Just like the Vedic Soma and the Greek Ambrosia, the Chinese also had a magical, life-prolonging substance which they called Zhi (芝).  The Records of the Grand Historian (史記, Shiji, c. 90 BCE) mentions that the emperors Qin Shihuangdi (秦始皇帝, 260–210 BCE) and Han Wudi (漢武帝, 156–87 BCE) sent thousands of men over many years in search of magical islands housing this immortal herb.  It was during the time of the latter that the substance was equated with lingzhi (靈芝, Ganoderma), a genus of spade-shaped mushroom with a lacquered appearance (fig. 6). This fungus became the subject of esoteric texts starting from the Han Dynasty, many of which are now lost. Drawing on these extinct texts, the Daoist adept Ge Hong (葛洪, 283–343) was the first to classify the lingzhi into five major types.  Methods For Planting the Zhi Plants (種芝草法, Zhong zhicao fa), a late Six Dynasties (220–589) text attributed to the Daoist god Laozi (老子), details how to seed this magical fungus by burying precious substances, such as gold or cinnabar, on a mountain side during solstices and equinoxes.  Originally written during the Song Dynasty, a Ming edition of Classification of Supreme Numinous Treasure Mushrooms (太上靈寶芝草品, Taishang lingbao zhicao pin) lists one hundred twenty-six different kinds of immortality-bestowing fungi. It’s important to note that this text became part of the official Daoist canon (道藏, Daozang) during the mid-15th-century.  This means immortal mushrooms are a central tenet of Daoism.