Fun Fungal Jargon every Amateur Mycologist should know

mushroom lexicon, mycology terms, fungus, mushrooms, mycology

Fancy yourself a mycologist, a mycophile, or just a mycophagists? Whether you grow, study, collect, or simply consume, it is important to have a solid grip on the vernacular associated with the great wide mushroom kingdom. So, let’s look at some of the fun and interesting terms you might want to know.


“A fungus is any member of the group of eukaryotic organisms that includes microorganisms such as yeasts and molds, as well as the more familiar mushrooms. These organisms are classified as a kingdom, which is separate from the other eukaryotic life kingdoms of plants and animals.”


A fungal, spore-bearing, fruiting body, typically found above ground, growing in soil or on its food source.

mushroom, toadstool, British toadstool


Just another, fun word for mushroom! It is, however, often used to refer to large poisonous or colorful mushrooms.


“Comprised of hypha, which are the long filamentous branches found in fungi and actinobacteria. Hyphae are important structures required for growth in these species, and together, are referred to as mycelium.” Their strong cell walls are made of glucan and chitin.


A collective mass of hyphae that forms a fungus. Think of it as the roots of the mushroom, responsible for delivering nutrients to the fungus.


Think of spores like the seeds of fungus.


“Gleba is the spore-bearing inner mass of certain fungi such as the puffball or stinkhorn.”


Also known as the gill, it is the papery ribs found under some mushrooms. These gills are used as a means to store and distribute spores.

lamella, gills


A type of fungus, often fuzzy in appearance, that thrives in damp conditions.


A truly unique organism comprised of fungi, algae, and cyanobacteria living together for mutual benefit.

And lastly, our favorite:


The word for the symbiotic relationship between a plant and a fungus.

This is just the tip if the iceberg when it comes to fun and funky fungal phraseology! We haven’t even started on the exciting and interesting equipment that is used for exploring the wide world of mycology, but we will save that for another day.

If this article sparked your interest in the tantalizing terrene of toadstools check out some of these other helpful articles:

Fun Facts about Fungi and the world of Mushrooms

The Ever-Growing World of Mycelium

Agar-Agar, Yeast Banking, and Brewing

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