Glossary of useful terms

Leocarpus fragilis – Slime mould

adnate – refers to fills/pores/wrinkles/teeth, broadly attached to top of stem

adnexed – refers to gills/pores/wrinkles/teeth, partially attached to top of stem

Agaric – the word often used synonymously with ‘mushroom’ – a fungus that produces spores on gills.

anastomosing – cross connections between gills

annulus-  a remnant of the partial veil left as the mushroom matures. It often leaves a ring of membranous tissue around the stem (stipe)

Ascomycota – funga with sexual spores borne in a flask-shaped structure called an ascus

ascus – microscopic flask-like structure containing sexual spores of Ascomycota

basal disc – disc-like structure at the base of the stem, as in Pixie’s Parasol

Basidiomycota – fungi with sexual spores borne on the outside of a special club-shaped structure called a basidium

basidium  microscopic club-like structure with prongs on which are sexual spores.

bifid – divided into two

Bolete – soft textured fungi which generally have pores instead of gills

bracket – pored fungus with a bracket-shaped sporing-body on trees or dead wood. A similar shaped sporing-body without pores is referred to as either a shelf or a fan

bryophyte – a collective name for mosses, liverworts and hornworts

bulbous – a bulb-like swelling at the base of the stem (stipe), often underground

button – immature specimen

caespitose – with fruit-bodies growing in a dense clump

cap – pileus which is the umbrella or bell-like ‘hat’ of the mushroom. The pileus holds the spores in either gills or pores, wrinkles or teeth

carpophore – complete fruit body of the fungus (ie. cap, stem, gills, etc). Sporophore and sporocarp are other names also used

clavate – club-shaped

close – refers to gill spacing; neither crowded nor distant

cluster cup – cylindrical fruit-body of one of the stages in the live cycle of rusts

concentric – with circular or arc-like zones or bands having a common centre

convex – of caps, rounded or domed

convoluted – wrinkled, brain-like, intricately folded

coprophilous – growing on dung

cortina – cobweb-like partial veil

crowded – refers to gill spacing, very close together

decurrent – refers to gills/pores/wrinkles/teeth whose attachment to the stem extends down for some distance

cup – description given to the saucer shape of the Ascomycetes group

deliquescent – liquefying at maturity, common among Ink-caps

depressed – of caps, sunk in the centre like a saucer

distant – refers to gills, widely spaced

downy – with soft, fluffy hairs

egg – initial egg-shaped stage of some fungi which have a universal veil covering the developing cap and stem (stinkhorns, amanitas, puffballs)

endoperidium – inner layer of a multilayered perineum, covering the spore mass

exoperidium – typically of earthstars and stalked puffballs, outer layer of a multilayered peridium

face – side of a gill

family – a group of closely related genera, the name ending in -aceae

fan – a bracket-shaped sporing body with gills on the underside of the cap

fertile surface – surface bearing spores such as the surface covering gills or spines

fetid – foul-smelling

fibrillose – covered with fine, silky fibres which are usually appressed, i.e. pressed flat to the surface

forked – usually refers to gills, divided or pronged like a fork

free – refers to gills/pores/wrinkles/teeth, not attached to stem

fruit-body or sporing body – the visible, reproductive structure of any fungus

fungus (pl. funga) – a member of the Kingdom Funga; organisms which typically are composed of hyphae, reproduce by spores and possess nuclei, and which lack roots, leaves and chlorophyll (to carry out photosynthesis)

gelatinous – jelly-like

genus (pl. genera) – a group of closely related species

gill (lamina) – blade-like or leaf-like plate on which spores are produced, beneath the cap of an agaric

genus – taxonomic term meaning a group of similar species. Genera that are closely related are placed into families

gill – spore-bearing structure of mushrooms

gleba – see spore mass

globe – the spore mass inside a puffball

gluten – clear, jelly-like, sticky liquid exuded by some fungi

gregarious – with many fruit-bodies growing close to one another

habit – manner of growth of fruit-body, whether single, gregarious or clustered (caespitose)

habitat – the vegetation, soil and any other distinctive components of the place where the fungus naturally occurs

head – refers to fungi without caps, the part of the fruit-body supported on a stem

hygrophanous – changing colour upon drying

hygroscopic – sensitive to moisture

hypha (pl. hyphae) – microscopic, tubular filamentous units of a fungus

hypha – a microscopic fibre making up the fungal body.

incurved – of cap margin, turned under towards stem 

indusium – in some stinkhorns, net-like veil which hangs down like a skirt

ink cap – common name of the Coprinus genus– the caps turn to an inky mess when picked and before you can dry them!

inrolled – of cap margin, turned under towards stem

inturned – of cap margin, slightly incurved

lamella (pl. lamellae) – see gill

lateral – of stems, attached at side of cap

lobed – with rounded projections

look-alikes – species that look superficially similar to the species being described

luminescent – glowing in the dark

margin – typically of cap or fills, outer edge

membranous – typically of ring, like a membrane or skin

mesoperidium – typically of stalked puffballs, the middle layer of a three-layered peridium

milk– a liquid exuded from certain species such as Lactarius deliciosus

mouth – opening through which spores are discharged

mushroom – fungus with gills on the underside of the cap, usually with a stem; generally refers to an agaric

mycelial disc – disc-like structure found at base of stem, consisting of a compact mass of mycelium

mycelium– vegetative part of the fungus which grows in the host or soil and produces the fruit body; the mycelium is like a mass of often microscopic fibres

mycorrhiza – the association between the mycelium of a fungus and the rootlets of plants. Little is known of the associations between fungi and plants in Australia; hence, the important questions on habitat and nearest tree/plant in the mapping scheme

odour – smell of the sporing-body

partial veil – covering of the gills while very young that breaks open, often leaving remnants on the stem (stipe)

Polypores   common name of tough-textured funga with pores

pileus – cap

species – group of individuals with certain common characteristics

spore – microscopic part of the fungus, which can germinate to reproduce the fungus

spore print –  spore material left on paper when the cap is left for a period of time — the colour can be an important identifying characteristic

stipe – stalk or stem of the fruiting body of the fungus

universal veil – material, which completely covers the young immature mushroom

volva – the remnant of the universal veil which is sometimes left at the base of the stipe