Identifying and cultivating Pleurotus purpureo-olivaceus

  Posted on 05 April 2020  |    Hyphae  |    0 Comments

1. Identifying Pleurotus purpureo-olivaceus

Pleurotus purpureo-olivaceus is endemic to New Zealand and is one of our more flavourful mushrooms. It is closely related to the native mushroom Pleurotus australis, its hyphae also grow very slowly.

I found a suitable culture for growing while looking for oyster mushrooms on private property in the Wairarapa. It was raining we got soaked, we searched for hours, we found absolutely nothing and then, well I will let the video tell you because I filmed that exact moment. 

The gills of this mushroom are strikingly brown after being harvested and almost purple looking on the tree. There is also a yellow to orange looking stalk before the gills on this mushroom start. 

The mushroom is normally deep brown, however, I have only seen fawn and yellow fruiting bodies but further, up north I believe it is dark brown.

A link to observation differences can be viewed on Inaturalist by clicking HERE:

The deep dark brown version that almost looks like a P. australis and the yellow version can be seen in the photos below:



2. Cultivating Pleurotus purpureo-olivaceus

I still have not been successful in fruiting this mushroom. It took me a long time to get its close relation Pleurotus australis fruiting so I will show you a pretty picture of that:

They both have really slow-growing hyphae so they both are not suited for growing on straw. I have had blocks in the fruiting room for a few months.

If any advanced growers would like a challenge then please contact me I will send you a product to help research growing this mushroom. This could be the fillet steak of native mushrooms.

I will update this post when I have finally worked out what I am doing wrong or if someone else beats me to it, but for now, I would suggest buying it in mushroom dowels to drill and plug branches. This one and P. australis will be available in the store soon as dowel plugs.  

You can view our dowel spawn by clicking HERE:

I am not sure anyone has ever tried growing this strain so we are making history once again and it looks like I just introduced the world once again to a beautiful New Zealand endemic mushroom. 

Our culture was found on hardwood and is most likely the most prolific observation ever recorded in nature. It has been DNA by Landcare NZ and is stored in the ICMP with cryogenics. So it will be available to cultivate for many generations to come.