Summer Oyster, Pleurotus pulmonarius
Pleurotaceae or Oyster Mushroom Family


Large, flat, shelf-like mushroom, up to about 5 inches across. Grows in crowded clusters on dead or living wood of hardwood trees. Stalk often lacking; relatively short and thick, off center, when present. Cap smooth, whitish to light brown to dark brown, or even gray the cap on top. Gills many, crowded, white, sometimes with a yellow or gray tinge, usually running at least part way down the stalk, if there is one. Fruits in summer and fall.

Common in Wildwood.

Formerly all oyster mushrooms in North America were called P. ostreatus; however, it has become apparent that there are several species. Fall oyster (P. ostreatus) is likely to be in Wildwood, but it fruits in fall to winter. It also tends to be darker in color, and to be less likely to have a stalk.

All oyster mushroooms are carnivorous, killing microscopic nematode worms and digesting them to supplement their diet of wood.

Closeup of gills



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