Pleurotus ostreatus (Oyster Mushroom)

Everyone seems to love oyster mushrooms. These mushrooms, as well as being found in the wild, are actually cultivated for sale in grocery stores and farmers markets as well. They are fairly easy to identify too. They are large, light colored, and shelf shaped. They grow on dead or dying wood, and have gills on the underside which go all the way down the stem (if there is a stem at all). They typically grow in overlapping clusters and can be quite large. Their spores are white to light-gray, sometimes with a slight violet hue. There is a smaller look-alike mushroom called Crepidotus, aka. the pale oysterling. But those are quite small, and have a brown sporeprint. However, crepidotus can be toxic, so be sure to take a spore print if you are unsure. Oysters are said to smell and taste a little fishy, but the base of the mushroom where it attaches to the tree may smell like anise or black licorice, but the licorice flavor does not carry over once cooked.