Grey Oyster Mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) Identification

Grey Oyster / Spring / Summer / Autumn / Winter / Edible

How to Identify Oyster Mushrooms


Common Names:

Oyster ,Grey Oyster


Botanical Name:

Pleurotus ostreatus

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.


Scientific Classification:

Kingdom: Fungi, 

Division:Basidiomycota,

Class: Agaricomycetes

Order: Agaricales,

Family: Pleurotaceae

Genus: Pleurotus


Known Hazards:

Contains a small amount of arabitol, which can cause gastric upset in some


Could be confused with:

Other species of oyster, Olive Oysterling. The only one to be wary of is Angel wings which is porcelain white in colour – please check this guide to get used to it.


Food Plant of:

Insect larvae 


Range and Distribution:

Commonly found throughout Britain and Ireland, as well as Asia and Japan and parts of North America


Habitat:

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)


Physical Characteristics: 

Caps

Grey to buff caps which with age have a wavy edge, growing in stacked clusters on trees and logs.

Rudolphous, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Stem

They have a short centre stem or nub

2010-10-28_Pleurotus_ostreatus_(Jacq.)_P._Kumm_116409.jpg:This image was created by user Hamilton (ham) at Mushroom Observer, a source for mycological images.You can contact this user here.English | español | français | italiano | македонски | മലയാളം | português | +/−derivative work: Ak ccm, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Gills

The white to ocre gills are decurrent running from the cap edge all the way down the nub.

Charl de Mille-Isles from Mille-Isles, Canada, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Spores

They have white kidney-shaped spores and often leave a spore print on the mushroom below. 


Smell

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.  


Edible Use:

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.


Herbal:

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.

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

X
X
X