Glossary - Mushrooms Terminology
- Acrid: with a peppery, burning taste.
- Acute: (referring to physical shape) sharp.
- Adnate: (gills) attached to the stem over all or most of their total depth.
- Adnexed: (gills) tapering in depth toward stem so that the attachment is narrow.
- Amyloid: turning blue, grey or black when stained with Meltzer’s reagent.
- Annulus: ring of tissue on a mushroom stem left by a torn partial veil.
- Apiculus: tiny projection on a spore where it is attached to the sterigma.
- Apothecium: cup-shaped fruitbody of certain ascomycetes fungi.
- Appendiculate: (describing a cap margin) fringed with veil fragments.
- Appressed: (often used to describe scales) flattened down onto a surface.
- Arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM): (a mycorrhiza) where fungi from the Glomeromycota penetrate the roots of a (usually herbaceous) plant and provide the plant with water and nutrients while the plant supplies sugars to the fungus.
- Ascending: (describing a ring) flaring upwards and out.
- Ascocarp: fruitbody of an ascomycete fungus.
- Ascomycetes: a - Class of fungi that produce their spores in sac-like cells called asci.
- Ascospores: sexual spores produced in the asci of ascomycetes fungi.
- Ascus (pl., asci): the spore-producing cell of an ascomycetes fruitbody.
- Autodigestion: self digesting or liquefying – a characteristic of the inkcap fungi.
- Basidiocarp: fruitbody of a basidiomycete fungus.
- Basidiomycetes: a - Class of fungi that produce their spores on basidia.
- Basidiocarp: fruitbody of a basidiomycete fungus.
- Basidiospores: sexual spores produced on the basidia of basidiomycetes fungi.
- Basidium: (pl., basidia) spore-producing cell of a basidiomycete fungus.
- Biotrophic: feeding on living cells of other organisms.
- Bulbous: (describing a stem) with a swollen base.
- Caespitose: crowded together in a tuft or a cluster but not attached to each other.
- Campanulate: (describing a cap) bell shaped.
- Cap: top part of a basidiomycete mushroom that carries the fertile tissue.
- Carpophore: fungal fruitbody comprising stem, cap and gills.
- Caulocystidium: a cystidium on the stem of a mushroom.
- Cellulose: component of plant cell walls and of wood composed of glucose units.
- Cheilocystidium: a cystidium on the edge of a mushroom gill.
- Chlamydospores: asexual spores formed by the breaking up of fungal hyphae.
- Cinereous: ash grey in colour.
- Clamp connection: swollen area formed around septum in a hypha during cell division.
- Clavate: (usually describing a mushroom stem) club-shaped.
- Concolorous: (when comparing parts of a fruitbody) being of the same colour.
- Context: the flesh of a fungal fruitbody.
- Convex: (describing a cap) domed without either a hump or a depression.
- Coprophilous: growing on dung.
- Coriaceous: leathery.
- Cortina: a cobweb-like partial veil consisting of fine silky fibres.
- Crustose: (describing a lichen) forming a crust on a substrate (tree, rock etc).
- Cuticle: the surface layer of the cap or stem of a fruitbody.
- Cystidium: special sterile cell among the basidia on some fungi.
- Decurrent: (describing gills) running down the stem - as with Chanterelles.
- Depressed: (describing a cap) where the central region is lower than the margin.
- Descending: (describing a ring) flaring downwards and out, like a skirt.
- Deuteromycetes: obsolete term for a group fungi not known to reproduce sexually.
- (Molecular analysis can now determine their appropriate groups).
- Dextrinoid: staining brick red or brown with Meltzer’s reagent.
- Dichotomous: forking/divided into pairs – as in logical decision-making trees.
- Dikaryon: a pair of closely associated, sexually compatible nuclei.
- Distant: (describing gills) widely spaced.
- Eccentric: (describing stem attachment to cap) offset to one side.
- Ectomycorrhiza: (EM)(a mycorrhiza) where the fungus forms sheathes around plant rootlets (often of a tree), growing between but not penetrating the cells of the plant root, and providing the plant with water and nutrients while the plant supplies sugars to the fungus.
- Emarginate: (describing gills) conspicuously notched near to the stem.
- Endomycorrhiza: mycorrhiza in which fungal hyphae penetrate cell walls of host plant.
- Endophyte: fungus living within a plant without causing visible symptoms of harm.
- Floccose: with a covering of loose cotton-like scales.
- Foetid: with a strong and offensive odour.
- Foliose: (describing a lichen) shaped like a leaf.
- Free: (describing gills) not attached to the stem.
- Fruticose: (describing a lichen) shaped like a shrub.
- Furfuraceous: (describing a surface) covered in particles that look like grains of sand.
- Fusiform: (describing a stem) spindle-shaped, tapering at top and bottom.
- Germ pore: thin region of spore wall via which spores can germinate.
- Gills: plates of tissue bearing the hymenium in an agaricoid fungus.
- Glabrous: (describing a surface) bald.
- Gleba: spore-bearing tissue enclosed within fruitbodies of gasteromycetes.
- Glutinous: (describing a cap surface) covered with a slimy gelatinous layer.
- Granulose: (describing a cap or stem surface) covered with small granules.
- Guttule: a small oil-like drop visible (via a microscope) inside a fungal spore.
- Hemicellulose: amorphous (non-crystalline) polysaccharides in plant cell walls.
- Hirsute: hairy.
- Hispid: covered with stiff bristle-like hairs.
- Homogeneous: being the same throughout.
- Hyaline: clear (colourless) when viewed under a microscope
- Hygrophanous: appearing translucent when wet, paler and more opaque when dry.
- Hymenium: fertile spore-bearing tissue (e.g. on mushroom gill or pore surfaces).
- Hypha: (pl., hyphae) filamentous thread of fungal mycelium.
- Inferior: (describing a ring) located near the base of the stem.
- Infundibuliform: funnel-shaped.
- Involute: (describing a cap) rolled inwards at the margin.
- Lamellae: gills.
- Latex: milky fluid that oozes from cut surfaces of Lactarius species.
- Lichen: organism comprising a fungus and an alga or a cyanobacterium.
- Lignicolous: growing on wood.
- Mucilaginous:(often describing a mushroom cap) covered with slime
- Myceliumbody: of a fungus, most of which is underground or hidden within wood.
- Mycobiont: the fungal component of a lichen or of a mycorrhizal partnership.
- Mycology: the study of fungi.
- Mycophagy: the eating of fungi.
- Mycophile: a person who loves fungi.
- Mycophobe: a person who fears or loathes fungi.
- Mycorrhiza: structure by which a fungus and a plant exchange nutrients mutually.
- Myxomycetes: a large and commonly encountered group within the slime moulds.
- Necrotrophic: feeding by killing and consuming (part of) another organism
- Nonamyloid: not turning blue, grey or black when stained with Meltzer’s reagent.
- Organelle: a differentiated (separate) structure within a cell.
- Parasitism: process whereby an organism feeds at the expense of another (host).
- Partial veil: protective membrane covering gills during development of a fruitbody.
- Peridioles: egg-like spore capsules in bird’s-nest fungi (Nidulariaceae).
- Peridium: outer wall of a fungus, especially a gasteromycete (e.g. a puffball).
- Perithecium: flask-shaped chambers containing asci within pyrenomycetes fungi.
- Photobiont: photosynthesizing component (alga or cyanobacterium) of a lichen.
- Photosynthesis: process by which plants convert carbon dioxide and water to sugars.
- Pileus: (pl., pilei) the umbrella-shaped cap on the top of a mushroom stem.
- Pleurocystidium: a cystidium on a gill surface.
- Pores: the orifices of the tubes of polypore fungi via which spores emerge.
- Pruinose: covered with a bloom (often pale, like a fine layer of chalk dust).
- Pseudorhiza: a tap-root-like extension at the base of a mushroom stem.
- Pubescent: (describing a surface) covered with fine short hairs.
- Resupinate: fruitbody that lies flat on the substrate with its hymenium outermost.
- Reticulate: (describing a stem, notably of a bolete) marked with a net-like pattern.
- Rhizomorph: a root-like mycelial strand comprising bunched parallel hyphae.
- Ring: membranous remains of the partial veil attached to a stem.
- Rufous: brownish red.
- Saprophyte: an organism that obtains its nutrients from dead organic material
- Scabrous: (describing a stem or cap surface) rough with scale-like projections
- Septate: (describing hyphae) partitioned by cross walls known as septa
- Septum: (pl., septa) a cross wall separating cells of a hyphal thread.
- Serrate: (describing gill margins) with saw-toothed edges.
- Sessile: without a stalk.
- Slime: moulds a group of fungus-like organisms that use spores to reproduce.
- Sphaerocysts: globose hyphal cells in the Russulaceae and certain other fungi.
- Spore: reproductive structure of a fungus, usually a single cell.
- Sporophore: fungal fruitbody.
- Squamose: (describing the surface of a cap or a stem) covered with scales.
- Squamulose: (describing the surface of a cap or a stem) covered with tiny scales.
- Stellate: star-shaped.
- Sterigma: (pl., sterigmata) prong at top of basidium on which a spore develops.
- Stipe: stem of a mushroom.
- Stipitate: (describing a fruitbody) having a stem.
- Striate: (describing a cap) with fine radiating lines or furrows around margin.
- Subdecurrent: (describing gills) running just a short distance down the stem.
- Subglobose: almost spherical.
- Subtomentose: (describing a surface) somewhat or finely woolly.
- Sulcate: deeply furrowed.
- Superior: (describing a ring) located near the top of the stem.
- Taxonomy: the - Classification of organisms based on their natural relationships.
- Thallus: (pl., thalli) the body of a fungus or a lichen.
- Tomentose: densely woolly, velvety, or thickly covered with soft hairs.
- Trama: the flesh or context of a fungal fruitbody’s cap, gills or stem.
- Truncate: ending abruptly as if chopped off.
- Tubes: spore-bearing cylindrical structures of boletes and polypores.
- Umbilicate: (describing a cap) having a navel-like central depression.
- Umbo: a raised central mound (often conical with a rounded top).
- Umbonate: (describing a cap) having a raised central mound.
- Universal veil: a protective membrane that initially surrounds an entire fruitbody.
- Uredinales: rust fungi (an order within the Basidiomycota).
- Ustilaginomycetes: smut fungi (a - Class within the Basidiomycota).
- Ventricose: (describing a stem) swollen at or near to the middle.
- Verrucose: (describing spores) covered with small rounded warts.
- Vinaceous: the colour of pale red wine.
- Viscid: slimy or sticky (at least when moist).
- Volva: remains of the universal veil found at stem base of some fungi.
- Zonate: (usually describing a cap) marked with concentric colour bands.
- Zygomycota: a - Class of simple fungi whose hyphae generally lack cross walls.