The oyster mushroom can be hunted between March and May. One can enjoy them all year round by purchasing a grow kit and they are the easiest mushroom to grow at home.

The challenge today is, how to distinguish the types of oyster mushrooms since each has a poisonous type? After reading this post, you’ll be able to identify different types of oyster mushrooms, you’ll be able to distinguish them from their three poisonous look-alikes;

Types of Oyster Mushroom

  1. Pearl Oyster (Pleurotus Ostreatus) – A North American favorite mushroom that is tender with a sweet woodsy taste.
  2. Blue Oyster (Pleurotus Columbinus) – The blue Oyster gets its name because when the mushrooms first start to bloom, they have blue caps. When you find them full-grown, the blue color turns to grey.
  3. Golden Oyster (Pleurotus Citrinoplileatus) This one is usually found in Asian areas and cultivated in China. This fungus has been reported to be finding its place in the North American woods. It has a very distinct fragrance and can be eaten braised, in soups, or fried.
  4. Pink Oyster (Pleurotus Djamor) Aptly named the Flamyingo Oyster, this fungi is native to the tropics as they like the warmer temperatures. This mushroom loses its pink color when cooked and is often used as a substitute for seafood in chowder recipes.
  5. Phoenix Oyster (Pleurotus Pulmonarius) The phoenix oyster mushroom spawn almost looks like pearl Oyster except for the caps which are smaller in size and have paler coloration. Also, it has a similar taste to pearl oyster but has thicker flesh, and can be paired with just about any type of dish
  6. King Oyster (Pleurotus Eryngii) This one look nothing like its cousin and instead of growing in clusters, it grows separately. These mushrooms develop thicker and meatier stems that have a soft and crunchy texture while tasting similar to that of abalone.


  1. Elm Oyster (Hypsizygus Ulmarius) With a misleading name, it is not an oyster mushroom with a non-poisonous look. The gills of the original oyster mushroom run down to stem instead of stopping at the base.

Types of Oyster Mushrooms With Poisonous Look-Alike;

Jack o Lantern (Omphalotus Olearius) This one close resembles with oyster mushroom, as it also has a bright orange color. But oyster mushrooms don’t turn orange. Also, it is not fatal if eaten; however, yet it’s poisonous, and an individual who consumes it might experience severe vomiting, cramps, and diarrhea.

Ivory Funnel (Clitocybe Dealbata) This poisonous mushroom almost looks like an elm oyster; the only difference lies in its poisonous nature. Ivory funnel is widely known as a sweating mushroom because if it is eaten, the symptoms include;

  • Increased sweating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Blurred vision
  • Labored breathing

 Ghost Fungus (Omphalotus Nidifornis) – This mushroom generally grows in Australia, Japan, and India. It glows in dark and is not lethal if eaten, yet might result in causing severe cramps and vomiting. You will find Oyster mushrooms growing on dying or fallen hardwood trees or logs and prefer shaded areas.

I am certain, now you can easily identify each type of oyster mushroom with its poisonous look alike.

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