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Walking the dog yesterday, I noticed these on an Ash tree that fell (I'd guess) about a year or two ago. Though they don't look exactly the same as those I've found in the past, perhaps because these are just older, I still believe them to be Turkey Tails. Please correct me if I'm wrong!
I know they're prized more for their medicinal value but I actually like their "mushroomy" flavor and am considering trying to use them to make soup.

On the opposite side of the tree were these I've never seen before but think may be a type of Oyster Mushroom?



Sorry. I forgot to include anything in the photos to indicate the scale but they're very small. The one in the close up shot showing the gills is less than 2" across.

Cap shapes: convex
Cap edge: wavy/toothed
Cap surface/texture: smooth, dry
Mushrooms with gills under the cap
Color: tan/ beige, Darker on top
Color when cut: no change
Spore Print Color: none yet
Odor/Smell: None. I detected no scent of shellfish, ocean or anything else
Winter, December 8, Temperatures in 40s, rained yesterday
Growing in small clusters directly out of fallen Ash tree trunk
Habitat: back yard/ forest
North-eastern Ohio (Cuyahoga County)

Are these Oysters? If so, any idea what type?
I believe what John Smalldridge suggested in another recent Oyster post, "oysters in winter ..tend to dry up quickly and are subject to freeze/thaw cycle" , might apply to these.
My hunch is that these are a bit older than ideal but, assuming they are Oysters, are they still edible?
Are older ones simply stronger tasting or do they become bitter or even inedible?

Thanks for any help

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The polypores on the ash log may be Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor). The way to tell them apart from the very similar False Turkey Tail (Stereum ostrea) is by closely observing the undersides; low magnification may be required. The undersides of Turkey Tail show very small roundish pores, whereas Stereum has a completely smooth underside.

The gilled mushrooms may be old decaying Oysters, but I think they are something else. Difficult to say exactly why I doubt the Oyster Mushroom proposal... shape, color. I think I may see some forking of the gills, but this may just be the result of the gills sticking together. If the gills are truly forked then one possibility is Panus conchatus.


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I'd read that years ago but had completely forgotten. I appreciate the reminder.
I looked into the False Turkey Tail (Stereum ostrea) and boy, from above, they really are nearly identical! The one I have here definitely do have the pores though, so, if those are the only two possibilities these are indeed Turkey Tails.

Well, I don't doubt your doubting!
It does look similar to some --but not most-- of the panus conchatus photos shown.

It's a fair match to many of the characteristics described on the page you cited as well as others I found. Since originally posting, I seemed to have gotten a spore print; whitish/light colored which also matches (though I believe some Oysters do as well?). On the other hand, several descriptions note panus conchatus as "hairy" or with a "velvety texture" which is something I didn't observe on these at all. I'll check again on a fresher one.

I often read that oyster mushrooms smell like oysters, like saltwater, have a peculiar smell, a distinctive mushroom odor, etc. Do all Oysters smell? If this is a determining factor, from these, we detect no scent at all.

Though it's in the 40s here now we did have temperatures down to the teens not long ago. Is it possible these are immature, killed off by the cold before they were able to develop more recognizable features?

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Mushroom Expert does a nice job of describing T. versicolor (Turkey Tail), and a few of the other similar Trametes. Presence of observable pores rules out Stereum. To my knowledge, there are no toxic species among the Turkey Tail look-alikes.


I'm beginning to doubt my Panus proposal for those wood-inhabiting gilled mushrooms, but not because of the lack of hairs on the cap. I have IDed collections of P. conchatus that are quite smooth on the cap.



What's bothering me is that the cap margin on the inverted specimen seen above is not strongly inrolled. But this may be on account of advanced age of the fruit body. For the other ones (in-situ), it's difficult to tell about whether or not the cap margins are inrolled. But these cap margins appear to lack the waviness associated with P. conchatus. Not sure exactly how important these characters are to the P. conchatus ID.

Most of my collections of Pleurotus do have a pleasant aroma. I'm not sure I'd call it "saltwater". To me it's more of a.... not really sure how I'd describe it! I guess it's somewhat of a unique odor. When it comes to describing mushroom characteristics, odor is perhaps the most subjective.

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