45 Facts About Mushrooms


The good old mushroom has played a part in our diet for years! Perhaps you enjoy your mushrooms with some bacon in the morning, maybe you like to add mushrooms to your pie, and you might even like to dine on raw mushrooms! Whatever your preference, we’ve got the perfect muchroomy-dish right here, right now. So get your fungi-on and enjoy our 45 facts about Mushrooms! 

Warning

Never eat or touch mushrooms you find in the wild.
Some can be extremely poisonous.
Only ever eat Mushrooms that have been bought in a store.

Fact 1: A mushroom can be called a ‘toadstool’ too. There is really no major difference between the names, but some people prefer to use one name over the other. 

Fact 2: In 2014, the Hokuto Corporation in Japan, won the Guinness World Record for the ‘longest edible mushroom’. The mushroom was a whopping 59 cm long when the record was obtained! 

Fact 3: Most mushrooms are basidiomycetes. This means that they have a ‘hyphae’ and that they can reproduce sexually using cells called ‘basidia’.  

Fact 4: A mushroom is a fungus! The fungus is part of the eukaryotic group, which includes other microorganisms like yeast and mould. 

Fact 5: Mushrooms are a member of the order Agaricales. Mushroom members in this order include:

  • Shiitake
  • Oyster
  • Straw
  • Shaggy

Fact 6: There could be as many as 14,000 species of mushroom in the world. But, not all of these mushrooms will have traditional mushroom characteristics. 

Fact 7: It is not uncommon for mushrooms to grow rapidly when they are exposed to great amounts of fluid! 

Fact 8: Traditionally, mushrooms grow above ground, and grow really well in soil! However, you do see some mushrooms growing on the side of trees, these may not be your traditional mushrooms though! You should only ever eat mushrooms bought from a grocery store.

Fact 9: The Pleurotus nebrodensis, is a type of mushroom that is classified as critically endangered. This mushroom grows very slowly, and people go and pick it, which means that it’s numbers are decreasing rapidly because it cannot keep up with picking demand! 

Fact 10: An atypical mushroom, is a mushroom that is not a representative of its particular group. For example, the Lobster mushroom is called a mushroom, but it looks nothing like a traditional mushroom that we would purchase in a supermarket. 

Fact 11: A mushroom gets the fluid it needs to grow from its mycelium. The mycelium looks a bit like a thin, long strands of thread! They work exceptionally hard to keep the mushroom(s) growing though! 

Fact 12: There is a Guinness World Record for the ‘largest serving of sauteéd mushrooms’, but, as of 2020 there hasn’t been an actual record. But, if you’re interested in competing in this mushroom challenge you need to be able to sauteé mushrooms pretty quickly, either as a group or as a single! 

Fact 13: Agaricus bisporus is the mushroom that is mostly eaten around the world. You do get varieties of these though, including but not limited to:

  • Whites
  • Crimini

Fact 14: A mushroom is very small when it first starts to grow, in fact, it actually develops from a ‘nodule’. The mushroom is about 2 mm in diameter at this stage! The mushroom grows and grows until it looks a little egg-shaped, and is surrounded by a ‘veil’ which is there to protect the mushroom as it grows. Eventually the veil breaks revealing the mushroom. You can sometimes see the remnant of this veil on the mushroom head/cap and on the stalk/stem.

Fact 15: Interestingly, during the 15th and 16th centuries there were various spellings for the word mushroom. Some examples are: 

  • Muscheron
  • Mussheron
  • Mousheroms

Fact 16: China leads the way in mushroom production, in fact, over half of the cultivated mushrooms in the world are from there. 

Fact 17: A keen mycologist should be able to distinguish various mushrooms by looking at the shape, color, smell, juice, bruising, habitat, and taste of a mushroom. Although, tasting a mushroom is something you shouldn’t do as mushrooms can be poisonous.

Fact 18: The stalk that is often attached to the mushroom is sometimes called ‘stipe’, or ‘stem’. 

Fact 19: In Malheur National Forest there is allegedly a huge system of underlying mycelium underground, it is in an area that covers up to 8900 square meters! Although there are no long-living mushrooms, the mycelium is still growing! It is potentially 2,400 years old too!  

Fact 20: Mushrooms can get Vitamin D either from the sun or from UV lighting! They react well to the sunlight as they are being harvested. 

Fact 21: In China, the average person consumes about 2.7 k of mushrooms per year! 

Fact 22: Psilocybin mushrooms have psychedelic properties. Eating these mushrooms will cause you problems and you might become mystically bound! However, the chemicals within these magic mushrooms can be manipulated and can help with conditions like OCD. But we should state that this treatment should only be given by a medical professional, and you should not self-medicate using this method! 

Fact 23: ‘Fungophobia’, is the fear of toadstools. This word was invented by William Delisle Hay from England. 

Fact 24: You can use mushrooms to dye wool! In fact, the chromophores in mushrooms can produce splendid colors and are quite effective! 

Fact 25: The mushroom’s stalk is there to support the mushrooms head or cap. But not all mushrooms have a stalk! 

Fact 26: Mushrooms that are grown near, or in the surrounding area, of The Chernobyl Disaster in 1986, could still be carrying radioactive toxins from the nuclear core meltdown.

Fact 27: According to some, the word ‘toadstool’ has a Dutch origin. The Dutch word ‘paddenstoel’ means some sort of toad-stool or chair when translated. 

Fact 28: The ‘Armillaria ostoyae’ is considered the largest mushroom. This mushroom is sometimes called the ‘honey mushroom’, and is also considered to be one of the Earth’s oldest organisms. The big mushroom covers an area of 3,726,563 m2 in Malheur National Forest in Oregon, US. They think the giant is about 8,650 years of age! 

Fact 29: Raw mushrooms have little to no Vitamin C and sodium in them.

Fact 30: An uncooked brown mushroom is essentially 92% water! It is also less than 1% fat! 

Fact 31: ‘Mushroom hunting’ or ‘mushrooming’ is what you call going out to collect mushrooms. 

Fact 32: You might love your mushrooms – but it will not be as much as Shara Hoffman! This mushroom enthusiast has collected mushroom-based items since 2000, and has, as of 2006, 263 items in her collection.  This record still holds today! Come on people. Let’s gang together and buy a load of mushroom things to break this world record!

Fact 33: There is no single distinguishing feature between a poisonous and an edible mushroom. Never eat mushrooms you find in the wild!   

Fact 34: Raw mushrooms can provide Vitamin B. 

Fact 35: It is thought that the name ‘mushroom’ might have a French origin. It’s thought that ‘mousseron’ in French might mean some sort of ‘moss’. 

Fact 36: You can identify a mushroom by looking at its ‘spore print’. To see the spore print you need to remove the cap of the mushroom and leave it gill-side down overnight. A powder will be left behind in the morning. The powder color and shape will reveal what type of mushroom you have.   

Fact 37: In German folklore, toads are often depicted as sitting on toadstools and they catch flies as they go by. This is likely to be where the name for ‘toadstool’ came from in German – ‘fliengenpliz’.

Fact 38: ‘Spore print’ powder from a mushroom can be in various colors, including but not limited to: 

  • Black
  • Brown
  • Pink
  • Creamy

Fact 39: The name mushroom is given to any kind of mushroom, whether it is safe to eat or poisonous. 

Fact 40: Mycology is the name given to the studying of fungi. 

Fact 41: Some mushrooms can be used as fire starters. The group of fungi known as polypores are an example of this. 

Fact 42: A mushroom is not classified as a vegetable or a fruit!

Fact 43: It’s okay to eat mushroom stems.

Fact 44: You may be surprised to know that mushrooms can create their own ‘fairy rings’. These mushroom rings occur naturally and can be up to 10 m in diameter sometimes!

Fact 45: Fairy rings are also called ‘elf circle’, fairy circle’, pixie ring’, and ‘elf ring’.

References:

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