Here at Quality Spores, we specialize in mushroom spores – if you didn’t know, yes, they’re legal throughout most of the United States. However, they’re illegal to cultivate, and are thus for microscopy and research purposes only.
Types of Mushroom Spores
However, there are many different types of mushroom spores online that you can find, all for different purposes ranging from research spores like ours to mushroom spores to grow legally, such as medicinal mushroom spores.
In today’s post on the Quality Spores blog, we’ll take a moment to explore the different kinds of spores you’re most likely to find online, their purposes, and why you may find them interesting for your own research.
Here’s what you’ll learn about Edible Mushroom Spores, Ornamental Mushroom Spores, Types of Medicinal Mushroom Spores and about Mushroom Spore Legality in the States:
- Edible mushroom spores, different types and culinary purposes
- Why people love ornamental mushroom spores and how they’re used
- The most popular types of medicinal mushroom spores
- Mushroom spores legality & purposes in the United States
Let’s begin with the most popular type of mushroom spores, and the ones most likely to kick of a lifelong fascination with fungi:
Edible Mushroom Spores: Types & Purposes Explained
Edible mushroom spores are a category of fungal spore which produces mature mushrooms which are intended to be eaten. (The spores themselves aren’t edible – well, they are, but since spores are microscopic they wouldn’t make much of a meal!).
Mushroom Spores for Microscopy – Different Types, Strains, and Species
Among the most popular edible mushroom spores to grow are shiitake, button, porcini, and of course the ever-popular oyster mushroom.
Edible mushroom spores are widely available and have become incredibly popular among people from all kinds of different walks of life. Chefs, mycologists, and general mushroom fans have begun growing edible mushrooms at home for a variety of reasons, the biggest of which is because doing so is often far, far cheaper than buying these kinds of mushrooms at the grocery store.
Take shiitake mushrooms for example. They’re one of the most popular culinary mushrooms throughout the world, but they can be prohibitively expensive if you want to eat them regularly. Oyster mushrooms are the same. Growing these kinds of culinary mushrooms at home is a fantastic way to save money, but that’s not the only benefit.
Grow Mushroom Spores At Home
The other reason people love to grow edible mushroom spores at home is because it’s a source of fresh mushrooms, always at hand. Getting fresh mushrooms, particularly in certain parts of the world, can be difficult—but mushrooms can easily be grown indoors with very little upfront investment in terms of equipment.
Ornamental Mushroom Spores: What Are They?
Ornamental mushrooms aren’t edible or medicinal—in fact, some might be poisonous—but people love to grow them anyway because of their natural beauty.
If you’re a fan of gardening, adding ornamental mushrooms to your landscape can really add a lot of pizazz that few other gardeners have the patience or knowhow for. Ornamental mushrooms come in a wide variety of species and strains, and are usually selected based on how interesting, beautiful, or strange they look.
While ornamental mushrooms don’t have to be grown outside, they usually are. However, some exceptions exist, as some enthusiasts enjoy growing decorative mushrooms inside. In recent years, bio-luminescent mushrooms have become quite a popular choice because they’re such a novelty.
The Most Popular Varieties of Medicinal Mushroom Spores Online
Medicinal mushrooms often have some crossover with edible mushroom spores of the culinary variety. However, this is not always true. We’ll explain.
Reishi mushrooms are well known as a very popular medicinal mushroom. They’ve been used to promote immune health, provide support to the liver, and even help the body regulate control of blood glucose levels. Reishi has been known to be used by humans for thousands of years, with the earliest records dating back to ancient China. Reishi is an edible mushroom that can be cooked and enjoyed in meals, but can also be taken as a supplement or dried powder.
Conversely, a fungi like Lion’s Mane, which is also very popular as a medicinal mushroom spore, is not particularly lovely as a culinary edible mushroom spore. You can eat it, and some people do, but generally this fungi is consumed as a supplement. Just because it isn’t great as a meal doesn’t mean that it isn’t great for you, however: Lion’s Mane has been shown to benefit neurological functioning, perhaps even enough to protect against neurological disorders like dementia.
Medicinal mushroom spores are widely available and are excellent to grow. While some advocates, including those in the medical field, consider mushrooms to be medicinal, they are not legal to cultivate in the vast majority of areas (a single exception exists in New Mexico at the time of this writing, where they can be grown but never preserved).
Not Mushroom Spores to Grow in Most Jurisdictions: Mushroom Spores
Mushroom spores aren’t mushroom spores to grow in the vast majority of cases—they contain a compound that is illegal in the United States and much of the rest of the world.
However, mushroom spores are still legal to purchase in most of the United States, because they’re used by microscopists and mycologists for research purposes. You don’t have to have any special training to acquire them, making them a big hobby for amateur microscopists interested in expanding their taxonomical skills.
Mushroom Spore Kits
If you’d like to learn more about mushroom spores or about mushroom spore kits, or about why amateur microscopy is a fantastic educational hobby, we invite you to download a free copy of our eBook: