The Shroomery Mycology Glossary

This glossary is to serve as a reference for both beginners and the advanced. Please e-mail us if you have any definitions that you feel should be added here.

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abruptly bulbous (shape of stipe, i.e. stem, base) a bulbous stipe base with a distinct margin and an upper surface either attached at a right angle to the stipe or sloping upward to the stipe; the upper surface is not shaped like the edge of a saucer as in a marginate-depressed bulb (when the upper surface is attached at a right angle, abruptly bulbous marginate bulb)
acanthocytes needle-like crystalline deposits on the mycelium of certain muchrooms
acrid intensely sharp and burning (peppery)
aculeate having narrow spines; spores of Laccaria which are round and have narrow spines on the outer wall
acute sharp or pointed
adnate used to describe gills attached to the stem for their total width
adnexed gills tapering toward the stem so that their attachment is narrow
aequi-hymeniiferous hymenium having basidia which mature evenly all over the surface of each lamella (from Ainsworth and Bisby, "Dictionary of the Fungi"); in opposition to inaequi-hymeniiferous
Agaric a member of the Agaricaceae (sensu lato); often considered a synonym of the mushroom
alveolate surface of spore or cap (pileus) with broad pits
amyloid blue black when stained with Meltzers iodine
anastomosing gills connected by cross-veins
annulus ring of tissue on the stem left from a torn partial veil; collar
apical pore in certain Gastromycetes, the mouth at the top of the spore case through which the spores are released; in spores, a germ pore
apiculus the projection on a spore by which it is attached to the sterigma (spore stalk)
apothecium open saucer-shaped fruit body in a group of Ascomycetes called Discomycetes
appendiculate used to describe the cap margin when hung with veil fragments
appressed flattened down on a surface
areolate cap surface cracked into plaques or blocks (like dried mud)
ascocarp fruiting body of Ascomycetes
Ascomycete name of fungal group that all bear spores in sac-like cells called asci (see ascus )
ascus the cylindrical or club-shaped spore-producing cell that characterises the Ascomycetes. Contains (usually 8) ascospores
aspect the overall shape of a fruiting body as determined by the portions of its parts
autodigestion self digesting or liquefying. Characteristic of the genus Coprinus
basal at or near the base
basal tomentum mycelium located at the base of the stipe; at times forming a velvety layer on the stipe base
basidiocarp fruiting body in which basidia and basidiospores are produced
Basidiomycete name of fungal group that all bear spores on basidia (see basidium)
basidiospore spores borne by basidia (see basidium)
basidium club shaped sexual spore producing cell (or cells) that characterises the Basidiomycetes
bifurcate divided into two branches of equal or unequal length; often used to describe the branching pattern of gills (particularly in the genus Russula)
biscoctiform biscuit-shaped
buff an indefinite pale color; pale dull yellow or very pale tan
bulbous usually used to describe the swollen base of a stem
bulliform bubble-shaped, swollen
bursiform bag-like
button a young fruiting body before it has opened up
caespitose crowded together in a cluster but not attached to each other
campanulate bell shaped
cap top part of a mushroom which bears the fertile tissue
capillitium modified hyphae mixed with spores in the Gasteromycetes
carpophore name given to the stem, cap and gills (fruiting body as a whole)
cartilaginous used to describe consistency of stem tissue; does not bend but breaks with a snap
caulocystidium a cystidium on the stem
cellular where the outermost layer of the cap (cuticle) is made up of spherical cells
cheilocystidium a cystidium on the edge of a gill
chryocystidium a cystidium that stains yellow in KOH or ammonia
cinereous ash grey in colour
clamp connections semi-circular side branches that grow around the septa in many basidiomycetes
clavate club-shaped
concolourous of the same colour
context the flesh of the fungus
convergent used to describe the central tissue of the gill when it curves towards the mid-line
convex used to describe a cap that is regularly rounded or broadly obtuse
coprophilous inhabiting dung
coriaceous leathery
cortina a cob-web like partial veil of silky fibres
crenate scalloped
cuticle the surface layer of the cap or stem, usually distinct from the flesh
cystidium special large sterile cells amongst the basidia on the gills of many fungi – often of distinctive shape and used in classification. Also found on surfaces of cap and stem.
decurrent gills running down the stem (like chanterelles)
depressed used to describe a cap where the central portion lower than the margin
dextrinoid staining brick red with Meltzers iodine
diaphragm a thin membrane that separates the gleba from the stem in a puffball
dichotomous equally forking into two (used for gills)
dimitic when two types of hyphae are present in tissues of members of Polyporaceae
distant of gills that are widely spaced
divergent used to describe the central flesh of gills where hyphae turn outwards from the mid-line
eccentric off set to one side. used to describe how the stem attaches to the cap.
echiniulate covered in spines
ellipsoid rugby football shaped
emarginate of gills notched near the stem, similar to sinuate but with a much more conspicuous notch
endoperidium the innermost wall of the fruit body of Gasteromycetes
evanescent ephemeral, soon disappearing
exdoperidium the outermost wall of the fruit body of Gasteromycetes
farinaceous smells and tastes of flour
fibrillose used of cap or stem surface with thin thread-like filaments which are more or less parallel
fibrose composed of tough, stringy material
filamentous of caps with a cuticle composed of elongate hyphae as in the mycelium (not globose cells)
fimbriate fringed with cystidia or finely torn
floccose covered in loose cottony scales
foetid with a strong offensive smell. (also spelled "fetid")
free gills do not attach to the stem
fugaceous soon disappearing e.g. used of scales
furfuraceous covered in tiny particles like sand grains
fusiform spindle-shaped tapering at both ends
gelatinous jelly like
gills the plates of tissue bearing the hymenium in an Agaric
gleba the tissues enclosed within the fruit bodies of the Gasteromycetes
glutinous when cap surface is covered with a slimy layer of gelatinous hyphae
granulose covered with small granules
hirsute hairy
hispid covered with stiff bristle-like hairs usually visible to the naked eye.
hyaline clear and colourless
hygrophanous of water-soaked appearance and translucent, changing colour on drying (usually paler) and more opaque
hymenium the fertile sexual spore-bearing tissues (In an Agaric this covers the gills.)
hyphae filamentous threads of a fungal mycelium
hypogeous a fruit-body produced below ground – like truffles
imbricate overlapping like roof tiles
infundibuliform funnel-shaped
innate of scales not readily detached as in Lepiota
intermediate used of gills that do not reach the stem
involute of the cap rolled inwards at the margin
lacunose a surface with wide sunken pits like an irregular honey comb
lamellae other name for gills
lamellate with gills
lamellulae gills that don’t reach the stem interspersed between lamellae
latex fluid often milky that oozes from cut surfaces in some species. Characteristic of Lactarius
lignicolous growing on wood
luminescent emission of light, glows in the dark. Characteristic of some fungi e.g. Omphalotus
margin The edge or rim of a mushroom cap.
marginate when there is a small circular ridge around the bulb at the base of the stem where the universal veil was attached
milk fluid contained inside a mushroom which often becomes sticky when released.
mucilaginous sticky, covered in slime
mycelium the whole body of a fungus. colony of hyphae arising from one inoculation
mycorrhiza a structure formed between a fungus and individual root tips that enables exchange nutrients OR a mutualistic symbiosis between roots and a fungus
pallid off white
paraphysis a sterile hair like or club-shaped cell found in amongs the asci of Ascomycetes
parasite an heterotrophic organism that needs to obtain its organic nutrients from a living organism
partial veil a membrane of sterile tissue stretching between the edge of the cap and the stem to cover the gills in some agarics during development
pedicel stalk usually used to describe the short stem on puff ball spores
perforate with holes
peridioles largish bodies that contain the spore enclosed within the peridium in the birds nest fungi (Nidulariales) They are dispersed as a unit.
peridium the outer wall of a fungus, especially puffballs
perithecium the flask-shaped fruiting bodies of certain Ascomycetes. They contain asci
peronate of stems ensheathed by a volva
pileus a cap especially in Agarics
pilose with long hairs
plage a smooth area just below the apiculus found on some rough spores
plane flat especially of caps in agarics
pleurocystidium cystidium occurring on the face of a gill
plicate folded like a fan; especially of caps in agarics
popres the orifices of the tubes of Polyporaceae
pruinose covered with a bloom rather like chalk dust; finely powdered
psybucha a fermented drink made of genetically modified yeast producing classical psychedelics and bioluminescent bacteria
psymbiosis the metabolic engineering of human gut microbiota for the biosynthesis of classical psychedelics
pubescent covered with fine short hairs
punctate marked with minute dots points scales or hollows
repand upturned especially of caps in Agarics
resupinate fruiting structure that lies flat on the substratum with the hymenium covering the upper surface
reticulate net-like, marks made by lines veins or ridges which cross one another
rhizomorph a mycelial strand where hyphae aggregate together in parallel. Commonly found attached to the base of fruiting bodies
rimose splitting radially
ring the membranous remnant of the partial veil
rugose coarsely wrinkled
rugulose finely wrinkled
saccate of the volva cup or bag-shaped
saprophyte obtaining organic nutrients from dead material
scabrous rough with short projections in the form of granules or scales
sclerotium a (often spherical) aggregate of hyphae often with a hard dark-coloured rind, generally thought to be a resting stage with better capacity for survival than mycelium . It can germinate to produce hyphae, or fruit bodies.
septate divided by cross walls
serrate saw-toothed,used to describe the margin of gills
serrulate finely toothed
sessile without a stalk
sinuate notched used to describe gills which have a notch before attaching to the stem
sphaerocysts globose cells in the flesh of Russulaceae, Hypholoma and Stropharia
spore reproductive structure often of a single rounded cell with a thickened wall that disseminates the fungus
sporophore fungal fruiting body
squamose covered with scales
squamulose covered with minute scales
squamulose covered with very small scales
stellate star-shaped
stem stipe
sterigma the stem at the top of the basidium which bears each spore
stipe stem usually of a toadstool
stipitate with a stem
striate with fine radiating lines or furrows around the cap margin
stroma a hard conglomerate of hyphae , found in some Ascomycetes
subdecurrent where gills run down the stem for only a short distance
subglobose almost spherical
subhymenium differentiated tissue that gives rise to the hymenium
subovoid not quite round
substrate the material on whioch a fungus grows e.g. on wood
subtormentose more or less woolly
sulcate grooved
superior where the ring is attached above the middle of the stem
tormentose densely woolly; velvety or with thick soft hairs
trama name given to the flesh or context of the cap or gills
truncate ending abruptly as if cut off
tubes hollow cylindrical structures that bear the hymenium . They replace the gills in polypores
umbilicate used to describe cap having a central depression
umbo a raised conical mound on the centre of the cap
umbonate cap with a raised knob in the centre
ungulate hoof-shaped
universal veil a membrane that initially entirely surrounds the fruiting body. It is broken as the cap expands the stem extends and the gills mature
veil a thin membrane covering the gills during the development of the toadstool
ventricose enlarged in the middle
verrucose covered with small rounded warts - used to describe rough spores
vinaceous pinkish
viscid slimy
volva the expanded bulbous remains of the universal veil found at the base of the stipe in some toadstools e.g. Amanita and Lepiota .
zonate marked with concentric bands of colour

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