September 16, 2011
Mushroom guru Wildman Steve Brill says that the Oyster mushroom is a mushroom that lives up to its name – it looks, smells, and tastes like oysters! Not surprisingly, the Michigan Mushroom Hunter’s Club has great info on oyster mushroom hunting in Michigan that begins:
Oysters (Pleurotus ostreatus complex) are the mushroom of the month for June. The delicious oysters can be found in many environments as they are a prime wood recycler. Oysters can be found on dead and dying trees especially hardwoods like poplars (a.k.a. aspen), cottonwoods, elms, box elders, etc. though they also can occur on conifers.
The gills of the oysters are white, branched fanning out toward the cap edge and are very decurrent (running down the stalk). Oysters tend to grow in dense clusters of caps, crowded and overlapping. It is not unusual to find oyster in such quantity that a mushroom hunter ends up measuring her find in pounds.
They says that oysters grow throughout the year but are best in the Spring and Fall when they tend to be less buggy. Read on for much more. As a personal note, we filled a shopping bag in about an hour the weekend before last!