Mushroom Life Cycle

Winter and spring are finally over although where I am at, it still feels like spring with all the rain and the low temperature. We are in the middle of summer and mushroom hunting has begun. I have seen a lot during my runs in the woods (really good for the heart and of course the soul…talking about the run here) and I am very excited to share it with you soon. The mushroom world really is fascinating and very vast!!! This is my second season of mushroom hunting and I still am being surprised by the variety of its species. What I have seen these past days weren’t the same ones I saw last year. Why is that? I mean, I still run on the same path I ran last year and about the same time of the year. The rose I planted buds and blooms every year, so where are the mushrooms of last year? I hope you’ll be able to answer that in this simple illustration of the life cycle of a mushroom.

LIFE CYCLE OF A MUSHROOM

 I enjoyed making this simple illustration of how the life of a mushroom begins and I hope you’ll enjoy it too and learn something

mature mushroom
The magic cycle begins under these mature mushrooms where we can find the spore-producing gills.
sporulation
Between those gills, sporulation begins. Millions of spores are then released and scattered on the ground in several ways, most often they are carried off by the wind.
mushroom life cycle
When the spores are planted on their ideal environment and germinate, it undergoes mitosis and produces a hypha
hyphae
The hypha branches into a network of filaments producing in the process, the mycelium. The mycelium, although not that attractive unlike its fruit, works magic and plays a very important role in ecosystem. The growth continues until two hyphae of different mating types fuse together creating the dikaryotic phase.
mushroom
The mycelium continues to grow and when the conditions are right, it forms a tightly packed hyphae (dikaryotic) above the ground fruit which we call mushroom…and the process begins again. Once the process of sporulation is completed, the mushroom dies and decomposes in the soil.

 The lifespan of a mushroom varies from hours to weeks depending on the type and environmental condition. In my homeland, we tease people and call them mushroom or “kabute” when they suddenly appear or disappear without warning. Although expert mushroom hunters know when to hunt, they still have to “hunt” or look for them since they do not necessarily spawn on the same site or on the same time of the year. Much like everything….mushrooms, too, depend on the right condition to happen!!!

With that, I wish everyone a happy mushroom hunting this season!

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