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Stuff You Missed in Botany: Mushrooms and Other Spore Bearing Fungi

Stuff You Missed in Botany: Mushrooms and Other Spore Bearing Fungi

It seems appropriate this week to talk about mushrooms and other spore type critters. On Wednesday I talked about the Mushroom Growing Kit we are doing this spring with Patrick, so it’s fresh on my mind.

Mushrooms are not plants. They are a fungus. The classification has to do with how they reproduce themselves. To be completely accurate, a mushroom is the spongy, fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus. Whether a mushroom is safely edible depends on the type of fungus the mushroom fruits from.

The mushroom has three parts, the stipe (or stem), the pileus (or cap) and the lamella (or gills). There are other fungi that produce spores to reproduce, they are often lumped in as mushrooms. These include Morel and Turkey Tail. Turkey Tail mushroom has been used in Chinese medicine for many years and now is being developed in Western medicine as a possible cure for several types of cancer, HIV, and Malaria.

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