Home   |   About Us   |   GROW: The Book   |   Blog   |   Join Us   |   Shop   |   Forum Rules

Lions mane, hericium — The Grow Network Community
The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.


Lions mane, hericium

LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning ModeratorManitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 2,461 admin
edited July 2 in Mycology

Ok...now I thought that lions mane grew in Manitoba. There is a MB herbalist that sells it in a different region the province. It would be really great to harvest it myself if I should find it. So far, I have not found literature that says that it has any poisonous lookalikes. I am scared to try foraging mushrooms, but this one sounds like a fairly safe one to start with...should I actually find it locally. I am not sure it is in my region.


There are different names for those in this genus (I don't know why that surprised me, lol). Also, not all of the common names refer to the same mushroom. This can be obvious while looking at what some call hedgehog mushroom. This makes things very difficult when looking for more information.

Bear's head tooth mushroom looks somewhat like lion's mane, with the exception of some pictures, here: https://northernbushcraft.com/topic.php?name=bear%27s+head+tooth+mushroom®ion=mb&ctgy=edible_mushrooms

Yet I read that lion's mane is a different species than this, and lion's mane is not mentioned by this name on this site. How do I know for sure which is lion's mane? Is the bear's head tooth pictured actually lion's mane by a different common name?


  • toreytorey Posts: 1,689 admin

    @Laurie Lion's Mane is Hericium ennaceus. I agree, common names are very confusing, especially in the fungi world. I have also heard it called the waterfall mushroom because it looks like a mini waterfall on a log. The E-flora BC website is back up and running. This is a link to the Hericium page, where you can see other species and compare them. Unfortunately, no pic of the Bear's-head tooth. Lion's Mane is called bearded tooth in this reference http://linnet.geog.ubc.ca/DB_Query/QueryForm.aspx?hfl=1&f=1&Genus=Hericium&lifeform=14&Thumbs=Y

    This is a link to the Matchmaker Mushrooms program which is downloadable and very easy to use. Makes identification a lot easier. http://www.svims.ca/council/matchmaker.htm

    If you can find a copy of the Fungal Pharmacy by Robert Dale Rogers, it is an excellent reference.

    I don't know of any poisonous species that are look-a-likes to Lion's Mane. But I'm no expert.

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 1,702 admin

    I don't know of any poisonous look a likes, either. I've grown Lion's Mane, but never found it in the woods. If in doubt, what I would do is to cook a small piece in a neutral oil with just a bit of salt and taste - if it tastes slightly like crab meat, that is it. Never chew or swallow any mushroom you are not sure of. Even so, this would be risky advice with some mushrooms.... I'm not recommend you do it. But, that is what I would do, and have with several I wasn't 100% sure about... but only after ruling out any poisonous ones that might look similar.

  • Gail HGail H Posts: 251 ✭✭✭

    @Laurie I know very little about mushrooms, but saw this a couple of weeks ago. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbcpHdSJeGE

    Apparently the Asian Beauty fungus bears at least a passing resemblance to Lion's Mane. Very little is known about it. I don't see much information on range or edible and/or medicinal uses.

    Adam Haritan's YouTube channel, Learn Your Land, has a lot of mushroom videos. He is a skilled forager and an excellent teacher.

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 2,461 admin
    edited February 12

    @torey Bears head tooth is the second picture under hericium:

    And then there is this article that states that there are no dangerous look-a-likes all of this type are edible, but then uses some common names to group all 3 species as one...using lions mane the most to describe all three. So then, as far as edibility, they are basically the same. Then what about medicinal qualities?

    I am starting to wonder if this MB herbalist has in fact not harvested this in MB. I revisited her site that I am sure claimed that she had harvested it from the southeast corner of the province. It no longer claims such, but specifies other mushrooms that she has harvested in MB. Oh well. I guess that at the very least, I am learning. 🤪

  • toreytorey Posts: 1,689 admin

    @Laurie It's a constant learning experience! I have attended several workshops and field trips on mushrooms (with experts in the field) but I still am not brave enough to eat too many of them. I do have a couple that I know well enough to harvest for medicinal properties; Red-belted Conk and Turkey Tail. Unfortunately, I haven't found Turkey Tail in my area (I harvest it on the occasional trip to the coast). It is supposed to grow here and I found what I thought was a pale version of it (almost white) but when I sent the pic for identification it was the same genus but not a Turkey Tail and didn't have the same properties. Lion's Mane grows here as well but haven't found a patch suitable for harvesting.

  • Obiora EObiora E Posts: 519 ✭✭✭✭

    @Laurie You can also do a mushroom "finger" print as every mushroom has its own unique one. I do not recall how its done but it was mentioned by Tradd Cotter in a session that I attended of his last year at the Sustainable Sustainable Agricultural Working Group Conference (SSAWG).

  • toreytorey Posts: 1,689 admin

    To do a spore print from a gilled mushroom, you take the cap and place it gill side down on a piece of white paper. Cover with a glass or bowl and leave for several hours - up to 24. (depends on the freshness of the mushroom). When you remove the mushroom from the paper, it will have an imprint of the gills outlined in spores. This is a key identifier in gilled mushroom species. Polypores are a different ballgame. Even white spores will show up on the paper. Most good mushroom guides will list the colour of the spore print.

  • norabelehcimnorabelehcim Posts: 47 ✭✭✭

    The farmer's market here offers "Lion's mane" but it sounds more like the bear's head tooth...

    Has anyone had success cultivating (small scale) Lion's mane mushrooms?

Sign In or Register to comment.