These mushrooms fruit in a beautiful bouquet of yellow, and are delicious edibles with medicinal benefits. But how did they get here?
Pleurotus Citrinopileatus "Golden Oyster Mushroom" Oglesby, Illinois 10/2021
These brightly colored mushrooms in the Oyster (Pleurotus) family are native to Asia. As cultivation started in the United states, natural fruitings began popping up in the wild.
How does this happen? Well it could be as simple as buying a bundle from a farmers market and having the spores float into the forest from your basket on the way home. Oyster mushrooms in general grow more aggressively than other mushrooms. For example, most oyster species do really well with log inoculation, while other mushrooms are more sensitive to environmental characteristics and therefore less successful with this capricious mode of cultivation.
The good news? Research shows this fungi, although it is not native, does not appear to be invasive or cause concern for any ecosystems in our environment. Plus theres more good news: THESE ARE DELICIOUS! We were lucky enough to forage a few clusters in Illinois last month and enjoyed a few meals with them as sweet, nutty accents. Additionally they're known for their antioxidant properties and even showed evidence of lowering blood-sugar in diabetic rats!
Pleurotus Citrinopileatus "Golden Oyster Mushroom" Marion, Iowa 10/2020
Shu-Hui Hu; Jinn-Chyi Wang; Juang-Lin Lien; Ean-Tun Liaw & Min-Yen Lee (March 2006). "Antihyperglycemic effect of polysaccharide from fermented broth of Pleurotus citrinopileatus". Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology. 70 (1): 107–113. doi:10.1007/s00253-005-0043-5. PMID 16001252. S2CID 21807252.