Oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus)Systematics:
- Department: Basidiomycota (Basidiomycetes)
- Subdivision: Agaricomycotina (Agaricomycetes)
- Class: Agaricomycetes (Agaricomycetes)
- Subclass: Agaricomycetidae (Agaricomycetes)
- Order: Agaricales (Agaric or Lamellar)
- Family: Pleurotaceae (Oyster mushrooms)
- Genus: Pleurotus (Oyster mushroom)
- Species: Pleurotus ostreatus (Oyster mushroom)
- Other names for the mushroom:
- Oyster mushroom
Oyster mushroom or common oyster mushroom is the most cultivated representative of the oyster mushroom genus. It is extremely convenient for cultivation because of its unpretentiousness to climatic conditions and tenacious mycelium, suitable for storage.
Oyster mushroom cap: Rounded eccentric, funnel-shaped, ear-shaped, usually with rolled edges, matte, smooth, can take any shades in the range from light ash to dark gray (there are light, yellowish, and "metallic" options). Diameter 5-15 cm (up to 25). Several caps often form a fan-shaped, multi-tiered structure. The flesh is white, dense, becomes rather tough with age. The smell is weak, pleasant.
Oyster oyster mushroom plates: Descending along the stem (as a rule, they do not reach the base of the stem), rare, wide, white in youth, then grayish or yellowish.
Spore powder: White.
Oyster oyster mushroom leg: Lateral, eccentric, short (sometimes almost invisible), curved, up to 3 cm in length, light, hairy at the base. Older oyster mushrooms are very tough.
Distribution: Oyster mushroom grows on dead wood and weakened trees, preferring deciduous species. Mass fruiting, as a rule, is observed in September-October, although under favorable conditions it can appear in May. Oyster mushroom bravely fights frost, leaving behind almost all edible mushrooms, except for winter mushrooms (Flammulina velutipes). The "nesting" principle of the formation of fruit bodies actually guarantees a high yield.
Similar species: Oyster mushroom can, in principle, be confused with oyster mushroom (Pleurotus cornucopiae), from which it differs in a stronger constitution, a darker cap color (except for light varieties), a short stem and plates that do not reach its base. Oyster mushroom is also distinguished from whitish oyster mushroom (Pleurotus pulmonarius) by its dark color and more solid structure of the fruit body; oak oyster mushroom (P. dryinus) - no private cover. Inexperienced naturalists may also confuse oyster mushroom with the so-called autumn oyster mushroom (Panellus sirotinus), but this interesting mushroom has a special gelatinous layer under the skin of the cap that protects the fruiting body from hypothermia.
Edible: The mushroom is edible and even tasty when young. It is artificially cultivated (whoever goes to the store sees it). Elderly oyster mushrooms become tough and tasteless.
Video about oyster mushroom:
Author's notes: Surprisingly, but true: I first encountered the most common oyster mushroom only when I myself wanted it. Deliberately collided. I remembered in early September that in fact I had never seen oyster mushroom in the field (shame!), And went in search. I had to search for a long time: only on the way back, passing by a huge broken willow growing (or rather, rotting) at my gate, I noticed the strange gray "ears" defiantly bulging on the chopped trunk ...
Unlike its nondescript counterparts, oyster mushroom made a very serious impression on me. It does not look like a dried pig's ear, or a swollen overgrown chanterelle. Heavy "nests" that do not disintegrate during collection, large cozy burdocks of caps, dense white flesh, homerically huge worms ... all these signs set you in a serious mood. Indeed, not every mushroom knows how to present itself in such a way that you want to grab a whole "nest" (with both hands, you can't drag it off with one) and carry it to the neighbors - as I actually did.
And oyster mushroom nests can cleverly wriggle out from under the knife and fall with all their weight on the head of a hurried collector, without splitting at all.