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Different types of Mushrooms/Fungi
There are many different kinds of mushrooms. One of the most common of them are Pleurotus Ostreatus (oyster mushroom), Pleurotus eryngii (King Oyster), Agaricus subrufescens (almond mushroom), hypsizygus ulmarius (white elm mushroom or elm oyster), Hypsizygus tessulatus (shimeji), Coprinus comatus (shaggy mane), Lentinula edodes (shiitake), Hericium erinaceus (Lios’ Mane), and Grifola Frondosa (maitake). Out of these, the most commonly grown are Sporophores which are chiefly in the agaric family (Agaricaeae). These are the kind that grow in your yard-in the grass/forest-outside along the barks of trees. There are over three thousand different types of mushrooms growing in North America alone. Some are very common, but many are found only rarely in special habitats.
Mushroom mycelia may live hundreds of years or die in a few months, depending on the available food supply. As long as nourishment is available and temperature and moistures are suitable, a mycelium will produce a new crop of Sporophores each year during its fruiting season. Fruiting bodies of some mushrooms occur in acs or rings called fairy rings. The myscelium starts from a spore falling in a favorable spot and producing strands (hypahe) that growing all directions, eventually forming a circular mat of underground hyphal threads.
Polypores usually grow on living or dead trees, sometimes in destructive pests, or in somewhat damp areas. Many of them renew growth each year and thus produce annual growth layers by which their age can be estimated. Examples include the dryad’s saddle, the beefsteak fungus, the sulfur fungus, and species of the genera Fomes and Trametes.
Poisonous mushrooms may be very harmful to your health. This is why can be very important not to pick ordinary mushrooms out of the wild and eat them. Also called toadstool poisoning, toxic, sometimes fatal, effect of eating poisonous mushrooms (toadstools). There are some seventy to eighty species of mushrooms that are poisonous to man; many of them contain toxic alkaloids (muscarine, agaricine, phalline). Among the mushrooms that most commonly cause poisoning are Amanita muscaria. A. phalloides, and the related destroying angels. The ingestion of A.muscaria (fly agaric), which contains muscarine and other toxic alkaloids, is soon followed by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive salivation, perspiration, watering of the eyes, slowed and difficult breathing, dilated pupils, confusion, and excitability. Illness usually begins within six hours after eating the mushrooms, and recovery takes place within twenty-four hour period. A. phalloides, the death cap, or death cup, is far deadlier than the muscarine type; it contains heat-stable peptide toxins, phalloidin and two amanitins, that damage cells throughout the body. Within six to twelve hours after eating the mushrooms, violent abdominal pain, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea appear, causing rapid loss of fluid from the tissues and intense thirst. Signs of sever involvement of the liver, kidneys, and central nervous system soon appear; these effects can include a decrease in urinary output and a lowering of blood sugar. This condition leads to coma, which in more than fifty percent of the incidents, results in death. The species Gyromitra (Helvella) esculenta contains a toxin that is ordinarily removed during cooking, but a few persons are highly susceptible to it. The chemical nature of the toxin has not been determined, but it is a source of monomethylhydrazine, which affects the central nervous system and induces hemolytic jaundice. In the pictures at the end of the report, the second page includes pictures of the most common mushrooms ( These include poisonous, and non-poisonous ).
Some victims of severe Amanita poisonings have been successfully treated with a combination of thioctic acid, glucose, and penicillin or by passing the blood through a charcoal filter. Prevention rests upon the avoidance of ingestion of all wild mushrooms.
Mushrooms need carbohydrates, proteins, certain vitamins, and other nutrients. To obtain this food, the mycelium releases proteins called enzymes from its hyphae. The enzymes convert the materials on which the hyphae grow into simpler compounds that are absorbed by the mycelium.
Typically, a mature mushroom releases hundreds of millions of spores. The slightest air current can carry the sport great distances. However, only a few spores land in places with enough food and moisture for survival.
The common field mushroom (Agaricus campestris) is white with a somewhat pinkish-brown gills. It is umbrella-shaped, stocky, and solid. These are the mushrooms sometimes sold in local grocery stores. They can be grown on trays in sheds where temperature and moisture are carefully controlled. Nearly complete darkness usually produces the best results. Hence they are often cultivated in damp basements, Rain forests, and abandoned mines etc.
Puffballs are large, white, stem-less knobs. The giant puffball (Calvatia maxima) sometimes reaches a diameter of three feet. Puffballs are good to eat only if the meat is white and solid. They must never be collected until they reach full size because there danger of confusing them with button stage of poisonous species. Anyone who has kicked a ripe puffball and watched the cloud of dust burst out probably knows how the mushroom gets its name. The dust is composed of billions of dark brown spores.
Morels (Morchella esculenta) are one of the mostly chosen mushrooms over. Many attempts have been made to raise them commercially but without success. These mushrooms are somewhat hard to grow. Even with the most experience They grow in moist woods in early spring.
Related to morels are truffles, highly prized in Europe. They are tuberlike growths (genus Tuber) remaining entirely underground a foot or so below the surface. Some dogs and pigs are trained to hunt them by their scent. Growing truffles commercially has proved difficult. They are not often found in North America, though they are found in California and Oregon.
Shaggy-manes (Coprinus comatus) have white cylindrical caps, from four to six inches high, covered with ragged brownish tufts. Their spores are black. They have a curious way of freeing them. The gills liquefy from the bottom of the cap upward, and the spores mature and blow away just ahead of the liquefied area. These mushrooms must be gathered just before they mature and should be cooked immediately to prevent harm to the human body.
The Sulphur Polypore (Polyporus sulphureus) often grows on rotten logs, the trunks of living trees, and in damp areas. Orange or sulphur yellow, it has overlapping, fan-shaped shelves from four to ten inches deep.
Clavarias grow upright in finger like masses. Among the dark trees of the forest they look like clumps of pale-yellow or white coral. Another prized mushroom is the Chanterelle (Cantharellus Cibarius). The cap is a deep, rich yellow, with an irregular crumpled margin. It is depressed at the center, which gives it the name chanterelle, “little cup.”
If a spore reaches such a place, it begins to grow by sending out a hypha. The hypha lengthens from its tip, branches out, and eventually produces a mycelium. Knots about the size of a pinhead develop on the mycelium. These knots, called buttons, will become mature mushrooms. As a button grows, the cap and stalk become recognizable. Soon, either gills or tubes develop under the cap. Then very quickly, the stalk shoots up and the cap unfolds like the opening of an umbrella. Much of this growth results from the lengthening of cells as they absorb water. This is why mushrooms seem to pop up overnight after heavy rain. Most mushrooms reach their maximum height in about eight to forty-eight hours.
The fruiting bodies of mushrooms die and decay after releasing their spores but the mycelia sometimes continue to live. In many cases, mycelia produce mushrooms year after year for many years.
The Nutritional Value of mushrooms are as follows; Calories-34.5g, Protein-3.0 g, Fat-0.2g, Carbohydrate-5.8g, Crude Fiber-0.9g, Thiamin-0.5mg, Riboflavin-0.5 mg, Niacin-10.9 mg, Iron-1.5mg, Sodium-83.7mg, Potassium-379.0mg. As you might see, oyster mushrooms are healthy for your body.
1. Comptons Encyclopedia, Volume 15, Mushrooms, Author Unknown, 1999 (e)
2. Comptons Encyclopedia, Volume 8, Fungus, Author Unknown, 1999 (e)
3. Britannic Encyclopedia, Volume 8 Mushroom, Author Unknown 1992 (e)
4. The World Book Encyclopedia, Volume M>13, Mushroom, Selasm, Millicent, 1997 (e)
5. Fungi, Copyright 1994, Jenny Tesar (b)
6. “Peroxide in Mushroom Growing FAQs”, http://www.masters.com/advantages~/FAQS.html (I)
7. Milwaukee Public Museum – Mushrooms
8. MykoWeb: Mushrooms, Fungi, Mycology
9. Growing Pleurotus in Your Living Room
10. Tom Volk’s Fungus of the Month for October 1998
11. No Title
12. Oyster (Pleuratus spp.)
13. The Mushroom Book, Thomas Laessoe, Anna Del Conte, Gary Lincoff
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