Oyster Mushrooms, Pleurotus sp.
Oyster Mushrooms are an easy to identify and sought-after edible mushroom that is part of a very large family of fungi that are widespread in the UK and Europe. The mushroom has fan or oyster-shaped caps spanning 10–25 cm that can be a range of colours, from grey to pink, yellow or white. The top of the cap is smooth. The cap margins are inrolled when young, opening out when mature and often lobed, wavy or split. The flesh is white, firm, and varies in thickness due to positioning of the stipe. The gills of the mushroom are white to cream, and descend onto the stalk, which is off-centre and attached into the wood. They can be found mostly all year round. The most commonly foraged oysters are the Grey Oyster, Pleurotus ostreatus, and the Summer Oyster, Pleurotus pulmonarius.
Oyster mushrooms are saprotrophic, and act as primary decomposers of wood, especially deciduous trees, and particularly beech. It can be found on both living and dead trees, as well as logs. It is also one of the few species of carnivorous mushroom, having been known to eat bacteria and tiny worms called nematodes.
Oyster Mushroom Checklist
🌳 Deciduous Woodland
🌲 Coniferous Woodland
🔗 Found in Association with dead wood or dying wood.
🌸🌞🍂❄️ Between January and December
📈 Grows singly, in small clusters, on dead or dying wood.
🍄 Caps are smooth, grey, pink, yellow or white and Scallop-shaped, with wavy and/or split margins. Margins are inrolled when young. 10-25cm in diameter. Summer Oysters are normally white and have smaller caps on average (8-15cm).
⚛️ White to yellow, crowded and running down the stem.
♊️ Short and white. Sometimes appear absent as the cap opens all the way to the growing medium.
⚪️ The flesh is thick, white, and firm.
Aroma / Taste
👃 Smells mildly mushroomy.
👅 Excellent, mushroomy flavour.
😋 Considered by some to be a choice edible mushroom.
🟩 ID Difficulty - Beginner
👀 The scalloped-shaped fruiting body is a key identifier of this mushroom.
🍄 Fungi - Used in mushroom recipes.