The Great Elm Oyster Hypsizygus ulmarius Mix-up Posted on December 13, by Mycognostic September 11, In early October my partner mentioned they had seen a solitary mushroom emerging from a wound in an elm tree on our local trail. This especially interested me because of the Muskoka Mushroom Mystery. I took my camera up there to get some pictures on site before collecting the specimen to clone for possible cultivation. Mystery solved. Perhaps, but this raised another question for me, because I thought I knew the Elm Oyster.
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Hypsizygus ulmarius Bull. Often the fruitbodies form compact clusters with their stem bases emerging from a single branch scar, and so the stems are nearly always bent rather than straight. Distribution A widespreadbut rather uncommon find in Britain and Ireland, the Elm Oyster occurs also throughout most of northern mainland Europe as well as in other temperate parts of the world including North America.
Taxonomic history This impressive fungus was first described in scientific literature in by pioneering French mycologist Jean Baptiste Francois Pierre Bulliard, who gave it the scientific name Agaricus ulmarius.
In the early days of fungal taxonomy most of the gilled mushrooms were included initially in the genus Agaricus, the contents of which has since been largely dispersed into many other newer genera. The currently-accepted scientific name Hypsizygus ulmarius dates from a publication by Canadian mycologist Scott Redhead. Synonyms of Hypsizygus ulmarius include Agaricus ulmarius Bull.
Identification guide Cap Usually 6 to 15 exceptionally up to 30 cm across; convex, expanding but retaining and incurved margin; white; smooth and dry. Gills Adnate or only very slightly decurrent; broad, crowded; white. Stem 6 to 13cm long and 2 to 3cm dia. Broadly sublobose, smooth, 3. Spore print.
The Great Elm Oyster (Hypsizygus ulmarius) Mix-up
All edible wild fungi MUST be cooked. This easy-to-spot mushroom is often mistaken for the common oyster until there is closer examination common oyster gills are decurrent, elm oysters are not decurrent. Ulm refers to "elm" indicating one of the common substrates for this fungus. Distinguishing Features The colour of the fruiting bodies often depends on its substrate and habitat. Caps can measure anywhere from 5 to 15 cm wide. They are white to buff or tan in colour and sometimes developing a pattern of cracks with age.
Hypsizygus ulmarius, Elm oyster, pleurote de l’orme