Pleurotus ostreatus

oyster.jpg (33879 bytes)Common Name(s): Oyster Mushroom

Scientific Name(s): Pleurotus ostreatus

Type: Fungus.

Principle Host Trees & Shrubs:

Common on Beech (Fagus) and most other broadleaved trees. May also be found on fallen trees and dead stumps.

Description, Development & Diagnosis:

This fungus is parasitic, living within and feeding upon the wood of its host tree. It creates the fruiting bodies as part of its reproduction process. The fruiting bodies produce and release the fungal spores into the air which can then complete the reproductive cycle by infecting further trees.

The Oyster fungus produces soft, fleshy, shell-shaped mushrooms with a bluish-grey coloured upper surface. They appear annually, usually in Autumn/Winter and are considered good to eat.  (Most large supermarkets sell Oyster Mushrooms).


This fungus is common and widespread in Britain. It is a parasitic decay fungus producing an intensive white rot within its host tree.


No controls available. Infections should be inspected and monitored by an arboriculturist who can recommend any necessary action.

Photograph courtesy of T. Marsh.  Taken in New Forest, England. 1999.

Please Note: Many Fungi are toxic and individual reactions to them vary widely. Do not touch or eat fungi unless you have accurately identified them. Chris Skellern can not accept any legal responsibility or liability for errors in identification or for individual reactions to the consumption of fungi.

Further Information.

2001 Chris Skellern. AIE.    Home  | News | A-Z Index  | Resources  |  Contact AIE  |  Terms of Use