Winter Worm, Summer Grass

I can’t believe I’m just now getting around to writing about this. The first year or two that we were here I kept seeing signs above shops when I rode the bus that all said the same thing: “冬虫夏草”. It translates directly as “Winter Worm, Summer Grass”. I had no idea what it meant so I asked a friend. Apparently, there is a kind of caterpillar on the plateau that dies and a particular fungus grows out of it’s carcass.


This fungus is very, very valuable. I've heard it is as valuable as gold, ounce for ounce. It's very popular in Chinese Medicine. Anyway, they aren't all as big as the one in the window. Actually none of them are. They're tiny, maybe ½ to 1 inch.