Pleurotus pulmonarius (Indian Oyster)
Europe, North America and Asia
Cap 2-10 cm diameter, stem 1-1.5 cm tall * 0.75-1.25 cm thick
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Pleurotus pulmonarius, commonly referred to as the Indian oyster, Italian oyster, or phoenix mushroom, features a medium-sized, whitish, shell-shaped cap with gills and a very short, eccentric stem. It grows in dense tufts on stumps, trunks, and fallen timber of broad-leaf trees.

Cap starts off as a whitish cream colour, which gradually turns into a pale greyish brown as it ages. Initially, it is slightly convex, later becoming flat with an undulating margin that may appear wavy, lobed, or split. The cap tapers at the point where it attaches to the stem and has a smooth surface. Gills whitish (sometimes discolouring yellowish with age) and running down the stem. They are close or nearly distant and short-gills are frequent. Stem whitish, sometimes absent or rudimentary, but often present. It is eccentric, lateral, or central. The basal mycelium is white. Spore print whitish, grayish, or lilac.

Microscopic Features: Spores measure 7–11 x 2–3 µm and have a cylindrical-ellipsoid shape. They are smooth, transparent in potassium hydroxide (KOH), and lack amyloid properties.

Similar species include Pleurocybella porrigens and Pleurotus ostreatus.

Pleurotus pulmonarius on the MushroomExpert.Com Web site.

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