Oyster mushroom on a log.The oyster is one of the more commonly sought wild mushrooms, though it can also be cultivated on straw and other media.
The cap is smooth; oblong and often convex with age; 50-200 mm in diameter; and ranges from white to brown to blue-gray. The margin can be smooth with a slight wave.
The flesh of the most common variety is white and can be thin or thick. A range of different colors can be found in the wild and can be cultivated. Yellow, pink, blue, and gray.
Gills and stem
Gills are decurrent (descend down the stem) and attached and white to light yellow. The stem is short, often horizontal and emerging from wood.
The spores form a white to lilac-gray print on dark media.
The mycelia is white and grows rapidly.
The Oyster Mushroom is wide-spread in temperate forests throughout the world. It grows on dead wood year round and all strains need moist conditions to fruit although different strains fruit in different temperature ranges.
Oyster mushrooms are a source of statin drugs. The oyster mushroom is also one of the few known carnivorous mushrooms. Its mycelia can kill and digest nematodes. This is believed to be a way to obtain nitrogen.
King Oyster Mushroom or Pleurotus eryngii
Pleurotus eryngii (also known as king trumpet mushroom, king oyster mushroom) is an edible mushroom native to Mediterranean regions of Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa, but also grown in parts of Asia. In Chinese, it is called xìng bào gū (lit. "almond abalone mushroom"), cì qín gū (lit. "stab celery mushroom"), or In Japanese, it is called eringi.
It is the largest species in the oyster mushroom genus, Pleurotus, with a thick, meaty white stem and a small tan cap (in young specimens). It has little flavor or aroma, and when cooked its texture is similar to that of abalone.
The mushroom has a good shelf life. It was introduced to Japan around 1993 and has become popular there.
Its species name is derived from the fact that it grows in association with the roots of Eryngium campestre or other Eryngium plants (English names: 'Sea Holly' or 'Eryngo').