August 23, 2008

Cordyceps sinensis

C. sinensis is a black, blade-shaped fungus found primarily in the high altitudes on the Tibetan plateau in China. Wild cordyceps is rare. This mushroom is parasitic and grows on and derives its nutrients from moth caterpillars. In the fall, the fungal mycelia infect the caterpillar. The fungal infestation kills the caterpillar by early summer of the following year, thus releasing the fruiting body. The wild form of C. sinensis is harvested, while the principal fungal mycelium ( Paecilomyces hepiali Chen) is cultivated aseptically...more