Prairie States Mushroom Club

Prairie States Mushroom Club Featured Mushroom for Jan 2023

Pleurotus ostreatus, (Oyster Mushrooms)       By Dave Layton

photos by Jim Frink

I can't believe we haven't already featured oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus
and P. pulmonarious) Maybe that's because they're so ubiquitous and abundant that
they're largely kept on the back-pages in our amazing finds catalog. However they're
an amazing find for all of us! They're the fungus that is central in so many future
advances. Whether as food or health supplement, construction materials or even
bioremediation, Pleurotus is one genus that has the most promise overall.

They also have the most promise overall for my mushroom basket. That's because I
live near a big river and floodplains and islands with old river willows are some of
the best habitats to find them. Whether I dry, freeze or cook fresh, oyster
mushrooms are a staple of my diet for most of the year, and I'm not complaining.
I've even found edible ones around here in January, which seems ever more possible
with global warming.

My 2 year old (at the time) granddaughter described them well for those who aren't
familiar with them. "They look like shells but smooth on top and soft and white
(gills) underneath". Later her dad sent a video with her discussing their edibility -
"These are good!" Enough said. You also need to know that they grow on wood and
they're beautiful, as the pics by Jim Frink will show! Check out more of his great
photos on this website: