Oyster Mushroom

By William T. Hathaway

Oyster Mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus)

The common oyster mushroom is easily recognized by its overlapping rows on logs or stumps; the oyster-like shape is significant. When I ran across this mushroom growing on a rotting pine stump, I revisited the site and made a photo of the final developmental stage of the specimen.

David Aurora, in his book Mushrooms Demystified, explains that P. ostreatus is considered a “collective” species, i.e., a group of closely related but distinct forms. Various shapes and colors are typical of some individual mushrooms, and this requires an exacting study of many identifying features of a mushroom.

My featured specimen was a surprise to me when I determined that it was an oyster mushroom!