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Pleurotus ostreatus – Wikipedia

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**Description of Pleurotus ostreatus:**
– Broad, fan or oyster-shaped cap
– Cap spans 2–30 cm
– Cap colors range from white to dark-brown
– White, firm flesh
– Gills are white to cream

**Similar species and Toxic lookalikes:**
– Related to Pleurotus eryngii
– Similar species: Pleurocybella porrigens, Hohenbuehelia petaloides, Phyllotopsis nidulans
– Toxic lookalike: Omphalotus nidiformis
– Toxic species in North America: Omphalotus olivascens, Clitocybe dealbata

**Name and Distribution:**
– Latin and common names refer to the shape of the fruiting body
– Pleurotus means side-ear, ostreatus refers to oyster shape
– Grey oyster mushroom is a common name
– Widespread in temperate and subtropical forests
– Absent in the Pacific Northwest of North America
– Acts as a primary decomposer of wood
– Grows on dying hardwood trees
– Bioaccumulates lithium

**Ecology and Uses of Pleurotus ostreatus:**
– One of the few known carnivorous mushrooms
– Kills and digests nematodes for nitrogen
– Commercially grown worldwide for food
– Used in soups, stews, and as a meat alternative
– Delicacy in Japanese, Korean, and Chinese cuisine
– Best when picked young
– Some toxic similar-looking species exist

**Culinary and Other Uses:**
– Used in Czech, Polish, Slovak, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese cuisine
– Served in soups, stuffed, or in stir-fry recipes
– Mild taste with a slight anise odor
– Taste deteriorates with age
– Used to create mycelium products and mycoremediation
– Can treat soil polluted with diesel oil
– Degrades oxo-biodegradable plastic and green polyethylene

**Additional Resources for Mushroom Enthusiasts:**
– “Field Guide to Mushrooms of Western North America” by Davis, Sommer, and Menge
– “National Audubon Society Field Guide” by G.H. Lincoff
– “Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms of New England” by D.L. Spahr
– Valuable resources for identifying and learning about mushrooms
– Detailed information on mushroom species, identification, and uses

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