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Golden Oyster Mushroom

(Pleurotus citrinopileatus)

Mushroom Info
Binomial NameGenusOrigin
Pleurotus citrinopileatus PleurotusRussia, northern China and Japan
Common NamesDistribution & Natural Habitat
The Golden Oyster Mushroom
Il'mak (Elm Mushroom in Russian)
Tamogitake (Japanese)
Native to forested areas subtropical China, southern Japan and surrounding regions.

Natural habitate includes Asian hardwoods, especially elm, oaks, poplars and beech. Often found growing on logs and stumps.
Wikipedia Link
Characteristics and Qualities

The Golden Oyster Mushroom are one of the most commonly cultivated gourmet mushrooms thanks to their ease of cultivation, beautiful appearance and distinctive taste. Like most other Oysters, the Pleurotus citrinopileatus grows quickly and aggressively and will grow on a wide range of substrates.

Golden Oysters require a larger spawn percentage (~20%) in order to ensure full colonization on most substrates. This is higher than most other strains and can increase cost of production.

Due to its sub-tropical origins the Pleurotus citrinopileatus is best suited for cultivation in warmer climates and cropping yields are much less than their Pink Oyster cousins.

The down-sides to the Golden Oyster are their extreme fragility. When harvesting, it's best to harvest in clusters to avoid damage; Golden Oyster's don't transport well which limits their suitability for large scale commercial production. Their gold luster also quickly diminishes after harvest.

Ease of CultivationIncubation RateBiological EfficiencyEnvironmental Tolerance
3 - Beginner2 - Moderate2 - Medium2 - Average Tolerance
Shelf-lifeAroma & TasteVisual / TextureMagic
1 - Short3 - Good3 - Good
0 - Not Magical
Inoculation and Substrate
Suggested Agar Culture Media: MYA, MYPA, PDYASpawn Inoculation Percentage 20%
Recommended Substrate:Chopped Corn Cobs, Coffee Grounds, Cotton Seed Hulls, Hardwood Chippings, Hardwood Logs, Hardwood Sawdust, Hardwood Shavings, WheatMax Substrate Size (Diameter):
Recommended Substrate Container: Plastic ColumnsMax Substrate Size (Height): unlimited
Substrate Notes:Substrate Humidity:
Substrate Bag Perforations:
Growing Pleurotus citrinopileatus
IncubationFruitbody Development
Room Temperature:24 - 29°CRoom Temperature:21 - 29°C
Relative Humidity:90 - 100%Relative Humidity: 90 - 95%
Substrate Temperature:CO2 Concentration: 0 - 1000 ppm
Light Requirements:0 LUXLight Requirements:500 - 1000 LUX
CO2 Concentration:5000 - 20000 ppmFresh Air Exchanges:4 - 8 per hour
Fresh Air Exchanges:1 - 2 per hourDuration:3 - 5 days
Incubation Duration:10 - 14 days
Primordia FormationHarvest
Initiation Temperature:21 - 27°CNumber of Flushes:2
Relative Humidity:95 - 100%Flush Interval:10 - 14 days
Duration:3 - 5 daysBud Induction:
CO2 Concentration:0 - 1000 ppmBetween Flushes Notes:
Fresh Air Exchanges:4 - 8 per hourAverage Yield:
Light Requirements 500 - 1000 ppmProduction Cycle:
Casing Humidity: n/a
Casing Thickness:n/a
Casing Ruffling Notes:

"Paul Stamets book on gourmet mushroom cultivation is the bible of mushroom cultivation. If you are looking for comprehensive information on how to grow mushrooms both at home and commercially then Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms is a great book to have; it's a lifetime of knowledge in one book." (Paul Thomson, Founder of Hear Me RAW.)

4.9/5 stars 19 customer reviews
Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms (by Paul Stamets) - Paperback, 596 pages
The Definitive Guide to Mushroom Cultivation
After years of living in awe of the mysterious fungi known as mushrooms-chefs, health enthusiasts, and home cooks alike can't get enough of these rich, delicate morsels. With updated production techniques for home and commercial cultivation, detailed growth parameters for 31 mushroom species, a trouble-shooting guide, and handy gardening tips, this revised and updated handbook will make your mycological landscapes the envy of the neighborhood.

Enhancing the Golden Colour of the Pleurotus Citrinopileatus

The golden cap of the Pleurotus citrinopileatus is directly related to the intensity of the light within the fruiting chamber. Increase your lighting levels and you will deepen the rich golden colour of the mushroom. Light levels between 500-1000LUX are optimal with no noticeable increase in colour richness beyond 1000LUX.

Golden colour diminishes when strain is over cultured.

Yield Information

The yield potential of the Golden Oyster mushroom are not as high as the Pink Oyster mushroom. Yields are increased greatly by using grain spawn over sawdust spawn when mixing with substrate.

Golden oyster mushrooms take well to cotton-seed adjusted substrates and their yield increases substantially.

First and 2nd flush are generally good harvests, after which yields decrease greatly.


The fruit-bodies of the Golden Oyster mushroom are very delicate and much easier to harvest in clusters. The cultivator should encourage cluster formation where possible.

Selling at Market

Golden Oyster mushrooms are a beautiful looking mushroom that sell well at markets, especially to Asian customers who are more familiar to them. Golden Oysters are suitable for drying (though their lush golden colour diminishes whilst drying).

Medicinal Properties

Pleurotus citrinopileatus is thought to help aid pulmonary emphysema 1 and much like the similar P. ostreatus, will likely help reduce cholesterol.


  1. Icons of Medicinal Fungi, Ying (1987).