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Interesting facts about mushrooms

Interesting facts about mushrooms

A mushroom is neither a fruit nor a vegetable; Technically, mushrooms aren’t even plants.

Mushrooms are a type of mushroom; Fungi are living organisms distantly related to plants and more closely related to animals, but distinct from both groups.

All mushrooms are mushrooms, but not all mushrooms are mushrooms.

A fungus is the reproductive structure produced by some fungi. It’s a bit like the fruit of a plant, except the “seeds” it produces are actually millions of microscopic spores that form in the gills, or pores, under the fungus’s cap.

Many species of fungi are important decomposers, metabolizing non-living organic matter. This means that they decompose and “eat” dead plants. However, many species have a special, symbiotic “mycorrhizal” relationship with certain plant species. Often neither the fungus nor the plant will grow without a mycorrhizal partner.

No one knows how many types of mushrooms there are in nature. There are approximately 10,000 described species known from North America, but all agree that there are undiscovered species. Depending on who you believe, the known species make up one-third to one-fifth of what’s really out there.

Roughly speaking mushrooms are: 50% inedible but harmless, 25% edible but not incredible, 20% will make you sick, 4% will be tasty to excellent, 1% can kill you.

Popularly, the term fungus is used to identify the edible sporophores; The term fly agaric is often reserved for inedible or poisonous sporophores. However, there is no scientific distinction between the two names, and both can be properly applied to any fleshy mushroom fruit structure.

Mushrooms grow all year round, but are most numerous in autumn. While farmed mushrooms can be readily available, most wild mushrooms only appear in the fall.

Many species of fungi appear seemingly overnight and grow or spread rapidly. This phenomenon is the source of several common expressions in the English language, including “to mushroom” or “mushrooming” (expanding rapidly in size or girth) and “to pop up like a mushroom” (popping up unexpectedly and quickly). In reality, all mushroom species take several days to form original mushroom fruiting bodies, although they expand quickly when absorbing liquids.

Edible mushroom species have been found in connection with 13,000-year-old archaeological sites in Chile. Ötzi, the mummy of a man born between 3400 and 3100 BC. lived in Europe was found with two species of fungi.

Edible mushrooms are consumed for their nutritional value and they are occasionally consumed for their purported medicinal value. Mushrooms consumed by practitioners of folk medicine are known as medicinal mushrooms.