Reishi Mushroom Underside | What Does The Bottom Look Like?

reishi mushroom underside

What Does The Underside of Reishi Mushroom Look Like?

They are polypore, meaning that the underside of the cap, the place where spores are released, looks like a small-pored sponge with lots of tiny spots.

underside of reishi mushroom

The color of the underside of a reishi mushroom where its pore surface is located is white. The white underside of reishi will turn brownish-beige with aging. When you are harvesting or foraging for reishi, make sure you pick fungi that are still white underneath. These will be freshest and most potent, not the dehydrated versions of them.

Reishi mushrooms have no gills, and the white underside will bruise slightly if you poke at it with a stick or pocket knife. They grow in a fan-like shape, or a kidney, and they can range in thickness from about a centimeter to about four inches. As mentioned, only harvest those that have a white underside. Once they have started turning brown, they will begin to rot, and you do not want to be making medicines from decaying plant matter.

You can find our favorite capsules, powders, and tincture’s on the following pages of our website and learn more about each individually:

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Spore Prints: If you put the pores-side-down on the Reishi Mushroom, within about 6+ hours, it should produce brownish-colored spore prints.
If you plan on collecting reishi mushrooms, it is important that you are familiar with reishi mushrooms physical characteristics. “Ganoderma” is a portmanteau of Greek words meaning shiny/bright-skinned.

As the name suggests, the capped reishi mushrooms really have that shiny, polished look. The shape of the mature caps of reishi is akin to that of a shelled clam, while the younger mushrooms appear to have glowing colored fingers before a cap begins to form. As the reishi mushrooms grow, the caps develop concentric rings with a coloration that is red, orange, and white.

Exact coloration will vary depending on species and environmental factors. The caps of reishi mushrooms are either fan-shaped or kidney-shaped. It will have a reddish cap, with various shades of orange, yellow, and white towards the outer edges.

Young Reishi mushrooms will have a wet, glossy appearance, almost as though they were painted with varnish or lacquer. As they grow older, the caps tend to get dimmer in appearance. Most varieties of reishi seldom attain thicknesses greater than one-inch, or between 2 and five centimeters, or widths greater than one-foot, or 1/3-meter. Spore prints will have a deep brown color.

Reishi mushrooms can either be attached to trees by stems or unattached. Reishi are not mushrooms that have been decorated with gold.

Additional Resources:

Reishi mushroom tea

Reishi mushroom vs turkey tail 

Updated 10/24/2022

About the author

Bruce Wilson

I've studied Mycology and Forest Pathology and love creating content to help other learn more about my passion. Follow along as I continue to explore the amazing world of functional fungi!

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