Botanical name - Armillaria mellea
Japanese name - Naratake
Chinese name - Mi Huan Jun
English name - Honey Mushroom
A. mellea is a common fungus that produces edible fruiting bodies with a distinctive golden colour. A single example can grow to cover a vast area and it is reported that the largest living organism in the world is a related species of honey fungus covering an area of 2400 acres in Oregon, USA, with estimates of its age ranging from 1900 to 8650 years.
Although responsible for the death of many trees and garden shrubs, A. mellea is essential for the growth of other plants, including the important Chinese herb Gastrodia elata (Tian Ma).
Active compounds include: polysaccharides, nucleoside analogues, indole compounds including: tryptamine, L- tryptophan and serotonin, as well as antibiotics, primarily sesquiterpene aryl esters.