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mushroom foraging guide Mushroom Glossary

Definitions for some of the more commonly used specialist terms in mycology.

Adnate
The gills join the stem to the full depth of the gill. Neither curving up to the cap or running down the stem.
Adnexed
The gills join the stem to a part depth of the gill. The gills are seen to curve up towards the cap, but do join the stem.
Cortina
A cobweb-like network fine threads joining the edge of the cap and the stem. This provides protection for the young gills in some species (e.g. the Web Caps).
Cortinal zone
The remnant of the cortina found on the stem after the cap has expanded.
Decurrent
The gills are seen to curve down along the stem.
Eccentric
Off-center - usually with reference to the position of the stem relative to the center of the cap.
Fibrillose
Covered in small fibers
Free
The gills are seen to curve up and join the cap. They do not join onto the stem at all.
Gleba
The spore bearing tissue in the center of stomach fungi (puff balls, earth balls and earth stars)
Latex
Fluid exuded by Milkcap fungi when damaged. It is usually cloudy and often white, but in some species may be yellow orange, red or even clear.
Mycelium
The mass of thread-like or felt-like fibers that make up the hidden 'body' of a fungus.
Pellicle
An easily detached skin or cuticle on the cap of a fungus
Pore
The mouth of a tube on a Bolete or polypore fungus
Ring
The remains of partial view left attached to the stem.
Ring zone
Mark left on the stem which indicated where the partial veil was attached.
Scurfy
Rough or velvety, covered in small scales.
Sinuate
The gills join the stem to a part depth of the gill (as with adnexed) but then curved down (as with decurrent) just before joining the stem. Appears as a small notch in the gills just before the stem.
Spore
These are the microscopic 'seeds' of the fungus
Spore print
A deposit of spores from a cap placed for several hours on a flat surface (often paper). The colour of the deposit is used as an identifying feature of fungi.
Stipe
Another word for the stem of a fungus which supports the cap
Striated
Covered in fine lines. Often used to describe thin parallel lines around the edge of a cap.
Tubes
The spore bearing structures of Boletes and Polypores. They form a layer under the cap.
Umbo
A central hump or boss in the middle of the cap.
Umbonate
With an umbo.
Veil
A sheet of tissue used to protective a fungus during its development. A universal veil encloses the entire fruit body. A partial veil joins the cap to the stem protecting the gills.
Volva
The remains of a universal veil forming a cup-like bag around the base of the stem.