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Grow oyster mushrooms on prickly pear?

 
Mother Tree
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Apparently there's an edible oyster mushroom called Pleurotus opuntiae  which will grow on prickly pear.

Here's a link to an article, in Italian, about them being grown in Sicily - Pleurotus opuntiae



I haven't been able to find out much information though.  Does anyone know anything? Has anyone grown them?

Could they possibly be pathogenic, which would mean that I wouldn't want to grow them anywhere they might put crops in danger?

Would they grow on live pads?  Or would I cut and dry them, or partially dry them?  Outdoors?  Indoors?

How would I inoculate - spores? Plugs?
 
pollinator
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I'm guessing they grow on the big old stems, not the pads.
 
Burra Maluca
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Maybe.  But then, 'ordinary' oysters grow on wood, or in sawdust.  I'm hoping someone with experience growing them can tell me if it's likely to be possible or not.

Prickly pear grow really well here, but I'd far rather grow mushrooms on surplus pads than infect the big old stems.  
 
pollinator
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That’s fascinating.
My Italian is a little weak lol. Is that article about the fungus being cultivated or growing wild?
 
Tyler Ludens
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Looks like a wild subspecies of Pleurotus.  

From the article:

"Habitat: from spring to summer, rarely even in autumn, in single or bushy form. It associates, as a saprophyte, with Opuntia ficus-indica ( prickly pear ) finding ideal habitat on the trunks or cladodes (blades: parts of the stem of the prickly pear of a flattened shape which, joined together, form ramifications) dead of the plant. Findings associated with Yucca, Agave, Dracena and various Cactaceae have also been reported in the literature."

So, growing on the woody stems, it looks like.  It might be worthwhile to try drying pads and inoculating them, especially very large, old, woody pads.
 
Burra Maluca
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If I can find a source of the spores to inoculate with, I think I should experiment.

Now, who do I know in Italy... Or does anyone else know of a supplier?
 
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