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Mushrooms 101

Updated: Aug 10, 2021

Have you ever walked in the forest and saw an odd looking mushroom? Well I have and that is why I decided to gather some information on the basics of mushrooms. In this article, I will be exploring the definition of a mushroom, its characteristics, and also identifying different types of mushrooms.

-What are they?

Mushrooms are a microorganism of fungi. Fungi is the only Eurkaryotic organisms that has a microorganism. A Eurkaryotic organism is an organism that consists of one or more cells each of which has a nucleus and other well-developed intracellular compartments. Mushrooms are the reproductive structure of fungi, they reproduce by spreading microscopic spores. They are decomposers, which means they feed off of organic material, usually wood. Mushrooms are found in damp regions because they need water to produce their spores. An interesting fact about mushrooms is that they are 90 percent water.

-What are their characteristics?

You can easily spot a mushroom by their characteristics. They have a cap, (the top part of a mushroom) a stalk otherwise known as the stem, and either gills, pores or teeth. The gills, the pores and the teeth all have the same job, they are on the under side of the cap and are where the spores are dispersed. Mushrooms can only have one of the three making it easier to identify. Gills look like lines running from the bottom of the cap to the stalk. Pores are tiny holes and teeth look like strings of hair falling from the bottom of the cap.

-How do you identify a mushroom?

Mushrooms can be easily identified by their colour, shape, size and pattern. They can also be identified by what type of spore dispersal is under the cap. You can also use a field guide, or use an app. If you have identified it and you think it is edible but you are not a professional I do not suggest eating it, in case your identification is wrong.

-Some poisonous mushrooms

There are many poisonous mushrooms such as Panther, Scaly Chanterelle, Deadly Galerina, etc. All of these could look similar to an edible mushroom which is why you should never pick them and eat them unless you are an expert.

I hope you loved learning about mushrooms like I did, if so, please like and share it with a friend. If you have anything to add write it in the comment section!

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