Mushroom Elephant Ear

As a mushroom enthusiast and dedicated grower, I find the mushroom elephant ear to be an intriguing and delightful species to cultivate. Also known as the “king oyster mushroom” or scientifically named Pleurotus eryngii, this mushroom variety has a unique appearance and a rich, meaty flavor that sets it apart from other common mushrooms. Its large, thick, and dark brown cap, along with its thick stem, gives it an unmistakable resemblance to an elephant’s ear.

Cultivation Process

To grow the mushroom elephant ear, I start by preparing a substrate mix of sawdust, straw, and supplemented with nutrients such as wheat bran or gypsum. I ensure the substrate is well-sterilized to prevent contamination by other competing fungi or bacteria. The mushroom spores or culture are then introduced into the prepared substrate, and the containers are kept in a dark, humid environment to allow the mycelium to colonize and spread throughout the substrate.

Optimal Growing Conditions

For the fruiting stage, the optimal conditions for the mushroom elephant ear include a temperature range of 18-24°C, with high humidity levels. I prefer to use a misting system to maintain the required moisture levels and simulate the natural habitat of the mushroom. Adequate air exchange is also crucial for successful fruiting, and I achieve this by providing ventilation while ensuring the humidity is retained.

Harvesting and Enjoying

After patiently nurturing my mushroom elephant ear, the fruiting bodies begin to emerge. I carefully harvest the mature mushrooms by twisting them off the substrate, ensuring to leave some behind for potential further flushes. The harvested mushrooms can be used in various culinary dishes due to their firm texture and robust flavor. From sautéing to grilling, the mushroom elephant ear adds a savory element to any meal, making it a favorite among chefs and food enthusiasts.

Health Benefits

Besides its culinary appeal, the mushroom elephant ear also offers various health benefits. It is low in calories and fat, high in protein, and a good source of vitamins and minerals, including B-vitamins, potassium, and phosphorus. With its rich umami flavor, it is a great addition to vegetarian or vegan diets, providing a satisfying meaty substitute in dishes.

My Experience

My journey with cultivating the mushroom elephant ear has been both rewarding and educational. There is a sense of fulfillment in witnessing the growth and development of these magnificent mushrooms from spore to harvest. The process has allowed me to deepen my understanding of fungal biology and appreciate the intricate relationship between mushrooms and their environment.


The mushroom elephant ear, with its striking appearance, delightful flavor, and nutritional value, continues to be a captivating species to grow. Its versatility in culinary applications and the joy of cultivating it make it a remarkable addition to any mushroom grower’s repertoire.