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Pleurotus dryinus

[ Basidiomycetes > Agaricales > Pleurotaceae > Pleurotus . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

This distinctive Pleurotus has a sturdy, fairly central stem and a partial veil that leaves remnants on the margin of the cap and the stem. It is not at all "pleurotoid," despite belonging to the genus that provides the term. When the partial veil remnants are worn away (which is fairly often), it can usually be separated from similar mushrooms like Hypsizygus ulmarius by its densely fuzzy cap and stem.

However, separating Pleurotus dryinus from Pleurotus levis (which is also confusingly known as "Panus strigosus") is not an easy task. Although the two species are distinct biologically (meaning they cannot mate), they are hardly different in their physical features. According to Petersen, Hughes & Psurtseva (no date) Pleurotus levis has a "velutinous to plushy" (translation: very finely hairy to finely velvety) cap surface and appears in "warm climates," while Pleurotus dryinus has a "strigose to wooly" (translation: notably hairy) cap and appears in "cool, wet climates." However, specimens with kind-of-hairy cap surfaces abound, and determining the described differences in climate is often futile. Since microscopic features do not help in this case, one would just about have to culture every new collection to be sure of an identification.


Ecology: Saprobic; growing alone or in small clusters on dead and living wood of hardwoods (especially oaks and beech); summer and fall (winter in coastal California); widely distributed in North America.

Cap: 4-12 cm; convex, becoming broadly convex; circular in outline; hairy; whitish beneath the grayish to pale brownish hairs, often yellowing with age; the margin inrolled when young, hung with partial veil remnants.

Gills: Running down the stem; close; whitish, yellowing with age.

Stem: 4-10 cm long; up to 3.5 cm thick; tough; usually a little off-center; the lower portion with a densely fuzzy sheath that terminates in an ephemeral ring; above the ring smooth or with ridges resulting from the gills; whitish, yellowing with age.

Flesh: Thick; tough; whitish.

Odor and Taste: Odor not distinctive; taste mild.

Chemical Reactions: KOH on cap surface negative.

Spore Print: White.

Microscopic Features: Spores 9-15 x 3.5-5 µ; smooth; elliptical; inamyloid.

REFERENCES: (Persoon, 1800) Kummer, 1871. (Fries, 1821; Saccardo, 1887; Kauffman, 1918; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1979; Weber & Smith, 1985; Arora, 1986; Phillips, 1991/2005; Lincoff, 1992; Metzler & Metzler, 1992; Zervakis & Balis, 1996; Barron, 1999; Roody, 2003; McNeil, 2006; Miller & Miller, 2006; Petersen et al., no date.) Herb. Kuo 10010415.

Further Online Information:

Pleurotus dryinus at Univ. Tennessee
Pleurotus levis at Univ. Tennessee
Pleurotus dryinus at Roger's Mushrooms


Pleurotus dryinus

Pleurotus dryinus

Pleurotus dryinus

Pleurotus dryinus

Pleurotus dryinus

Pleurotus dryinus

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Kuo, M. (2009, April). Pleurotus dryinus. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: