Poisonous mushrooms – double oyster mushrooms

Poisonous mushrooms - double oyster mushroomsOyster mushrooms are especially prized by those on a diet. This mushroom is low in calories, but very useful: it contains vitamins and minerals necessary for the body.

Oyster mushrooms are edible mushrooms of rather large size, with a fleshy shell-like cap. Its color ranges from brown to dark gray, or from gray to white and even yellowish. The leg is practically invisible and tapers towards the bottom.

Can oyster mushrooms be poisonous?

Some mushroom pickers are often interested in: do oyster mushrooms have poisonous counterparts? It should be said that poisonous mushrooms similar to oyster mushrooms do not grow on the territory of Russia. There are just some types of fruiting bodies that are only similar to oyster mushrooms, and are considered conditionally edible woody mushrooms, but they have a bitter taste. To put it simply, poisonous oyster mushrooms do not grow on our territory. However, in the forest, in the trees, you can often find a large number of mushrooms that are not oyster mushrooms. For example, scales or polypores also resemble shelves and shells that grow in floors.

All mushrooms growing on trees are called wood destroyers, since their mycelium develops in the middle of the wood, destroying its composition. If these mushrooms grow on dead trees, can oyster mushrooms be poisonous? It turns out that these fruiting bodies perform the role of orderlies in the forest, turning dead wood into dust. If it were not for these fungi, the whole earth would be littered with dry tree trunks and branches, and there would be no nutrients left in the soil for the growth of young trees. Under the influence of oyster mushrooms, dead wood is destroyed and turns into fertile soil.

Are there poisonous mushrooms that look like oyster mushrooms and how to tell them apart?

Some mushroom pickers undeservedly bypass oyster mushrooms hanging beautifully from tree trunks. And someone simply does not know how to distinguish oyster mushrooms from poisonous mushrooms.

So, are there any poisonous mushrooms that look like oyster mushrooms? Let's remember that the poisonous analogue of oyster mushroom does not exist in our country. However, this does not mean that you can be careless about cooking these mushrooms. Oyster mushrooms can be poisoned if you do not adhere to technological processes during processing. For example, if the storage rules were not followed, or the wrong heat treatment was carried out. Oyster mushrooms can also be dangerous if collected near chemical plants or right on highways.

Oyster mushroom is widespread in our territory, which has nothing to do with poisonous mushrooms. Poisonous mushrooms, similar to oyster mushrooms (see photo below), grow only in Australia.

Poisonous mushrooms - double oyster mushroomsPoisonous mushrooms - double oyster mushrooms

However, you should always know that oyster mushrooms can be confused with some types of conditionally edible mushrooms found in the forests of Russia. These fruiting bodies are not poisonous, but they are not eaten because they taste bitter.

Poisonous mushrooms - double oyster mushroomsPoisonous mushrooms - double oyster mushrooms

What poisonous mushrooms similar to oyster mushrooms are found in our forests? For example, orange oyster mushroom, although it is not considered poisonous, is not harvested due to its excessive toughness and fluffy skin, so the mushroom is considered inedible. In the forest, orange oyster mushroom grows on the branches of birch, linden and aspen, on rotten stumps, tree trunks, especially on dead woods. Like oyster mushroom, this mushroom grows in large families, but it comes across very rarely. In the forest, it can be seen immediately by its beautiful orange color. Usually amateur gardeners buy orange oyster mushroom mycelium and grow it as a decoration for the garden.

Poisonous mushrooms - double oyster mushroomsPoisonous mushrooms - double oyster mushrooms

There is another type of mushroom, similar to oyster mushrooms, but not poisonous, but simply inedible – this is wolf saw-leaf. It is not eaten because of its strong bitterness. The mushroom caps are small, yellow-red in color, similar to the hanging tongue of a dog. The legs of the fungus often grow together at the base and are arranged like shingles on a roof. Sometimes there are no legs at all, and the mushroom itself grows to the tree so that it breaks when touched. In addition, mushroom pickers are frightened off by their smell: old individuals have the smell of rotten cabbage.

Poisonous mushrooms - double oyster mushroomsPoisonous mushrooms - double oyster mushrooms

In late autumn, around November, you can find green oyster mushrooms in the forest. This species is also not a poisonous counterpart of oyster mushroom, but it is not suitable for food because of its unattractive color and bitterness. Grows on coniferous and deciduous dead trees, hanging from them in large multi-storey colonies.

Mushroom pickers will never confuse common oyster mushroom with conditionally edible species. However, with regard to common oyster mushroom, you need to remember an important advice: young mushrooms are used for food, the size of which is not more than 7-10 cm. You do not need to peel them from the skin, you should only remove surface debris and cut off the lower part of the leg.

Since oyster mushrooms are versatile mushrooms, they can be pickled, fried, stewed, fermented and frozen. If you don't like picking mushrooms, but love to eat them, buy oyster mushrooms at the store. This will help avoid the question of how to distinguish oyster mushrooms from poisonous mushrooms.

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Hunting, Fishing and Mushrooms: a magazine for hunters and fishers.
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