Oyster Mushroom: Pleurotus ssp.


Pleurotus is a genus of mushrooms which species are one of the most popular mushrooms, appreciated as a tasty and healthy food. That confirms the fact that they are some of the most commonly cultivated edible mushrooms in the world. Except for food, Pleurotus fungi have been used in mycoremediation of pollutants such as petroleum and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

The common name „Oyster Mushroom“ comes from the white shell-like appearance of the fruiting body which  is rather funnel shaped by maturity. It has decurrent gills and an off center stipe.

It is a saprotrophic fungi growing alone or in small clusters on dead wood, usually on dead standing trees or on fallen logs. Most species of Pleurotus are white-rot fungi on hardwood trees especially oaks and beech, although some also decay conifer wood. It can be found for most of the year especially late spring to autumn.


Pleurotus ostreatus


Fruit body with pileus and stipe, stipe lacking or reduced. Cap (10) 20 – 300 (350) mm wide, convex, depressed, funnel shaped, smooth, radially fibrillose to scaly, dry, sticky to slimy and the color is white, gray or buff. Hymenophore lamellate, lamellae more or less decurrent, white or pinkish. Stipe 10 – 100 x 10 – 40 mm with partial veil absent. Spore deposit white to cream, pale lilac to pale violet.

Type species of genus Pleurotus is Pleurotus ostreatus, but when we talk about Pleurotus there are some more species included as P. dryinus, P. calyptratus, P. viscidus, P. cornucopiae etc.

In nature is widely spreaded and can be found through all year, but mostly from late spring to autumn. In the wild is less and less easy to find but it is easy to cultivate. Pleurotus are good edible mushrooms and it is almost impossible to confuse with toxic species.


Pleurotus genus has three species that are protected species of mushrooms: Pleurotus calyptratus, P. cornucopiae and P. eryngii. These species of mushroom are very rare and / or their populations are significantly reduced due to destruction of habitat or excessive and uncontrolled collection and treatments which caused the disappearance of these species from the territory of the Republic of Croatia.


Croatian local names – Bukovača, Šumska ostriga




Dino Buršić M.Sc.; Croatian Forest Research Institute; dinob@sumins.hr