The cap is from 5 do 15 centimeters wide, and has a somewhat flattened appearance, especially on the top. The top of the cap is usually dark brown or black colored, while the color gets somewhat lighter towards the edge of the caps. The stipe is firm, curved, cylindrical and often widened a bit at the bottom. The gills are grown ingrown upwards, they are also known to be very danse and thin, and are mostly white colored. The gills of older specimens can have a light brown color. Spore print is white colored.
There is no significant data.
This species comes from Japan, where it grows and is cultivated on specific types of wood, but it can also grow on beeches, chestnuts and oaks. Because of that, it is also often cultivated in other parts of the world, especially because of its medicinal properties.
It grows throughout most of the year, in waves, often with gaps of about two months, provided that the temperature is higher than 10°C.
Shiitake is a very tasteful mushroom which can be prepared in many different ways. It also has many medicinal properties. One of the most well known is the ability to lower cholesterol effectively and relatively fast.
Sometimes it can be confused with Pholiota destruens which is different from shiitake in that it has a brown colored spore print.