Velvet Oyster Mushroom Is Illegal to Be Grown in New Zealand

  Posted on 14 October 2020  |    Hyphae  |    0 Comments

The Velvet Oyster Mushroom Is A hybrid mushroom developed in Japan, it is a cross between different varieties of Oyster Mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus) and King Oyster Mushrooms (Pleurotus eryngii). King oyster mushrooms are on the unwanted list of species that are highly illegal to be grown in NZ. The reason is it can parasite on living trees so it could destroy native forests. Velvet Oyster is most certainly not the endemic to New Zealand species Pleurotus parsonsiae. 

Velvet Oyster Mushroom cross species illegal in NZ

Image: Illegal to be in NZ cross species

This cross species is highly illegal to be grown in NZ. It is not the endemic to New Zealand species Pleurotus parsosnsiae. 


Velvet oyster is not Pleurotus parsonsiae

Pleurotus parsonsiae is not the velvet oyster mushroom

Image: Pleurotus parsonsiae (Endemic to NZ)

Firstly, I write this as the first person to cultivate Pleurotus parsonsiae outside a science lab, this an endemic to New Zealand oyster mushroom that some commercial growers are trying to call Velvet Oyster Mushroom. But that name has already been taken, that name has already been used for a mushroom in Japan. It would be highly illegal to import the velvet oyster mushroom into NZ.

Secondly, I would like to apologise to Iwi, because of my actions I have created disrespect of this precious Taonga while these people are commercially exploiting it. I reached out to a number of Maori for the name or naming of this mushroom and I believe if anyone is going to name it, it should be the guardians of New Zealand the indigenous Maori people.

I reached out to Iwi to find out if the naming of this Taonga mushroom Pleurotus parsonsiae what they are calling (Velvet Oyster Mushroom) would be disrespectful to Iwi and I will update you after I get a reply.  Pleurotus parsonsiae has been present in NZ way before Maori arrived. It is endemic to New Zealand and found nowhere else in the world. As velvet arrived in NZ from European imported folk and has an association with death then I would guess it would be highly disrespectful to Iwi to name this Taonga such a name. But that of course is just my opinion.

The mushroom when appearing in nature does not have a velvet look. This comes on when people are trying to commercialise it growing it in high humidity rooms. 

A number of New Zealand unethical companies are selling Pleurotus parsonsiae with the sister species within the same clade and interfertile Pleurotus djamor. A hybrid from both species could destroy our endemic mushroom that is one of the highest yielding mushrooms of the world. These native genetics must be preserved and protected for future generations.  . 


***Please note this is an opinion piece from the person that was first to introduce endemic to NZ Pleurotus parsonsiae to the world and is sick of commercial growers disrespecting it and trying to destroy it.