OYSTER MUSHROOM

TRICHOLOMATACEAE
(Tricholomataceae)

Description
This mushroom has a broad, fleshy, white, gray or brown cap with broad whitish or yellow tinged gills arising from attachment to wood. The cap is around 2-6 inches in diameter. It is convex becoming flat or somewhat depressed. It is kidney to fan shaped or nearly circular if growing on the tops of logs. The mushroom has a stubby (1/4-3/8 inch) or nearly absent stem. The gills are whitish with a gray tinge, sometimes yellowish in age (Photos A-C).

Occurrence
The oyster mushroom fruits in fall and winter. It grows in shelf like clusters on dead logs and living trees. It is common in Fontenelle Forest in both the uplands and the floodplain.

Comments
The oyster mushroom has the scent of anise. This mushroom is often filled with black beetles. This mushroom has several potential medicinal uses. It kills nematodes and bacteria. Also it is a natural source of statin drugs. A number of laboratory studies have shown that it can reduce cholesterol in animals.

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