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Matsutake, Pine Mushroom
Tricholoma matsutake, Tricholoma magnivelare
Present in

For the Japanese market, this mushroom is classified according to six categories, all of which require that the stem be intact. For the North American market, the mushroom is classified according to three categories: buttons, whole fruit bodies (with open caps) and caps. Matsutake in eastern Canada is different from Matsutake gathered on the west coast and is very similar to Tricholoma matsutake picked in Japan.

The primordia of the Pine Mushroom form deep in the soil under the gray horizon 3 6, which allows them to withstand periods of drought and heat. As they grow, young buttons lift the soil and push through moss and lichen 1 2 3 to spread their caps on the surface. Sometimes, they get caught in roots, becoming deformed or breaking before they reach the surface.

The harvest takes place from late August until the snow arrives. At the button stage 4 5, the fruit bodies cannot be seen beneath the lichen and moss of the undergrowth. Neighbouring fruit bodies that are more developed 8 signal their presence. They must be extracted from the soil without breaking or bursting the stem. For the Japanese market, the stems are never cut 9.

In the boreal forest, Pine Mushrooms are found in jack pine stands more than 60 years old. They are occasionally found in southern Quebec, always associated with pine and less frequently with hemlock. Pine Mushrooms are an important source of food, not only for insects, but for 10 mice, voles, hares, and caribou.

Photos: Fernand Miron, Raymond Lavoie.

Habitats where you can find this species :

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Possible companion species
Rough-stemmed Bolete
Boletus spp.
Agarics spp.
Psalliota campestris; Psalliota arvensis; Psalliota silvaticus.
Turtle Mushroom
Sarcodon squamosus