Ophiocordyceps sphecocephala is a species of parasitic fungus. It is entomopathogenic, meaning it grows within insects, particularly wasps of the genera Polistes, Tachytes, and Vespa. It has been reported across the Americas and China. Physically, its stromata can be 2–10 cm long, and form an egg-shaped head.
This fast growing culture will turn a bright orange red color when exposed to sunlight.
Cordyceps Substrate and Growing:
Growing Cordyceps on Brown Rice (Can also use Grains)
In a Qt size canning jar (or measuring cup ) add :
1. 100ml potato broth (boil a potato and strain out the water)
or 5 grams of Potato / Corn starch (can also use Instant Potato Flakes)
2. 15 grams Dextrose (or 2 tablespoons of Karo (corn) syrup)
3. 5 grams of Yeast Extract (or Nutritional Yeast)
4. 1 teaspoon of Gypsum (or Azomite)
5. 3 grams Soya Peptone (or add 3 more grams of Yeast Extract or Nutritional Yeast)
Take your canning jar with all the ingredients added and finish filling it with water (I use hot tap water) to the 500ml mark. Add a lid and shake it up to mix it very well. Get 6 Qt jars and add 50 grams of brown rice to each one. Split the liquid solution evenly into 6 Qt jars (83ml each)(If needed weight it out and divide by 6). This should total 100 ml per jar.
Add lids (with injection ports and filter) along with tinfoil and pressure cook at 15 psi for 60 minutes. Once cooled inoculate each jar with 1-5 cc's of liquid culture. Set the 6 jars in a completely dark place , like in a box at temperature between 60-70F. After about 2-3 weeks check to see if they are fully colonized. Once fully colonized take them out of the dark and place in indirect sunlight (or artificial light) for about 10-12 hours per day to initiate fruiting while maintaining a temperature between 60-70F. (never above 70F). Over the next 4-5 weeks the jars will change color to orange and start producing mushroom fruit bodies.