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Disambiguation: For the fictional character see Matsutake Kaoru.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Agaricales
Family: Tricholomataceae
Genus: Tricholoma
Binomial name
Tricholoma matsutake
Tricholoma matsutake
View the Mycomorphbox template that generates the following list
Mycological characteristics
gills on hymenium
cap is convex
hymenium is adnexed
stipe has a ring
spore print is white
ecology is mycorrhizal
edibility: choice

Matsutake (Japanese: 松茸, pine mushroom, Tricholoma matsutake = syn. T. nauseosum) is the common name for a highly sought after mycorrhizal mushroom that grows in Asia, Europe, and North America. It is prized for its distinct spicy-aromatic odor by Japanese.[1] In Vietnam, it is called nấm tùng nhung.


Habitat and distribution

Matsutake grow under trees and are usually concealed under fallen leaves and duff on the forest floor. It forms a symbiotic relationship with the roots of a limited number of tree species.

Matsutake are known to grow in China, Japan, Korea, Finland, Sweden, among other countries. In Japan it is most commonly associated with Japanese Red Pine. However in the North American Pacific Northwest it is found in coniferous forests made up of one or more of the following species: Douglas-fir, Noble Fir, Shasta Red Fir, Sugar Pine, Ponderosa Pine or Lodgepole Pine. In California, it is also associated with hardwoods, including Tanoak and Madrone.

In 1999, N. Bergius and E. Danell reported that Swedish (Tricholoma nauseosum) and Japanese matsutake (T. matsutake) are the same species.[2] The report led to increased import of matsutake from Northern Europe to Japan because of the comparable flavor and taste.

Cost and availability

Songi gui (송이구이), grilled matsutake in Korean cuisine

Matsutake are hard to harvest and therefore the price is very high. Domestic production of matsutake in Japan has been sharply reduced over the last 50 years due to a pine nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, and it has influenced the price a great deal. The annual harvest of matsutake in Japan is now less than 1,000 tons, and it is largely made up by imports from China, Korea, the North American Pacific Northwest (Northern California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia), and Northern Europe (Sweden and Finland).[3] The price for matsutake in the Japanese market is highly dependent on quality, availability, and origin. The Japanese matsutake at the beginning of the season, which is the highest grade, can go up to $2,000 per kilogram. In contrast, the average value for imported matsutake is about $90 per kilogram.

See also


  1. ^ Ashkenazi, Michael; Jacob, Jeanne (2003). Food culture in Japan. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 49. ISBN 0313324387.  
  2. ^ Eric Danell, The Swedish matsutake and the Japanese matsutake are the same species!, The Edible Mycorrhizal Mushroom Research Group, Department of Forest Mycology and Pathology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
  3. ^ (Japanese) 輸入マツタケに異変 中国産激減、フィンランド参戦, J-CAST, 2007/9/26.

External links



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