Ancient Chinese People’s Knowledge of Macrofungi during the Period from 220 to 589

Di Lu

Abstract


To explore the knowledge of macrofungi in ancient China from 220 to 589, several aspects are studied in detail, including the meanings of ancient Chinese characters or words for macrofungi, naturalistic descrip­tions of macrofungi, the earliest record of the cultivation of macrofungi, the earliest record of the custom of eating macrofungi in Taiwan Island, methods of cooking macrofungi dishes, macrofungi in literature, and macrofungi in Taoist texts. More kinds of macrofungi are mentioned in the various works of this period than in earlier works, including the earliest record of the cultivation of fuling 茯苓 (Wolfiporia cocos), as well as the earliest record of the custom of eating monkey head mushroom (houtou gu 猴頭菇; Hericium erinaceus). There are two intriguing Taoist monographs of great significance for the history of zhi 芝 in Taoist literature. Moreover, the stories about lingzhi 靈芝 (Ganoderma lucidum) in Chinese literature indicate that macrofungi were not only lauded by poets, but also used by them to represent virtues.


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