Shiitake mushrooms, entinula edodes, is native to East Asia. "Shiitake" translates to "Oak mushroom" relating to the type of wood or tree that the mushroom was commonly found growing on in the wild.
Shiitake Mushrooms will happily grow on other hardwoods too! Here we have drilled spores into Cherry wood. We drilled the holes, placed the spores and sealed each hole with melted wax. The logs were placed in a shady area that received a decent amount of moisture (both sprinkler and rain). It took two years before it fruited. Here, in its third year, we get beautiful mushrooms reaching four inches in diameter. We get two bountiful fruiting per year, and random in between fruiting here and there throughout the year.
Freshly picked and sauteed Shiitake mushrooms are delicious, and does have a sharper, richer taste than the ones you purchase at the grocery store.