Plants – Mushrooms

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Fungi like mushrooms and puffballs procreate, sexually or asexually, by means of spores and they are the fruiting bodies of the plant. The spores grow long hyphs, or cylinders, which branches and re-branches into web-like myceliums. They are responsible for growth and feeding. Because they have no chlorophyll they cannot produce their own food and thus get their nourishment through

(a) symbiotic relationships with algae and/or wood-destroying termites,
(b) by being parasites to host animals or plants, or
(c) by the saprobic drawing of food from dead or rotting animal and plant tissue.

Due to their inability to create their own food, not all botanists consider mushrooms as part of the plant kingdom.

Agaricus campestris, Field mushroom

After spring- or autumn rains, the field mushroom grows in grasslands, growing in clumps or singly. They have smooth, 12cm in diameter caps and 10 x 2,5cm stems.

Agaricus arvensis, Edible horse mushroom

This mushroom is often found on lawns and meadows after autumn rains. It is large, up to 20cm in diameter, and has a white stems that will turn brown with age.

Amanita muscaria, Fly agaric

Found in groups, or singly, in the shade of oak and pine trees. The cap, up to 20cmin diameter, has white warts that are sticky when young. It has a (broader at the base) stem of 10 - 20 x 10 - 30cm, with a soft ring and is white to yellowish. They appear during summer and autumn. It is poisonous.

Boletus edulis, Cep

This is a vigorous mushroom with a smooth, shiny, tan-coloured cap of 20cm in diameter. The 12x6cm, brown to white base is broader at the base and has raised white threads on the upper part. It grows under pine or oak trees, during autumn and winter in winter rainfall areas, or summer and autumn in summer rainfall areas.

Coprinus comatus, Shaggy ink cap

These small mushrooms grow in clumps in grasslands after summer- or autumn rains. Its 5cm in diameter (and 15cm high) cap releases a blackish liquid when rolling back to discharge spores. The 22x 2cm stem has a movable ring.

Hypholoma fasciculare, Sulphur tuft

Thick clusters of sulphur tufts grow on dead hardwood trees with caps of 7cm in diameter and yellow to brown lamellae.

Lentinus sajor-caju, Funnel woodcap

Growing in groups, or singly, on dead wood, these mushrooms have caps of up to 16cm in diameter and has a short and solid stem of 1,5 x 3cm. These summer mushrooms have soft, leathery caps when young, becoming hard, concaving to funnel-shapes with cracked surfaces of brown to cream to white colouring.

Lycoperdon perlatum, Gem-studded puff-ball

The 5cm high puff-ball grows amongst fallen leaves of broadleaved trees, during summer and autumn. Its caps are 3cm in diameter and covered with small warts leaving indentations.

Macrolepiota zeyheri, Parasol Mushroom

They are found growing in grasslands from late summer to early winter and have soft, white caps, scaled light brown, with a diameter of 10 - 25cm. The trim stem of 15 x 1,5cm stem has a broader base with a large, soft and creamy ring.

Pisolithus tinctorius, Dye Ball

This summer to autumn mushroom grows under wattle and gum trees, are 17cm in diameter and 20cm high.

Termitomyces umkowaani, I’kowe

This large mushroom’s cap is fleshy and smooth, up to 25cm in diameter. Its smooth, white stem is broader at the base and measures about 15 x 2cm. They grow singly or scattered, after rainfall, from October to March.

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