National Mushroom Month
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF MUSHROOMS?
MUSHROOM RELATED TOPICS
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A mushroom (or toadstool) is the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body
of a fungus, typically produced above ground on soil or on its food
The standard for the name "mushroom" is the cultivated white button
mushroom, Agaricus bisporus; hence the word "mushroom" is most often
applied to those fungi (Basidiomycota, Agaricomycetes) that have a
stem (stipe), a cap (pileus), and gills (lamellae, sing. lamella) or
pores on the underside of the cap. These pores or gills produce
microscopic spores that help the fungus spread across the ground or
its occupant surface.
"Mushroom" describes a variety of gilled fungi, with or without stems,
and the term is used even more generally, to describe both the fleshy
fruiting bodies of some Ascomycota and the woody or leathery fruiting
bodies of some Basidiomycota, depending upon the context of the word.
Forms deviating from the standard morphology usually have more specific
names, such as "puffball", "stinkhorn", and "morel", and gilled mushrooms
themselves are often called "agarics" in reference to their similarity to
Agaricus or their place Agaricales. By extension, the term "mushroom" can
also designate the entire fungus when in culture; the thallus (called a
mycelium) of species forming the fruiting bodies called mushrooms; or the
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Fungiculture is the process of producing food, medicine,
and other products by the cultivation of mushrooms and
The word is also commonly used to refer to the practice of
cultivating fungi by leafcutter ants, termites, ambrosia
beetles, and marsh periwinkles.
Mushrooms are not plants, and require different conditions
for optimal growth. Plants develop through photosynthesis,
a process that converts atmospheric carbon dioxide into
carbohydrates, especially cellulose. While sunlight provides
an energy source for plants, mushrooms derive all of their
energy and growth materials from their growth medium, through
biochemical decomposition processes. This does not mean that
light is an irrelevant requirement, since some fungi use light
as a signal for fruiting. However, all the materials for
growth must already be present in the growth medium. Mushrooms
grow well at relative humidity levels of around 95-100%, and
substrate moisture levels of 50 to 75%.
Instead of seeds, mushrooms reproduce asexually through spores.
Spores can be contaminated with airborne microorganisms, which
will interfere with mushroom growth and prevent a healthy crop.
Mycelium, or actively growing mushroom culture, is placed on a
substrate—usually sterilized grains such as rye or millet—and
induced to grow into those grains. This is called inoculation.
Inoculated grains are referred to as spawn. Spores are another
inoculation option, but are less developed than established
mycelium. Since they are also contaminated easily, they are only
manipulated in laboratory conditions with a laminar flow cabinet.
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Edible mushrooms are the fleshy and edible fruit bodies of several
species of macrofungi (fungi which bear fruiting structures that
are large enough to be seen with the naked eye). They can appear
either below ground (hypogeous) or above ground (epigeous) where
they may be picked by hand. Edibility may be defined by criteria
that include absence of poisonous effects on humans and desirable
taste and aroma.
Edible mushrooms are consumed by humans as comestibles for their
nutritional value and they are occasionally consumed for their
supposed medicinal value. Mushrooms consumed by those practicing
folk medicine are known as medicinal mushrooms.
While hallucinogenic mushrooms (e.g. Psilocybin mushrooms) are
occasionally consumed for recreational or religious purposes,
they can produce severe nausea and disorientation, and are
therefore not commonly considered edible mushrooms.
List of deadly fungi
List of psilocybin mushroom species
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WHAT ARE THE
TYPES OF MUSHROOMS?
Mushrooms are fleshy growths of fungus that are used in foods throughout
the world. There are many thousands of types of mushrooms. Only a small
percentage of them are poisonous, and dozens of different types of
mushrooms are not only edible but are considered desirable for eating.
Among the most popular of the different types of mushrooms that are used
in foods are white mushrooms, morels, truffles and portabella mushrooms.
Other popular types include the chanterelle, shiitake, oyster and enoki.
The most common type of mushroom in many grocery stores is the Agaricus
bisporus. It is white or light brown and has many common names, such as
a white mushroom, table mushroom, Italian mushroom or white button. This
mushroom has a stalk, a dome-shaped top and a generally mild taste. White
mushrooms are available fresh, dried or canned.
These cone-shaped mushrooms vary in color from tan to brown. Unlike
white mushrooms, which have a more smooth surface, morels have a porous,
sponge-like appearance above the stalk. They also have a stronger flavor,
which has been described as earthy, smoky or even nutty. These mushrooms
typically are more expensive than white mushrooms. When harvested from
the wild, they should be cleaned thoroughly because of their porous surface.
Truffles are quite rare and expensive, so they are considered a delicacy by
many people. Technically, they are not actual mushrooms, but they are closely
related. Truffles have a bumpy, uneven appearance. They have a strong, earthy
or even meaty taste, and the darker the truffle, the stronger the taste.
Portabella mushrooms are similar to white mushrooms but are much larger and
more brown in color. They are harvested when they are very mature, which gives
them a more dense texture and a deeper flavor. When they are harvested before
they reach full maturity, they are called crimini mushrooms, which are commonly
substituted for white mushrooms when a slightly stronger is desired.
These mushrooms have a much different look, rising from a white or yellowish
stalk and opening into a vase-like or flower-like shape in bright yellow or
orange hues. They have a delicate texture, so care must be taken when they
are cooked, to avoid having them become tough. Their taste has been described
as nutty. Chanterelles are especially popular for use in salads and appetizers.
Shiitake mushrooms are mostly brown and have wide, umbrella-shaped tops. They
have a dense texture and meaty taste, so they often are used as a meat substitute
in vegetarian dishes. Shiitake mushrooms are one of several different types of
mushrooms that are popular in stir fries or as a cooked side dish.
These mushrooms get their name from their appearance and their flavor. They typically
are white, beige or gray and are found in the wild growing on logs or trees. Their
stems have broad gills and rise into a flat, mostly uneven top that resembles an oyster.
These mushrooms have a soft texture and delicate flavor that some people compare with
seafood. They are especially popular when fried.
Enoki mushrooms grow in bunches. They have long, slender stems and small, white caps.
These crisp mushrooms have a mild flavor that has been described as somewhat fruity.
They are usually eaten raw on salads or sandwiches.
What Are the Different Types of Mushrooms?
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Did Giant Mushrooms Cover the Earth Before Trees?
Are Mushrooms Plants?
What Is a Chestnut Mushroom?
How Many Maggots Does the FDA Permit in Canned Mushrooms?
What Is a King Oyster Mushroom?
What Are the Best Tips for Preparing Enoki Mushrooms?
How Do I Grow Morel Mushrooms?
How to Grow Mushrooms
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Horticulture and Soil Science Wiki
The Encyclopedia of Life
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