Oyster Mushrooms are one of the easiest wild mushrooms to identify. They grow exclusively on wood, either living or dead. Do not harvest them unless clearly on wood. They also always have white or light colored gills that run down their stem.

They like cool weather, so look for them in the spring and fall. Usually hardwoods but occasionally evergreens/conifers.

There are many dozens of species of Oyster Mushrooms, all in the same family Pleurotaceae and most in the genus, Pleurotus.

Common Oyster Mushroom Species

1.  Pearl Oyster (Pleurotus Ostreatus)

This is the most common Oyster Mushroom in the United States. Again, you’ll find it growing on trees and it can be quite abundant. It has a mild flavor with a hint of sweetness and can be used as a meat replacement.

2.  Blue Oyster (Pleurotus Columbinus)

The tops are blue-tinged, gills down the sides. This color turns gray when they are full-grown.

They have a very similar taste to the Pearl Mushroom.

3.  Golden Oyster (Pleurotus Citrinopileatus)

This has a distinctive smell, but a mild flavor. It very common in Russia, China, and Japan, and even cultivated in China for food. In Eastern Russia, it’s the most popular wild mushroom.

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