In the genus Pleurotus the stem is attached to the cap at some point to one side of the centre. The stem may be on the very margin of the cap, or may be wanting altogether. The three species to be mentioned all grow on dead wood - either on dead trees or on dead branches of living trees.
The name Pleurotus comes from a Greek word meaning side, and has reference to the position of the stem.
Oyster Mushroom (Edible)
Cap or Pileiis - Fleshy, convex, smooth, and moist. White, or tinted with ash colour or brown. Gills or Lamella - White, or tinted with ash; broad; growing down the stem, and branching again and again at the base. Stem or Stipe - Short or wanting. Spores - White, oblong. Flesh - White, tough. Time - September. Habitat - On dead wood. The specimens pictured were found growing on a dead forest tree at Lake Placid. The largest shells measured four inches across.
Section of P. ostreatus.
Fungi with Gills
Pleurotus sapidus (Edible)
Cap or Pileus - Convex or depressed, smooth, often irregular.
White, yellowish, ashy grey, dull lilac, or even brownish; overlapping each other. 2-5 inches broad. Gills or Lamella - Whitish, rather distant, growing down the stem, branching and connecting again at stem end.
Section of P. sapidus.
Stem or Stipe - Stems more or less united at the base, eccentric or lateral, smooth, whitish. 1-2 inches long. Spores - Lilac, oblong. Time - June to November. Flesh - White, tough. Habitat - In clusters, often from a common stem, growing on decayed wood.
Elm Pleurotus (Edible)
Cap or Pileus - Convex or nearly flat, firm, smooth. White, tinted at the centre with reddish yellow or brownish yellow.
2-5 inches broad. Gills or Lamellce - Broad, not crowded, notched at the stem end, growing down the stem. White, turning yellow with age. Stem or Stipe - United to the cap one side of the centre. Usually curved ; solid, smooth, or downy. White or whitish. 2-4 inches long.
Oyster Mushroom (edible).
(Pleurotus ostreatus, Fr.)
Reduced. See page 57.
Section of P. ulmarius.
Flesh - White, not tender, agreeable flavour. Spores - White, globose. Time - September to November.
Habitat - Conspicuous on dead parts of standing elms. Large and white. Sometimes found on other than elm trees.