Home Back to Mushrooms Contact Us

Oyster Mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus)

Being as there are no toxic shelf style mushrooms, familiarizing yourself with the four choicely edible members of this family, the Oyster Mushroom, Chicken Mushroom, Beefsteak Mushroom, and Hen of the Woods is an excellent idea for the beginner mushroom hunter. The Oyster Mushroom is found in a wide variety of habitats throughout North America.

Other Names:

Abalone Mushroom, Tree Mushroom

Range:

Family:

Pleurotaceae

Identifying characteristics:

Growth Type:

A large white, tan or ivory-colored mushroom, it gets is name for the oyster shell-like shape of its cap, which is 2" - 8" wide. The mushroom has white gills running down a short, off center stem, and the flesh is very soft. P. ostreatus is usually found in large clusters of overlapping caps and always on wood.

Cap:

2" - 8" wide; oyster shaped, semicircular to elongated; margin lobed to wavy at times; moist, smooth; white to ash or brownish. Flesh thick, white. Odor pleasant.

Stem:

(when present), " - 3/8" long, " - - 3/8" thick; off center to lateral, short, stout, solid; dry, white-hairy.

Gills:

Descending stalk, close to nearly distant, narrow to broad, thick; white, becoming yellowish.

Spores:

7 - 9 x 3 - 3.5 ; narrowly elliptical, smooth, colorless.

Spore Print:

White to pale lilac-gray.

Height:

Up to 2" tall

Miscellaneous characteristics:

N/A

National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms Description:

Broad, fleshy, white, gray or brown cap with broad, whitish or yellow tinged gills arising from attachment to wood or small, hairy, stub-like stalk; on wood.

Cap: 2" - 8" wide; oyster shaped, semicircular to elongated; margin lobed to wavy at times; moist, smooth; white to ash or brownish. Flesh thick, white. Odor pleasant.

Gills: descending stalk, close to nearly distant, narrow to broad, thick; white, becoming yellowish.

Stalk: (when present), " - 3/8" long, " - - 3/8" thick; off center to lateral, short, stout, solid; dry, white-hairy.

Spores: 7 - 9 x 3 - 3.5 ; narrowly elliptical, smooth, colorless.

Season:

This is one mushroom that can be enjoyed year round under favorable conditions.

Habitat:

On many deciduous trees, especially willow and aspen; rarely on pine and hemlock; sometimes on burried stumps.

Parts Used:

Entire mushroom

Cautions:

This choice edible should be checked for white grubs.

Uses:

Wild Food Uses:

Can be enjoyed raw or cooked.

The following text is meant for informational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness or injury. Always consult with a physician or other qualified medical care provider concerning the diagnosis and treatment of any illness or injury.

Medicinal Uses:

None Known

Medicinal Actions:

N/A

Back To Mushrooms
 
Home Back to Mushrooms Contact Us

Contact Living Afield

Revised: 05/11/16 Living Afield