Pleurotus pulmonarius

Pleurotus pulmonarius (Fr.) Quél. (1872)

Phylum:  Basidiomycota
Class:  Agaricomycotina
Order:  Agaricomycetes
Family:  Pleurotaceae
Genus: Pleurotus  
Species:  pulmonarius
Found on a dead oak tree in deciduous forest, East Lansing MI
    Pleurotus pulmonarius, commonly known as the Indian Oyster, Italian Oyster, Phoenix Mushroom, or the Lung Oyster, is a mushroom very similar to Pleurotus ostreatus, the pearl oyster, but with a few noticeable differences. The caps of P. pulmonarius are much paler and smaller than ostreatus and develops more of a stem. P. pulmonarius also prefers warmer weather than ostreatus and will appear in late summer. P. pulmonarius is widespread in temperate and subtropical forests throughout the world. In the eastern United States, this species is generally found on hardwoods while in the west it is commonly found on conifers. P. pulmonarius is the most cultivated Oyster mushroom (Pleurotus) species in Europe and North America. The most popular varieties for cultivation are the warm weather varieties.  P. pulmonarius has a pale white, lung-shaped to semicircular cap that ranges from (2 to 12 cm) broad with a wide ranging width of (1 to 7 cm) . The white, close to nearly distant gills are decurrent if there is a stem. P. pulmonarius has a white to grayish to lilac spore print, and grows in shelf-like clusters on dead and living wood of hardwoods
    There are some possible medicinal compounds to be found within P. pulmonarius. The compound of interest is a polysaccharide called β-D-Glucan extracted from P. pulmonarius and has been shown to reduce sensitivity to pain in mice and is being further developed as an analgesic. In a different study on mice, a glucan from P. pulmonarius showed potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.

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