Grey Oyster / Spring / Summer / Autumn / Winter / Edible
How to Identify Oyster Mushrooms
Oyster ,Grey Oyster
Meaning of Botanical Name:
Pleurotus means ‘side ear’ which relates to the stem being off centre. Ostreatus means oyster, as the cap is similar in shape to an oyster shell.
Contains a small amount of arabitol, which can cause gastric upset in some
Could be confused with:
Food Plant of:
Range and Distribution:
Commonly found throughout Britain and Ireland, as well as Asia and Japan and parts of North America
Occurs on dead and dying trees and logs favouring Beech and Oak, Oysters are rarely found on conifer trees (which is the habitat for the toxic look alike Angel wings)
Grey to buff caps which with age have a wavy edge, growing in stacked clusters on trees and logs.
They have a short centre stem or nub
The white to ocre gills are decurrent running from the cap edge all the way down the nub.
They have white kidney-shaped spores and often leave a spore print on the mushroom below.
They have a faint mushroomy smell.
Folklore, tall tales, and not so folklore:
Oyster Mushrooms are carnivorous, The mycelium will digest bacteria and small insects like nematodes that it comes across inside the wood it’s growing in.
Oysters are a prized edible mushroom, they’re easily cultivated even from wild mushrooms, you can easily grow your own. For this reason, you often find oyster mushrooms in shops. It’s frequently used in Asian cookery, soups, stews, and stuffed. Personally, I find the younger mushrooms have a much better taste and texture than the older specimens.
Oyster mushroom is a rich source of protein, vitamins, minerals, fibre and other antioxidants. It’s also a source of selenium, which helps protect the cells from damage and help strengthen the immune system.