Yellow Oyster Mushroom

An Eye Catching Mushroom

The yellow oyster (Pleurotus citrinopileatus) is one of the most spectacular gourmet mushrooms. It usually forms large clusters of fifty or more mushrooms, with a golden to yellow cap and white stem.

The cap of the mushroom is much smaller compared to other oyster mushrooms. With Pleurotus Ostreatus caps reaching close to 25cm, the yellow oyster cap can only reach about 5cm to 7cm. The caps of this mushroom just like most oyster mushrooms start concave and flattens as the mushroom ages.

It is the rarity of this mushroom, the large gold mushroom bouquets and range of flavors that make this mushroom popular.

Native to eastern Russia, northern China and Japan, this is a popular edible mushroom in these areas. Like the other gourmet oysters this is a wood-decay fungus.

This mushroom is very fragile, breaks easily if not handled with care, so they need a gentle touch when harvesting. They are also very perishable, and must be consumed within a day or two of harvesting. After harvest they tend to lose their yellow colors fairly quickly.

Inoculation ratio of 10% to 20% with this mushroom is required due to its flimsy mycelium. Therefore the higher inoculation ratio helps with the mycelium taking over the pasteurized substrate. As the mycelium ages it becomes thicker. The cultivation of the mushroom can be done on grain, straw or sawdust substrate.

A particular care should be put into the maintenance of the genetic of this mycelium. When the mycelium is overdone (senescence) the first thing that is lost with the genetics is the bright yellow colors of the caps. The caps no longer produce that yellow color, instead they stay beige. Also, fewer mushrooms are produced which reduces greatly the already weak biological efficiency of this mushroom.

The yellow oyster is not as prolific as the other Pleurotus mushrooms in the conversion of substrate mass to mushrooms. Usuallly after the second flush very few mushrooms form.

The nutritional value and medicinal properties of this mushroom is likely to be similar to Pleurotus Ostreatus which according to some studies has cholesterol reducing properties and blood sugar lowering properties on diabetic rats. This mushroom is best cooked when broken into pieces and stir fried, at high heat until it’s crispy.

The mushroom has bitter taste when it’s lightly cooked. Not many people like the taste of this mushroom unless when crispy or when cooked 15 to 20 minutes in which case it develops a cashew-like flavor. The smell of the mycelium growing on straw reminds us the smell of fish. To some this can be an unpleasant odor especially when growing the mushroom in the house.

The yellow oyster as previously stated has many disadvantages when compared to Pleurotus Ostreatus or Pleurotus Plumonarius. It will not do well in the fridge for more than a day or two. The caps are very fragile and break easily and the caps quickly lose their yellow colors after harvest. The mycelium when growing in close environment may smell like fish and the feeble biological efficiency is also a disadvantage.

Although this mushroom has many disadvantages over the Pleurotus Ostreatus or Pleurotus Plumonarius it is still very popular due to the “WOW” factor. Our recommendation to any hobbyist is to at least grow this mushroom once. We can try to describe a mushroom but only way to really know is to try.

The fresh air exchange, light and humidity requirements of the yellow oyster is very similar to Pleurotus Ostreatus or Pleurotus Plumonarius. One major difference is the temperature. Yellow oyster will do well in higher temperatures when compared to Pleurotus Ostreatus or Pleurotus Plumonarius. And just like the other oysters if yellow oyster is exposed to high levels of CO2, it will develop long stems.

The ideal fruiting container for supplemented sawdust is polypropylene mushroom bags that you can find in our shop section. These bags can go in the pressure cooker and are a must for supplemented sawdust substrate since sawdust substrate must be sterilized. In addition, mushroom bags come with a filter patch that allows for air exchange to happen, which is very important for mycelium growth, especially with a dense substrate like sawdust. Without a filter patch, mycelium growth will come to a full stop.

For straw, the hobbyist can use polypropylene mushroom bags also, but the cheaper method is polyethylene bags that you can find in our shop section. Polypropylene bag will not go in the pressure cooker, because it will melt. This bag does not come with a filter patch and requires the hobbyist to make small holes in the bag for air exchange.


The growing parameters for the yellow oyster mushroom are interesting because they are almost identical to the forgiving blue oyster mushroom. The biological efficiency of the yellow oyster is less than the blue oyster, which is between 50% to 90%.

Incubation: Pinning: Fruiting:
Temperature: 24°C to 29°C Temperature: 21°C to 27°C Temperature: 21°C to 29°C
Humidity: 90% to 100% Humidity: 90% to 100% Humidity: 90% to 95%
Fresh air exchange: 1-2 per hour Fresh air exchange: 4-8 per hour Fresh air exchange: 4-8 per hour
Duration: 10 to 14 days Duration: 3 to 5 days Duration: 3 to 5 days
Luminosity: 500 lux to 1000 lux Luminosity: 500lux to 1000 lux

When growing yellow oysters, the hobbyist has to be careful with handling the mushroom. As previously said, this is a very fragile mushroom and breaks easily.

Keeping parameters in check and making sure there is no excessive humidity on the fruit body will reward the hobbyist with a very nice bouquet of eye catching and delicious mushrooms.

We do not recommend growing this mushroom in a closed space because it has a light fish scent and in a closed space it can become irritating.

In our shop section you can find yellow oyster related products such as liquid culture, Petri dishes, grain spawn and  on occasion sawdust spawn, as well as the occasional kits ready to fruit.

Please see our other blogs covering more specific subjects about the fun world of growing mushrooms.

logo