Types of Mushrooms in Nigeria

Check out the list of types of Mushroom in Nigeria. Have you ever heard stories of people who ate mushrooms and then fell sick? What about people who ate mushrooms and then experienced hallucinations? Those people ate the wrong kinds of mushrooms. Mushrooms, as a matter of necessity, are often classed as plants. They can obviously not be classed as animals, and that is the only other scientific classification of living things. On more technical scrutiny; Mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus) belong to the fungi family- they are fungi.

Mushrooms are classed as Basidiomycetes and conveniently given their own order: Agaricales. Instead of flowers, however, Mushrooms multiply by producing spores which when they land on the fertile ground grows into new mushrooms of the same species.

Let’s take at some of the listed types of mushrooms in Nigeria. Please note that some of the listed species may be imported varieties that are now cultivated in Nigeria, as mushroom cultivation seems to have become the new trend among agribusiness enthusiasts.

Types Of Mushroom In Nigeria

  • Oyster Mushroom

Oyster mushroom (Botanical name: Pleurotus ostreatus) is a kind of edible mushroom that belongs to the Tricholomataceae family. This particular mushroom has a fan or oyster-shaped cap which varies in diameter and can span between 5–25 cm. Its color varies from light tan or gray to dark brown. It is a very popular species of mushroom, maybe because of its good taste, and meaty texture. This type of mushroom goes well with soups and stews for many peoples of many different cultures. It is so popular that globally, more than 20, 000 tons of this species are produced annually. It is grown on fallen logs and very easy to cultivate.

  • Himenmatsutake

Himematsutake ( Botanical name: Agaricus blazei): is a type of edible mushroom that belongs to the Agaricaceae family.  This type of mushroom is unique because It has a slippery texture with a sweet almond taste. It is a food for special occasions because it is quite expensive and very popular in Japan where it originates. Don’t worry, this species of mushrooms are now cultivated worldwide, and has been given the generic name of Almond Portobello.

  • Reishi

Reishi (Botanical name: Ganoderma lucidum) is a type of edible mushroom that has been described by culinary experts as being “tough” and “woody” also with a bitter taste. It is one of those mushrooms that has its origins in Japan before being imported into Nigeria. The type of mushroom is quite expensive, and can often be found in the menu of high-end restaurants and hotels.

  • Termitomyces

This is a species of edible mushroom that is well-known in Nigeria. These mushrooms make their appearance after heavy rains and grow in close proximity to termite nests, and is usually found in forest soil. They usually appear between the months of April through October, which is the rainy season in Nigeria. It can be called a native species of mushrooms in Nigeria, as it does not need any cultivation. During the rainy season, people in the rural areas just go into the bush and pick as many as the can, some of which are then transported for sale in the urban areas and cities.

  • Morels

Morels ( Botanical name: Morchella sp.) is a kind of edible mushrooms that belongs to the Morchellaceae family.  It is spongy looking and hollow, grows in clusters close to the ground, and is usually white or cream or sometimes a lighter shade of brown. It is not as common as the portobello, but similar in texture, flavor, and meaty feel when eaten. The wine cap is a beautiful mushroom with a bright white stalk. Some people also call this the Land fish mushrooms.

Mushrooms as Food

Mushrooms are gathered from the bushes by expert women and children who through years of the gathering are able to distinguish between edible and the poisonous ones. There are over two thousand types of mushrooms, but only about 200 types are edible. Some of the remaining 800 are highly poisonous and can masquerade as the edible ones. In Nigeria, there are about twenty-five edible mushroom species that experts can vouch for.

If you are not an expert, please do not go about picking mushrooms because some of them can be highly poisonous.

On The Types of Mushrooms In Nigeria

Fertile ground for mushrooms in compost material, usually decaying wood. There must also be a good supply of humidity and moisture as well as minimal exposure to the sun’s rays. When the mushrooms spore land there by the action of wind, they form hyphae from the underground part of the mushroom, which is known as the mycelia.

The other parts of the mushroom are the stem; which is the part that supports the mushroom cap and which gives it the most striking resemblance to a plant. The cap is the visible upper part of the mushroom and comes in different colors and shapes. It is the thing that mostly gives the mushroom its identity, and by which we can recognize the species, differentiating between the edible and poisonous ones.

Mushrooms do not possess chlorophyll like green plants for manufacturing their food but for their growth and development they have to depend on organic foods as well as decaying plant materials (some of which may have chlorophyll) for nutrients.

Mushrooms are regarded as delicacies in Nigeria and when they feature on the menu, they do so as special guests, in special soups. Mushrooms are called “Ogiri Agbe” in Yoruba and “Ero” by the Igbos. They are sourced from the wild in the forests and bushes.

Closing

The people of the world have been eating mushrooms for many years. The technical term is called Mycophagy and is traced back to several thousand years, in China. This is the first reliable evidence of people consuming mushrooms, although edible mushroom species have been discovered in archaeological sites in which the people lived 13,000 years ago in what is now Chile. That means there is nothing new about eating mushrooms, and it has absolutely nothing to do with poverty, as some Nigerians assert. In fact, edible fungi were also collected from forests in ancient Greek and Roman times and highly valued. The Chinese, a people who are known to have a special regard for their traditional values, have used mushrooms for medicinal purposes as well as for food for centuries, and even today continue to do so and are now the leading exporter of cultivated mushrooms in the whole world.

That’s all about the list of types of mushrooms in Nigeria.

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