A Mushroom is so much more than an Agaric

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Image: 4

Photographer: Whiterussian

Reference:

Whiterussian, (2013), a [ONLINE]. Available at: http://mrg.bz/8d082c [Accessed 9 August 2016].

 

 

The word “Mushroom” is a generalized term used to describe many species of fungi, but not all fungi are considered mushrooms. Members of the fungi family actually resemble plant life in some ways but the difference is that all fungi lack chlorophyll. This means that they are not capable of producing their own food unlike plants. Similar to animal life which draws theirs sustenance from organic matter, fungi are regarded as different from both animals and plants, and therefore they have their very own classification Kingdom called, the Fungi.

Fungi is a generalized term used to describe a vast variety of distinct organisms but there is a large difference between some species. Only a small percentage of fungi species create the notably large fruit bodies that we recognize as mushrooms. Many Fungi species create smaller fruit bodies making the “mushrooms” more difficult to see but most Fungi specie’s produce fruit bodies or fruit like structures that are only visible under a powerful microscope.

The term “Mushroom” derived from our ancestors referring to the edible fruit bodies of the agaric’s, the fungus of family Agaricaceae. This family of fungi is edible for humans and generally resembles the ordinary mushroom shape that we are so accustomed to, a stalk like structure topped with an arched or flat cap with gills underneath the cap. As our science began to understand fungi better, “toadstools” a term previously understood as inedible or poisonous also got included under the term mushroom.

The Fungi classified as mushrooms today usually grows in organic matter and the mushroom itself is a noticeable reproductive structure which consists of fibers called mycelium. Mushrooms grow seasonally and when they mature some part of them forms spores which are microscopic seeds which then gets dispersed.

 

 

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Image: 5

Photographer: Dianne Hope

Reference:

Diannehope, (2015), r [ONLINE]. Available at: http://mrg.bz/cb3c25 [Accessed 9 August 2016].

 

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