What Does Lion's Mane Look Like?

You may be familiar with Lion’s Mane, but would you be able to spot one in the wild? What about on the store shelves? You see, while Lion’s Mane is a unique mushroom in terms of its health benefits and its appearance, it does still have some lookalikes.

To differentiate between its lookalikes, you must be able to recognise and understand this shroom's key characteristics compared to others out there.

Whether you’re new to this Lion's Mane mushrooms, or you’re looking to expand your knowledge, we’re here to give you the information you need to be able to spot your fungi friend from the crowd.


So, What is Lion's Mane?

Lion's Mane is not just a funky name—this unique mushroom, with its cascading, white spines, looks a bit like the mane of a lion. But don’t let its wild appearance fool you; Lion’s Mane is a powerhouse of potential health benefits.

For centuries, Lion’s Mane mushroom extract has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to boost brain health and overall wellness. Today, it's celebrated for its ability to significantly improve cognitive function, support the nervous system, and even give your immune system a little extra love.

Rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, Lion’s Mane is a natural way to help keep your mind sharp and your body feeling youthful. Whichever way you decide to add Lion’s Mane mushroom into your daily routine, it could make a huge difference to your health and daily performance.


Why Are They Becoming So Popular?

After briefly touching on some of the benefits that Lion’s Mane can provide, you may wonder if it’s a ‘magic mushroom’. The short is no - it’s actually impossible to experience a ‘high’ sensation from Lion’s Mane mushrooms. They are however good for you have reap a wide set of health benefits - so you could call them ‘magical’.

These magical benefits of Lion's Mane can extend way beyond what we’ve briefly touched on. Not only does it support your physical health by potentially reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke by reducing the oxidisation of cholesterol molecules; but it also supports your neurohealth by reducing the chances of Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, memory loss and depression.

Other benefits include:

  • Lower blood sugar, therefore more control over diabetes
  • A happier digestive system, improving irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • A healthier gut, which helps with internal inflammation and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • A calmer nervous system, less anxiety and happier moods
  • A stronger ability to fight colon, gastric, colon and liver cancer cells
  • Improved mild cognitive impairment

Is it all sounding too good to be true? Well, it’s not and it gets better as Lion’s Mane typically has minimal side effects. These fungi friends are here to give you a complete health boost - unless you have a mushroom allergy, in which case you should consult your GP.


So, What Does Lion’s Mane Look Like?

Lion’s Mane has a unique and distinctive appearance, making it easily recognisable. Read on to find out what to look for when searching for Lion’s Mane.


General Appearance of Lion’s Mane Mushrooms

  • Pure white in colour when fresh and gradually matures to yellow or brown tones
  • Unique cascading spines up to 2.5cm which hang downwards
  • Large fruiting body of up to 16" in diameter

Size and Growth Patterns of Lion’s Mane Mushrooms

  • Ranging in size, Lion’s Mane mushroom fruiting bodies can grow up to 16“ in diameter
  • They’re often found growing solitary but can also be found growing in clusters
  • They grow on hardwood surfaces like maple, oak and beech trees or logs

Smell, Texture and Taste of Lion’s Mane Mushrooms

  • Lion’s Mane has a mild, somewhat seafood-like aroma
  • In terms of texture, Lion’s Mane is spongey, tender and has a little bounce to it
  • This shroom is great for those looking for something to satisfy a sweet and savoury craving

Where Do These Wonder-Mushrooms Live and Grow?

Wondering where you can find these unique medicinal mushrooms? They like trees and logs and their growth thrives between late summer and early fall. They tend to blossom the best in high humidity and temperatures between 15-30°C.

If you notice that sprouting Lion’s Mane is looking cracked, leathery, discoloured and dry, the shroom is lacking humidity. A healthy Lion’s Mane fruiting body should be bright white.


So, How Do I Take Lion’s Mane?

There are a few methods that you can use to experience the positives of these medicinal mushrooms. There is no right or wrong way; it's ultimately up to you which way you prefer. Lion's Mane extracts can be found in the following forms:

  • Lion's Mane supplement
  • Lion's Mane mushroom powder
  • Fresh mushrooms eaten raw
  • Lion's mane mushroom coffee
  • Lion's Mane mushroom herbal tea

Fresh Lion’s Mane Mushrooms Lookalikes and How to Differentiate Them

Although Lion’s Mane stands out from the majority of the crowd in terms of its physical appearance, there are some lookalikes to be aware of. Some of which include Bear’s Head Tooth mushroom and Coral Tooth mushroom. 


Bear’s Head Tooth Mushroom

Also known as “Bear Head Tooth fungus” and scientifically “Hericium americanum”, Bear’s Head Tooth mushroom also features downwards cascading icicle-like spines and grows on decaying hardwood trees in North America.

They can typically grow up to 12 inches in diameter and offer health benefits similar to those of Lion’s Mane mushrooms. Despite similar tastes, Lion’s Mane tends to offer a better taste profile compared to Bear’s Head Tooth mushroom.


Coral Tooth Mushroom

The Coral Tooth mushroom also referred to as Hericium coralloides, is recognised for its striking appearance of a coral reef. Similar to Lion’s Mane, this mushroom is white when fresh, turns yellow when it ages and grows on hardwood areas.

In terms of size, the Coral Tooth mushroom can grow up to 10 inches in diameter which is smaller than the potential growth of a Lion’s Mane mushroom.



Other Types of Mushrooms

The family of mushrooms goes much wider than Lion’s Mane lookalikes. While they may not look like Lion’s Mane, they can still offer a range of health benefits to give your brain and body an essential kick-start. These include:

  • Wild Mushrooms
  • White Button Mushrooms
  • Crimini
  • Portobello
  • Shiitake
  • Reishi

Spot Lion’s Mane Mushrooms Out From the Crowd

With multiple types of mushrooms on the market, all with similar characteristics, it’s essential to be able to differentiate so that you don’t accidentally consume the wrong one. Although none of the previously mentioned shrooms are ‘magic’ you should also be cautious of those!

By taking into account all of the information in this blog, you’ll be able to add Lion’s Mane to your lifestyle with no concerns. With this fungi friend by your side, you’ll be able to boost your cognitive health and your body's immune system - and let’s not forget your spiritual health!

Try 100% natural Lion’s Mane supplements that are clear from any bulking agents or nasty additives! At TwentyTwo, we’ve maximised on strength and quality, just as it should be.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published

    1 out of ...