Pleurotus pulmonarius (Fr.) Quel.
no common name

Species account author: Ian Gibson.
Extracted from Matchmaker: Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest.

Introduction to the Macrofungi


© Paul Dawson     (Photo ID #83773)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Pleurotus pulmonarius
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

2.5-9cm, spathulate, oval to conch-shaped, nearly flat when old, margin recurved [curved up] to nearly straight when old; white to grayish white, pinkish brown or light orange brown often with a hint of gray, light brown or brown; dry, dull, bald, "often with shallow surface indentations near the margin and point of attachment"
firm, sometimes water-soaked near the cap skin; dull white, "not changing upon bruising or cutting"
short decurrent to decurrent, close to crowded, with 2 tiers of subgills, gills moderately broad, 0.5-1cm broad, often anastomosing and intervenose along stem; white to slightly cream color when old
1-2cm x "8-8 mm wide [sic]", lateral to subcentral; white; "surface covered with irregular shallow ridges that are sometimes intervenose to almost poroid and reticulate", extending from the gills, densely hispid [bristly] to pubescent [downy] over the base at the point of attachment
pleasant, with a vague anise-like aroma when fresh
mild at first and pleasant, becoming strongly fungal and eventually putrescent
Microscopic spores:
spores 7.5-10(11) x 2.8-4(4.5) microns, narrowly elliptic, [presumably smooth], inamyloid, colorless, thin-walled; basidia 4-spored, 20-27 x 6-8 microns, narrowly clavate, colorless, thin-walled; pleurocystidia similar to cheilocystidia, from numerous to very scarce, cheilocystidia 26-37 x (4)5-7.5 microns, capitate to fusiform, colorless, thin-walled, often with a basal clamp connection
Spore deposit:
variable, white, yellowish, buff to lavender gray when heavy
delicious, douse in water to remove beetles between gills, remove stems, and check for white grubs (Arora for P. ostreatus complex)

Habitat and Range

It is difficult if not impossible to distinguish North American field collections of P. pulmonarius from P. ostreatus. However, differences in their mating behaviour, distribution, and seasonality indicate that they are distinct species, in the western states P. pulmonarius grows on conifers as well as Quercus, Lupinus etc. (on hardwoods in the eastern states), while P. ostreatus grows mostly on hardwoods, (Vilgalys); Pleurotus ostreatus also tends to be larger; Pleurotus populinus has buff spore print, subdistant gills, longer spores, and generally grows 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
in imbricate [shingled] clusters, rarely single, on logs, limbs and stumps of conifers at mid-level elevations (1200-3000 m) in the western US, of hardwoods (primarily) in the eastern states