The Oyster Mushroom

Pleurotus ostreatus

The Oyster mushroom, or Pleurotus ostreatus, is an extremely common edible mushroom and is often grown in growing kits by enthusiasts. It has been cultivated in Asia for centuries and is still used today.  Another common use of the oyster mushroom is for industrial mycoremediation.

Identification of the Oyster Mushroom


  • Cap: 5-25 cm broad, fan or oyster-shaped; Natural specimens
    range from white to gray or tan to dark-brown; margin inrolled when
    young, smooth and often somewhat lobed or wavy. Flesh white, firm,
    varies in thickness due to stipe arrangement.
  • Gills: Gills are white to cream, descend stalk if present. If so, stipe off-center with lateral attachment to wood.
  • Spores: The spores form a white to lilac-gray print on dark media.
  • Stipe: Often absent. When present it is short and thick.
  • Taste: Mild
  • Odor: Often has a mild scent of anise.

Toxic Look-alikes

The only look-alike is Omphalotus nidiformis which grows in Australia and Japan.

Links to More Oyster Mushroom Info

Video Timelapses of Oyster Mushrooms

Related Topics

Written by Rob Nelson

Rob is an ecologist from the University of Hawaii. He is the co-creator and director of Untamed Science. His goal is to create videos and content that are entertaining, accurate, and educational. When he's not making science content, he races whitewater kayaks and works on Stone Age Man.

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