Spring Oyster

Mycologist out west consider that what the eastern mycologists call Pleurotus ostreatus consists of three different species:

  1. Pleurotus ostreatus - is a late fall and winter fungus in Europe and North America and grow on hardwoods.  I was told that in New England it is usually found on dead Maple and Maple stumps.
  2. Pleurotus populinus - is what I call Spring Oyster.  It grows on dead Aspen and Cottonwood.  I found it only on dead Aspen.  It starts fruiting in the early May (May 9, 2004), and continues on and off into the fall.  In my experience they are worth harvesting only in the Spring.  It is hard to determine when and if a particular dead Aspen log will again fruit.  The once I keep track of, produce in the spring only.
  3.  Pleurotus pulmonarius - Similar to ostreatus but the fruit is lung shaped. It fruits from mid-summer through early fall.

Young Oysters emerging from underneath the bark of a dead Aspen log in my back yard.

More mature Oysters on a dead, standing Aspen.