Tuesday, 16 October 2007



The same mushroom as the previous one. This one from a slighly lower angle to essentiate a little more gills.

Some mushrooms are generically called "gill fungi." Beneath their caps are hundreds of flat, vertical partitions radiating like spokes of a wheel from the center of the cap (top and right). On either side of each gill lie microscopic sporangia that produce the even-tinier spores. In other mushrooms, the cap's underside resembles a fine sponge (below). These are "pore fungi," in which spores emanate from sporangia within tiny holes under the cap. The size of these holes varies from species to species, as may the color and overall texture.

In all types of mushrooms, spores may be either light and dry, or somewhat sticky. As dry spores ripen, gravity pulls them from the sporangia and they fall directly to the forest floor or are carried away from the parent mushroom by wind or water. Sticky spores tend to get moved to another locale when they adhere to insects. Since mature mushrooms often smell rotten, they can attract beetles and flies that lay their eggs in the cap. The resulting grubs or maggots may transport the spores, as may the more mobile adults they eventually become.

(courtesy of hiltonpond.org)

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