Ophiocordyceps sinensis (Berk.) G.H.Sung, J.M.Sung, Hywel-Jones & Spatafora (2007) (syn: Cordyceps sinensis (Berk.) Sacc., 1878; Hirsutella sinensis X. J. Liu, Y. L. Guo, Y. X. Yu & W. Zeng, 1989; Sphaeria sinensis Berk. (1843));


Sharing the photographs of Cordyceps sinensis (popularly known as Caterpillar fungus).
Loc.: Collected from a local seller at Itanagar in 2008. Occurrence of this plant is evident in Tawang area (ca 3000msl) of Arunachal Pradesh.
1. An entomopathogenic fungi (an Ascomycete fungi which grows in association with insects or arthropods).
2. A traditional Chinese medicine which has proved qualities of an anti-cancer agent, immunity booster, hepatic-protective agent and many more.
Hope you’ll find it interesting.

Really interesting…I think it is one of the costliest medicinal raw drugs in India…

It was available @ Rs. 50/- per piece. 🙂



This pic is from Hong Kong. The same on sale. 50 paise per piece trust me …, you got it too cheap may be because it doesnt look of good quality but this indeed is the top priced medicinal plant in
international market. May be you could have taken 1kg to Korea and you could have been rich selling the whole thing :))

Cant believe the price in Hong Kong! Anyway…send me some packets when you’ll shift there 😉

Copy-pasting from Wiki… Value
According to Daniel Winkler, the price of Cordyceps sinensis has risen dramatically on the Tibetan
Plateau<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tibetan_Plateau>, basically 900% between 1998 and 2008, an annual average of over 20%. However, the value of big-sized caterpillar fungus has increased more
dramatically than smaller size Cordyceps, regarded as lower quality.[19]<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cordyceps#cite_note-Winkler2008-18>
 Year  % Price increase Price/kg (Yuan<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_yuan> )  1980s
1,800  1997 467% (incl. inflation) 8,400  2004 429% (incl. inflation) 36,000 2005 10,000–60,000
According to Modern Marvels <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_Marvels>, a show on the History Channel <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_Channel>, mushroom hunters in Nepal can earn 900 dollars for an ounce of cordyceps.[1]<http://www.alohamedicinals.com/research.htm>
The high value of cordyceps was evidently the reason it was one of only two Chinese traditional medicines to be stolen in a brazen theft in British Columbia. The stolen cordyceps has been estimated to have been worth Can
Note: 6.4 Chinese Yuan = 1 USD



Prior to departing on my first mission as a consultant to The Royal Government of Bhutan on a European Union-funded ‘Cultivation of Medicinal Plants for Traditional Medicine Project’ in the 1990s, I was sent a partial list of plant species recorded by previous consultants as being of medicinal usage in Bhutan.
I have to say I was not particularly impressed with the list as a significant proportion of the Latin names referred to species not found in Bhutan! Putting aside the mis- identifications (which I am accustomed to finding) there was one item on the list which despite scouring every reference book on FLOWERING PLANTS of the Himalaya I had, could not find any reference to it – CORDYCEPS SINENSIS.
I arrived in Bhutan, rather embarrassed, a so-called ‘consultant’, that was unfamiliar with this plant.
The Italian doctor in charge of the project quickly explained that it was not a plant at all!
As many of you will know, this, is commonly known as ‘Caterpillar Fungus’ or ‘Yarcha gumba’.
So no wonder I could find no reference to it as a ‘plant’…..
Cordyceps infect and feed on the larvae and pupae of butterflies and moths buried in soil, the mycelium of the fungus replacing the insides of the insect with the fruiting body emerging above ground.
I now understand this has been transferred to OPHIOCORDYCEPS SINENSIS – see its not just the names of flowering plants which keep changing!
I was certainly NOT in a position to offer advice on CULTIVATING the ‘Cordyceps’….
Some years later with the rising price of Corydceps internationally, non-Bhutanese came across the border into Bhutan to collect illegally. This came as a surprise to Bhutanese people as there was no tradition of paying the doctors of traditional Bhutanese (Tibetan) Medicine known as Dungtshos – rather than amchis, as in the Western Himalaya. Hence the concept of money being paid for items used in their medicinal formulations was at that time alien to them.