lyophyllum elm (Oyster mushroom, Hypsizygus ulmarius) is also considered very similar in appearance due to the presence of hygrophane rounded spots on the cap. In oyster mushrooms, fruiting bodies with a more elongated stem and the color of the cap are generally lighter than in Lyophillum simeji. However, these external differences are not so fundamental if we pay attention to the environment. Oyster mushroom does not grow on soil, it grows exclusively on dead wood of deciduous trees: on stumps and wood remains immersed in the soil.

Other information about the mushroom

The specific name "Shimeji" comes from the Japanese name for the species Hon-shimeji or Hon-shimejitake. But in fact, in Japan under the name "Shimeji" one can find on sale not only Lyophyllum shimeji, but also, for example, another lyophyllum actively cultivated there, elm.

Photo: Vyacheslav