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Although the mushrooms involved are not particularly difficult to recognize, there has been a lot of confusion in field guides and technical treatments about Hypsizygus tessulatus and its close relative Hypsizygus ulmarius. Both of these species grow from the wood of hardwoods and feature medium-sized, pale, convex caps, along with white spore prints. Additionally, the former species often features watery spots on the cap when fresh, and is most often found on aspens, cottonwoods, and sugar maple —while the latter species does not feature watery spots and usually grows on elms or box elder.
Hypsizygus marmoreus and Hypsizygus elongatipes are synonyms; the former name is often used to refer to a cultivated, commercially available version. Regarding the putative "medicinal" properties of this mushroom: I am sorry to put it this bluntly, but this mushroom is not going to cure your cancer, nor any other ailment you may have—and if someone has sold you a product based on the assumption that it will, you have purchased some snake oil from a witting or unwitting charlatan.
The only health benefits associated with consuming species of Hypsizygus result from the exercise involved with hunting for them in the woods.
There is no legitimate scientific support for the idea that mushrooms are medicinal in any specific, eat-them-to-get-better way. There is only pseudoscience, bad science reporting in the mainstream news media, and very wishful science reporting in the alternative health media. For further information, see Nicholas Money's "Are mushrooms medicinal? Ecology: Saprobic ; usually growing in clusters of two or three; widely distributed in eastern and northern North America, and sometimes reported from the Rocky Mountains and the West Coast; fall.
Cap: 4—8 cm; convex, becoming broadly convex with a slightly inrolled margin; dry; bald; whitish to buff or very pale tan; sometimes "tessulated" with watery spots when fresh and young. Stem: 3—8 cm long, 1—2 cm thick; equal or slightly club-shaped; dry; bald or very finely silky; whitish to very pale tan.
Odor and Taste : Odor not distinctive, or slightly mealy; taste not distinctive. Lamellar trama parallel. Basidia 4-sterigmate. Hymenial cystidia not found. Kuo Kuo, M. Hypsizygus tessulatus. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert. Description: Ecology: Saprobic ; usually growing in clusters of two or three; widely distributed in eastern and northern North America, and sometimes reported from the Rocky Mountains and the West Coast; fall.
Gills: Attached to the stem; close; short-gills frequent; whitish; not bruising. Flesh: Firm; white; unchanging when sliced. Chemical Reactions : KOH on cap surface negative. Spore Print : White to buff. This site contains no information about the edibility or toxicity of mushrooms. Cite this page as: Kuo, M.
The Great Elm Oyster (Hypsizygus ulmarius) Mix-up
Cap: cm wide; at first convex with inrolled margin, becoming flat; white, then light tan; surface becoming cracked with age and forming patches or scales ;growing from branch scars of living hardwoods, especially elm. Gills attached to stem, not decurrent running down stalk ; white becoming cream. Stalk: cm long, cm thick, smooth or occasionally hairy, white, solid, central or off-center. Lookalikes : Hypsizygus tessulatus — much smaller, grows in clusters Pleurotus ostreatus group — no stalk to short stalk; gills decurrent Pleurotus elongatipes — longer stalk which becomes hollow. This is a large, sturdy mushroom growing from the branch scars of deciduous trees. This one was found in City Park in Denver Colorado, about 10 feet up on an elm tree. One mushroom hunter stood on the shoulders of another to reach it.
Elm oyster mushroom (Hypsizygus ulmarius)
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. I had bought some Elm Oyster H ulmarius liquid culture from Gallboys on Amazon in and I have been growing it quite successfully ever since. I find them particularly suited to indoor fruiting.