The oyster mushroom family consists of a number of edible mushrooms that many people love. The phoenix oyster mushrooms are one of them.
A popular edible variant of oyster mushrooms that prefers warmer temperatures is called the Phoenix oyster mushroom (Pleurotus pulmonarius). The Latin term for "lung," pulmonarius, and "lung oyster mushrooms" alludes to their form.
This article is dedicated to giving you useful information regarding phoenix oyster mushrooms and how you can grow them in your homes.
How Do You Identify Phoenix Oyster Mushrooms?
Phoenix oyster mushrooms grow in shelf-like clusters and range in size from medium to big, with caps that typically measure 5 to 20 centimeters.
The semi-circular or fan-shaped, smooth, thick caps have gray or lilac undertones and range in color from beige to earthy. When fully grown, the cap's margins will waver and be undulating and delicately lined.
The short, ivory stem measures an average of 1 to 7 centimeters in length, and beneath the cap are numerous soft, small, white gills tightly spaced from one another. Phoenix oyster mushrooms are silky and soft with a mild, barely sweet flavor, and they have a distinct scent with notes of seafood.
When and Where Do Phoenix Oyster Mushrooms Grow?
Phoenix oyster mushrooms can be found growing wild on dead and rotting wood in subtropical and temperate forests all over the world.
Phoenix oyster mushrooms can grow on hardwoods and softwoods, in contrast to most other mushrooms that can only be found on hardwoods.
Phoenix oysters may grow in shelf-like clusters on conifer, spruce, or fir trees (softwood) or oak, poplar, maple, elm, and aspen trees, depending on where you are (hardwood).
As saprophytic organisms, phoenix oyster mushrooms consume organic matter that has already died and begun to decompose.
Oyster mushrooms thrive in damp, low-lying regions near ponds and streams where fallen logs and decomposing stumps offer food and favorable fruiting circumstances.
What Mushrooms Are Considered Look-Alikes of Phoenix Oyster Mushrooms?
The phoenix oyster mushrooms resemble other types of mushrooms that could confuse anyone. The good news here is the phoenix oysters' look-a-likes are safe for human consumption. In this post, I listed three edible mushrooms that you could have mistaken for phoenix oyster mushrooms.
Aspen Oyster Mushroom
My first phoenix oyster mushroom look-a-alike is the aspen oyster fungus. Although frequently smaller, these oyster mushrooms are nearly identical to phoenix oyster mushrooms. The aspen oyster mushroom only develops on cottonwoods and dead or dying aspens.
Sometimes, examining their spores is the only surefire way to distinguish them. Compared to phoenix or pearl oyster mushrooms, aspen oysters have longer spores, and the color of their spore print is always white rather than grey or lilac.
Pearl Oyster Mushroom
Phoenix oysters resemble pearl oyster mushrooms in both appearance and flavor. One of the mushrooms most frequently grown and probably available in grocery shops is the pearl oyster.
However, there are minor variations between the phoenix oyster and the pearl oyster. Compared to the brownish pearl oyster caps, the phoenix oyster mushroom caps are lighter and frequently smaller. Phoenix oysters frequently have longer, more prominent stems than pearl oysters.
Phoenix oysters are known to prefer warmer climates and can produce fruit in the northern hemisphere from late spring through the summer and, if the weather is still warm enough, into the fall. On the other hand, pearl oysters grow well in cooler climates and will spawn when the temperature drops in the fall through the winter.
Another point of comparison is their spore prints. Phoenix oysters can be distinguished from white-spored oyster mushrooms by their lovely violet spore prints. But pearl oyster mushroom has a spore print color that ranges from white to lilac gray.
Florida Oyster Mushroom
My last look-alike is the summer or warm-weather variety of pearl oyster mushrooms, the Florida oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus).
In addition to having slightly longer stems than phoenix oysters, they are medium-sized with light beige to grayish-blue crowns, typically around 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter.
The most effective methods to distinguish them from larger species are their smaller size, the color of their crowns, and the spore prints since they also prefer warmer temperatures.
Are Phoenix Oyster Mushrooms Edible?
Yes, the Phoenix oyster mushrooms are safe to eat. Phoenix oyster mushrooms possess a mild, slightly sweet, and earthy flavor. Others say they have faint anise undertones, while some consumers notice delicate fishy flavors.
Perhaps because they contain benzaldehyde, a fragrant organic component also present in almonds and anise, they have a peculiar anise-like bittersweet aroma. They are described as having a slightly chewy, meaty, velvety, and sensitive texture.
What Are the Health Benefits of Eating Phoenix Oyster Mushrooms?
Because the Phoenix oyster mushrooms belong to the large family of oyster mushrooms, they share the nutritional benefits of the mentioned mushroom group.
As stated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 100 grams of oyster mushrooms have the following useful elements and substances:
- Calories: 33 kcal
- Protein: 3.31 g
- Fat: 0.41 g
- Carbohydrate: 6.09 g
- Dietary fiber: 2.3 g
- Calcium: 3 mg
- Iron: 1.33 mg
- Magnesium: 18 mg
- Phosphorus: 120 mg
- Potassium: 420 mg
- Sodium: 18 mg
- Thiamin: 0.125 mg
- Pantothenic acid: 1.29 mg
- Niacin: 4.96 mg
- Folate: 38 µg
Here are some of the potential benefits that Phoenix oyster mushrooms may provide to our bodies:
- Liver cancer
An emerging area in cancer treatment is using naturally occurring bioactive chemicals from mushrooms in conventional chemotherapy. Hot-water extraction was used to isolate a polysaccharide-protein complex from Pleurotus pulmonarius, and the effects on malignant liver cells were noted.
The findings demonstrated that the Phoenix oyster mushroom's exposure to liver cancer cells not only significantly decreased cancer cell growth in vitro and invasion and enhanced the cells' drug sensitivity to the chemotherapy medication Cisplatin.
- Colon cancer:
Another research manifested the ability of Phoenix oyster mushrooms to deal with cancer. The researchers applied extracts of Phoenix oysters to various lines of colon cancer cells in vitro, either from mycelium cultivated in liquid culture or from the fruiting bodies.
As they examined the result, the researchers concluded that both varieties of extracts might have contributed to the observed anti-proliferative effect (growth). This effect was found in colon cancer cells expressing high levels of galectin-3 and resulted in the down-regulation of the ability to adhere to other cells, which is crucial for the progression and metastasis of cancer cells.
Leukemia, a blood or bone marrow disease, is one of the leading causes of cancer-related death globally.
Metabolites from Pleurotus pulmonarius extracts were demonstrated to raise the hemoglobin content and the number of erythrocytes (red blood cells), which is significant in preventing anemia, a symptom of leukemia, in a rat model of the disease.
High blood pressure, often known as hypertension, is a known cause of death among humans. This health risk results from the presence of a natural biological substance called angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), which causes artery constriction.
Drugs that inhibit ACE have been created by the pharmaceutical sector and are used to treat hypertension. Protein extracts from Pleurotus pulmonarius mycelium have been investigated in vitro as potential ACE inhibitors. More study and therapeutic advancements will be possible to cure hypertension by utilizing Phoenix Mushroom extracts and their physiologically active constituents.
A potential anti-oxidant
Free radicals, also known as reactive oxygen species (ROS), are created by normal bodily processes and can damage biological components like lipids, proteins, and DNA. They are crucial in developing diseases like dementia, Parkinson's disease, cancer, atherosclerosis, arthritis, and asthma.
Natural anti-oxidants are crucial to reducing the severity of these effects, and Pleurotus pulmonarius fruiting body methanol extract has been proven to provide these benefits. The ability of Pleurotus pulmonarius to combat free radicals and lipid peroxidation increased dose-dependently. At 2 mg/ml, the ideal concentration was found. Pleurotus pulmonarius had the most potent anti-oxidant activity when scavenging ROS (hydrogen peroxide).
Can provide anti-diabetic properties
In vitro research has demonstrated the anti-diabetic effects of Pleurotus pulmonarius protein extracts. The enzymes were seen using the tests in this investigation while exposed to protein extracts from Pleurotus pulmonarius. The work offers strong support for using protein extracts from Pleurotus pulmonarius to inhibit these enzymes involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates.
Aqueous extract of the Phoenix oyster mushroom has a significant antihyperglycemic effect when tested in a diabetic mouse model (treated with alloxan). These investigations demonstrate that Phoenix mushroom use could dramatically lower blood sugar spikes after meals; as a result, it merits consideration for its qualities and possible applications in controlling blood sugar levels, particularly in type II diabetes.
Can treat rhinitis
Sneezing, itching, nasal congestion, and rhinorrhea are symptoms of allergic rhinitis. In a particular study, mice with antigen-induced nasal rubbing and sneezing received a single dose of 500 mg/kg of Pleurotus pulmonarius, but no significant effects were seen.
However, after two weeks of treatment, inhibition was seen at 500 mg/kg mushroom dosage. Moreover, a significant reduction in symptoms was observed after four weeks of giving the mice a dose of 200 mg/kg, demonstrating that Pleurotus pulmonarius in this mouse model was suitable for treating the symptoms of allergic rhinitis when given in repeated doses.
How Do You Grow Phoenix Oyster Mushrooms?
There are several ways to grow Phoenix oyster mushrooms. For this post, I will offer the three easy methods that you can utilize to enjoy Phoenix oyster mushrooms.
Phoenix Oyster Mushrooms indoor cultivation using bags
Step 1: Prepare the supplies
The initial step includes the selection of a substrate and ordering your mushroom grain spawn and grow bags.
In the case of preparing fruiting blocks, you will require the following materials:
- Grow bags
- Mushroom substrate or growing medium
- Mushroom grain spawn
Step 2: Ready your substrate
It would help to prepare your substrate before inoculating it with mushroom spawn. Water and any other required modifications must be added to the substrate. To eliminate any competing mold or germs, you'll typically need to sterilize or pasteurize the substrate.
Step 3: Perform inoculation of mushroom
The addition of phoenix mushroom spawn to your prepared substrate is known as inoculation. To avoid any type of contamination, thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water before beginning and wipe down all work surfaces. Afterward, confirm that your substrate has the appropriate moisture content.
Squeeze a handful of the substrate just a little. There should be a few water drops that come out. You need to add extra water if no water comes out and the substrate doesn't hold together in your hand. It's too moist if too much water leaks out, and you'll need to dry it.
The next step is to combine the substrate and mushroom spawn in a large plastic box, bucket, or barrel. The grow bags should then be filled with the inoculated substrate and sealed.
Step 4: Incubate your mushroom
The spawn needs time to develop through the substrate after inoculation. Incubation is the name given to this process. Leap off, or the first time the mycelium jumps off the spawn into the new substrate, marks the beginning of incubation.
To promote the incubation of your phoenix oyster mushrooms, close the bag and keep it in an area that is warm and dark, between 75 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit (24 and 29 degrees Celsius).
The warm, humid environment of the bag will cause the phoenix oyster mushroom spawn to sprout and grow. It will spread throughout the bag after eating its way across the substrate.
Phoenix mushroom mycelium colonizes the substrate in 8 to 14 days. Once the bag is all white, you have a fully colonized fruiting block, similar to the one you would obtain with a mushroom growing kit.
Step 5: Fruiting of the mushroom
When you reach this stage, you can place your bag of a colonized substrate in conditions that encourage fruition. Here are the necessary factors to obtain the fruition of mushrooms:
- Light: For healthy growth, mushroom fruit bodies require some light. However, the mushrooms do not require light to produce energy, and for this reason, a shady windowsill or an indirect light source will do.
- Humidity: To maintain the substrate wet and raise humidity levels, mist your colonized substrate with water twice daily. Spraying promotes growth and prevents mushroom development from drying out.
- Temperature: Most oyster mushroom strains don't care much about temperature but grow best within a specific range. Phoenix oyster mushrooms prefer temperatures between 60 and 80°F (18 and 27°C).
- Fresh air: From stumps or logs, wild oyster mushrooms emerge into the oxygen-rich atmosphere. Mycelium will know there is room to grow if you make a slit or hole in your bag.
Your bag's hole should begin to produce small mushroom pins within seven days, and your mushrooms will be ready to harvest in under 14 days.
If you want to assist, your mushrooms grow under the best conditions possible, especially if you live in an area with extreme weather, you might want to construct a mushroom fruiting chamber.
Step 6: Harvest the mushrooms
Now you will reap the prize of your hard work.
Phoenix oyster mushrooms are simple to harvest. Grab the cluster by the base, twist it, and then pull it away from the substrate. Alternatively, you might use a knife to chop the cluster off at the base.
You can occasionally receive a second or third flush of mushrooms from your colonized substrate, but they won't be as big as the first.
Following the first crop's harvest, do these steps:
- Give your kit two days to rest
- Immerse it in water for an overnight period
- Place it in a fruiting environment,
- Keep spraying it every day.
It usually takes 7 to 14 days for your second crop to grow, but it occasionally takes up to 21 days.
Cultivating Phoenix Oyster Mushrooms using Mushroom growing kit
The simplest method for novices to enjoy the delight of cultivating and eating delectable fresh oyster mushrooms is with a mushroom growing kit. Growing kits include a bag of a fully colonized substrate, instructions and are ready to use. A growing kit for phoenix oyster mushrooms is available online from some vendors.
Step 1: Open the mushroom kit and place it in ideal growing conditions.
For mushrooms to grow, they require humidity, ideal temperatures, ventilation, and indirect light. Fruiting conditions are the term used to describe these ideal growth circumstances. Although oyster mushrooms are resilient and can withstand a broad range of temperatures, the correct humidity levels are crucial.
First, take the plastic to-grow bag out of your growing kit and cut an "X" into it.
Then, lightly draw back the flaps of the spray bottle to spray underneath the region where you have cut the hole.
The flaps will keep the region damp, so let them fall back into place. Put your toolbox in a location with sufficient ventilation and soft lighting.
Step 2: Spray the growing kit with water.
Maintaining humidity is crucial wherever you place your gear. To prevent the substrate inside from drying up and producing the humidity that mushrooms require to grow, you must spray or mist the area where you cut the "X" every day.
Aim to spray the area at least twice daily, thoroughly soaking it each time. You'll start to notice mushroom pins in about a week. You'll then see how quickly oyster mushrooms develop because they double in size daily.
Step 3: Gather your mushroom growth.
You should get your first harvest of phoenix oyster mushrooms within 14 days of receiving your package.
Here are good indicators that your phoenix oyster mushrooms are good to go:
- When they stop growing by a factor of two every day
- The edges of their caps are still curled but starting to become thin and wavy.
It is advisable to pick mushrooms before the caps begin to curl, which indicates that they are ready to release their spores. You must tightly grasp the cluster at its base, twist it, and pull it off to harvest your phoenix oyster mushrooms. Alternatively, you can use a knife to chop the cluster off at the base.
Cultivating Phoenix Oyster Mushrooms using outdoor logs
Growing oyster mushrooms on logs outside is a pretty simple and practical approach to produce a consistent supply of phoenix oyster mushrooms if you have the space.
The logs can produce mushrooms from spring to fall once they are established. Here are the simple steps to take to grow phoenix oyster mushrooms:
Step 1: Prepare the growing supplies
Gathering the tools and supplies is the first step in cultivating phoenix oyster mushrooms on logs. Here the grower should prepare the logs and purchase spawn plugs.
Sugar maple is a good choice for growing Phoenix oysters. But you may also use aspen, poplar, box elder, willow, hackberry, mulberry, cottonwood, and other soft hardwood species.
For better results, you may cut logs from healthy dormant trees in the fall or winter because they contain more concentrated carbohydrates. Logs should be between 36 and 40 inches (90 to 100 cm) long and around 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.
Following the preparation of your growing log, you should purchase phoenix oyster spawns online. It would help if you first determined how many plugs you require. 30 to 50 spawn plugs are often required to completely cover a 40-inch (100 cm) timber.
You can use the following formula to determine how many plugs you'll need for your logs:
Number of holes = (Log length in cm x Log diameter in cm) / 60.
When you have successfully prepared the logs, and mushroom spawns, here are the other equipment you will need:
- Sealing wax
- A Drill
- A Hammer
- A small paint or basting brush
Step 2: Inoculate your plug spawns
The initial step is to drill holes in your logs. You should bore a row of holes down your log. These holes must be 1-inch (3 cm) deep and spaced 6 inches (15 cm) apart.
After that, turn the wood over and drill the second row of holes, spacing them about 2.5 inches (6 cm) apart from the first row. Continue until the log is completely covered in holes.
Once you have drilled holes, you may insert the plug spawns into them.
To accomplish this, carefully tap the plug spawn dowels with a hammer until they are flat with the log's true wood and below the bark's surface.
It is necessary that you keep the mycelium safe, and you can do this by wax-sealing the holes that have been sealed.
A common alternative to cheese wax is candle wax or beeswax. Apply the wax to your holes with a little brush after melting it in a double boiler, an old deep fryer, or another pot.
Step 3: Perform incubation and maintenance steps
The inoculated logs should be placed on the ground or next to it in a shaded, protected area where they can get natural rain. Maintaining moisture is crucial during incubation, so place your logs next to your garden hose if there isn't enough rain to accomplish so naturally.
I strongly advise watering the growing logs once or twice a week for 10 minutes during dry periods. These logs will need at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) of rain per week. The mycelium on the logs will perish if they dry up.
Step 4: Harvest your Phoenix oyster mushrooms
After inoculating the logs, the mushrooms under consideration will begin to fruit 4 to 12 months after. Depending on the climate, they may begin to fruit any time from spring through fall, especially after a lot of rain.
Keep a close eye on your logs after at least four months of incubation, especially after a significant rainstorm when it's warmer outside.
Like other oysters, phoenix mushrooms grow fast and can be harvested in less than a week.
Holding the cluster at the base and gently twisting it off the log will allow you to harvest your phoenix oyster mushrooms while the margins of the caps are still curled down.
How Do You Cook Phoenix Oyster Mushrooms?
Phoenix oyster mushrooms are a great addition to almost any dish that involves fish, poultry, pig, and lamb.
They can be used to add flavor to various foods, including soups, casseroles, pasta meals, risotto, stir-fries, and egg dishes.
Sautéing oyster mushrooms in butter and eating them with bread is preferred. Phoenix oysters prepared in this manner take 5 to 8 minutes to prepare.