Saturday, August 14, 2010
The fruiting body (mushroom) just opened
The fruiting body half opened
The fruiting body is fully opened
Why do the mycologists (expert of fungi) call mushroom fruiting bodies? This is because the mushroom (called basidiocarp) is the sexual reproductive structure of a fungal group called the Basidiomycetes. On the underside of the umbrella-like structure are found 'ridges' which radiate from the centre. On these ridges (called gills) are found the 'fruits' of the mushroom (called basidium, plural=basidia).
On this basidium are found 2, 4 or 8 seed-like structures called the basidiospores. The relation between basidium and the basidiospores is somewhat equivalent to the cashew nut fruit, which bears the seed on the outside of the fleshy fruit.
The characteristics of these structures, namely basidiocarp, basidium and the basidiospores are used to classify the various mushrooms into the different taxa as shown below.
Classification of Basidiomycetes
There are books that we can refer to, but the easiest to get is the Internet
Family (33): Agaricaceae
Genus (85 genera) Agaricus??
Species (1340 species) ????
Note: for accuracy please refer to text books)
Never, never, never try to eat mushroom collected from the field, unless you are an expert. Buy the ones sold in the supermarket.