List of Japanese mushroom names

I’ve always been intrigued by the poetry of Japanese names for mushrooms. beyond the top five edibles I couldn’t find a detailed list in English. Here is my list of Japanese names for mushrooms focusing mainly on edible mushrooms and those also found in Scotland

Edible mushrooms

Hen of the woods
Grifola frondosa
Maitake translates as dancing mushroom (in Korean it is dancing butterflies). Common to both Japan and Scotland.

Oyster mushroom
Pleurotus ostreatus
Common to both Japan and Scotland.

Velvet shanks /Winter mushroom
Flammulina velutipes
Common to both Japan and Scotland.

Amethyst deceiver
Laccaria amethystina
Common to both Japan and Scotland.

Wood blewit
Lepista nuda

Common to both Japan and Scotland.

Late oyster /Olive oysterling
Sarcomyxa serotina

(previously Panellus serotina). Common to both Japan and Scotland.

Chicken of the woods
Laetiporus sulphureus
Common to both Japan and Scotland.

Saffron milk cap
Lactarius deliciosus (L. laeticolorus)
Common to Japan and Scotland. 

Mushrooms popular in Japanese cuisine that are not native to Scotland include:

Tawny milkcap /Weeping milkcap
Lactifluus volemus

Formerly Lactarius volemus In Europe, rare in some areas.

Pine mushroom
Tricholoma matsutake (T. nauseosum)

It grows in Sweden and Finland so there’s probably no reason why it couldn’t grow in Scotland.

Tricholoma bakamatsutake

Matsutake species that grows under beech and oaks.

Lentinula edodes

Brown beech mushroom
Hypsizygus tessellatus

Found in Northern Europe.

White beech mushroom
Hypsizygus tessellatus

White variant of above.

King Oyster mushroom
Pleurotus eryngii

Golden oyster mushroom
Pleurotus citrinopileatus

Native to Japan and cultivated. Related to the Branched Oyster Fungus (Pleurotus cornucopiae) found in Scotland.

Lung oyster mushroom
Pleurotus pulmonarius

Burgundy mushroom /King stropharia
Stropharia rugosoannulata

Butterscotch mushroom
Pholiota microspora

Cloud ear fungus
Auricularia polytricha

Closely related to the Wood ear aka Jelly ear fungus found in Scotland (Auricularia auricula-judae).

Sticky bolete
Suillus viscidus

Found in same larch habitat as Larcch bolete (Suillus grevillei) found in Scotland.

Stone ear /Rock mushroom
Umbilicaria esculenta

Technically an edible lichen.

Medicinal mushrooms

Black hoof fungus
Phellinus linteus

Related to the European Willow Bracket (Phellinus igniarius).

Hoof /Tinder fungus
Fomes fomentarius

In Japanese this translates as the bell mushroom. Common to both Japan and Scotland.

Reishi mushroom
Ganoderma lucidum

Mannentake means the 10,000 year mushroom. Also called Kadodetake (the Departure mushroom), Hijiridake (the Sage mushroom) and Magoshakushi (the Grandchild Ladle). In Scotland, a very similar species is used. The Artists Conk Ganoderma applanatum and the Southern Conk G. australe.

Debated edibility/toxicity

Angel wings
Pleurocybella porrigens

Edible but with great caution. Toxins can cause fatal kidney damage especially in elderly people with a history of kidney problems. Common to Japan and Scotland.

Violet webcap
Cortinarius violaceus

Counted as an edible mushroom in Japan but rare in Britain and easily confused with deadly Cortinarius species.

Brickcap mushroom

Hypholoma sublateritium

Mixed views on edibility.

Inedible mushrooms

Parachute mushroom
Marasmius funalis

Found only in Japan. Other Marasmius species are found in Scotland.

Poisonous mushrooms

Fly agaric
Amanita muscaria

Only edible when prepared correctly as otherwise it can make you extremely ill. Common to both Japan and Scotland.

Sulphur tuft
Hypholoma fasciculare

Common to both Japan and Scotland.

Brittlegill (unspecified)
Russula subnigricans

Found only in Japan, Taiwan and China.

Burnt knight
Tricholoma ustale

Found in Japan and the southern counties of England.

Devil’s cigar /Texas star
Chorioactis geaster

Found in Japan and Texas. Similar to Scottish earth star cup fungi.

The wood pinkgill
Entoloma rhodopolium

Common to both Japan and Scotland.

Magic mushroom
Psilocybe subcaerulipes
Causes anxiety, panic and altered states of consciousness. Native to Japan.


  1. Hi! Do you know the Japanese name for candycap lactarius mushrooms? (ex: L. helvius, L. camphoratus, L. fragilis, or L. rubidus). thanks!

  2. Billy Stone Lab Associate at Botanical Research Institute of Texas

    Flammulina vetipes should be Flammulina velutipes

  3. Great article. I was wondering if you have ever come across the japanese name for the group of mushrooms called “medicinal mushrooms” ? How do you say medicinal mushrooms in Japanese I wonder?

    • I’m not sure if that translates directly. If it does it is probably yakuso ( やくそう ) kinoko ( きのこ ). Literally medicinal herb mushroom. The translation of Paul Stamet’s book ‘Growing gourmet and medicinal mushrooms’ is ‘Shokuyō oyobi yakuyō kinoko no saibai’.

  4. Alain Drouin

    I Mrs Wilde, I’m looking for information about a Japanese mushroom from the Polyporaceae family
    which grows at the foot of bamboo. Its Japanese name is pronounced “raigan”. Do you know it? Thank you for your answer.

    • The Latin name is Omphalia lapidescens and in Chinese it is called lei wan. Traditionally the sclerotia – looking somewhat like brown truffles – in small pellets known as “thunder-balls”, were highly prized as an aphrodisiac. Modern lab studies confirm the effectiveness of the traditional Chinese medicine use of it to treat intestinal parasites (including tapeworm, roundworms, spirometra and ancylostomes). Some lab studies have also found it kills gastric cancer cells.

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