A mushroom is the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus, typically produced above ground on soil or on its food source. 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.

"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 species itself.

Read more about Mushroom:  Identification, Classification, Toadstools, Morphology, Growth, Nutrition

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Famous quotes containing the word mushroom:

    “It looks as if
    Some pallid thing had squashed its features flat
    And its eyes shut with overeagerness
    To see what people found so interesting
    In one another, and had gone to sleep
    Of its own stupid lack of understanding,
    Or broken its white neck of mushroom stuff
    Short off, and died against the windowpane.”
    Robert Frost (1874–1963)

    I see America spreading disaster. I see America as a black curse upon the world. I see a long night settling in and that mushroom which has poisoned the world withering at the roots.
    Henry Miller (1891–1980)

    We breathe an ill wind,
    nevertheless our kind
    in mushroom multitudes
    jostles for elbow-room
    moonwards ...
    Denise Levertov (b. 1923)