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Summary: a member of the Pleurotus ostreatus complex (smooth whitish to grayish to brownish caps with shelf-like habit, soft thick flesh, whitish gills, and whitish to lilac spore deposit), and best recognized within it by its whitish to buff spore print, light colored cap, subdistant gills, and larger spores (up to 15 microns long); description from Vilgalys(4) except where noted; collections used in Vilgalys(4) analysis came from BC, ID, and also ON, CO, MD, MI, MT, NY, WI, distribution "similar to that of its aspen host, occurring in most northern states in the east, and throughout the montane and northern regions of western United States", (Vilgalys)
Cap: 4-6(9)cm wide, convex, oyster-shell-shaped to fan-shaped, the margin inrolled at first; pinkish buff, pinkish gray to ivory white; dry, smooth, pubescent [downy] over the lateral point of attachment
Gills: decurrent over the short point of attachment, subdistant, 2 tiers of subgills, broad, 0.5-1cm broad; nearly white to cream
Stem: 1-1.5cm x 0.6-1cm, "lateral, equal or tapering to a narrow base, white lamellae extending almost to the base that is covered with a white pubescence"
Odor: not distinctive to anise-like
Taste: mild and pleasant
Microscopic spores: spores (8)9-12(15) x 3-5 microns, narrowly elliptic, [presumably smooth], inamyloid, colorless, thin-walled, with small apiculus; basidia 4-spored, 23-27 x 5-6 microns, narrowly clavate, colorless, thin-walled; pleurocystidia rare to numerous, 31-33 x 4.6-7.5 microns, capitulate, inamyloid, colorless, thin-walled, cheilocystidia 19-38 x 4-7 microns, "fusiform, ventricose-rostrate, capitulate, tibiiform to lecythiform, sometimes with an elongate hyphal extension at the apex", colorless, thin-walled; clamps present in all tissues
Spore deposit: buff-colored, not lilac
Habitat / Range
single to numerous and often imbricate [shingled] "on limbs, stumps, or logs of hardwood trees", especially Black Cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa), and aspen (Populus tremelloides and Populus tridentata), collections were mostly in May to July but also in October, (Vilgalys), spring, summer, fall
Pleurotus ostreatus has lilac spore deposit and tends to be larger, and P. pulmonarius may have lilac spore deposit, both have close to crowded gills and shorter spores, Pleurotus populinus usually lacks the strong brown colors that sometimes characterize P. ostreatus and P. pulmonarius, both of which may however be found on Populus; Pleurocybella porrigens somewhat similar but smaller, thinner, and fades from white; Panellus serotinus has a yellow stem punctate with brownish scales, gills with ocher yellow colors, and cap commonly with greenish or violet tones
Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2020. E-Flora BC:
Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia [eflora.bc.ca]. Lab for
Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British
Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed:
2020-08-07 12:24:38 PM
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