Think Tank

Mushrooms or Toadstools

Mushrooms are Fungi, and a separate biological Kingdom from Plants and Animals

Mushrooms from Stoke-on-Trent Museums

Mushrooms or Toadstools

Mushrooms are the fruiting body of the fungus. Most of the organism cannot be seen.

Fungi are decomposers, which live on dead plant and animal matter. They are known as saprophytes.

Fungi are vitally important in recycling nutrients in natural ecosystems.

Some wild Mushrooms are deadly poisonous and should not be eaten.

More about Mushrooms

Mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of a fungus. The fruiting bodies produce spores which germinate to produce hair-like threads called ‘hyphae’. The hyphae form a vast, usually unseen, network known as a ‘mycelium’, the non-reproductive part of the fungus. The mycelium produces the visible fruiting bodies.

Mushrooms are sometimes called Toadstools. At one time it was believed that toads would use them like a stool and sit on them. Toads are sometimes found near mushrooms, but they are usually there because it is damp, or there are animals around the mushrooms that the toads want to eat.

This Mushroom has been given the scientific name, or two part Latin binomial, of Pholiota squarrosa. It has the common name the Shaggy Pholiota Mushroom. The name ‘Pholiota’ is the Latin for ‘scaly’.

The Shaggy Pholiota Mushroom is usually found living at the base of old trees and sometimes on the stumps of felled trees. It can be found across Europe and North America.

The Shaggy Pholiota Mushroom has a yellowish colour, with brown scales on the stem and the cap, the top of the fruiting body. The cap can grow from 3-12 cm in diameter, and in the field has a faint garlic-like odour. The largest cap on this mushroom is 5 cm in diameter.

Want to know more?

To find out more about Mushrooms, download the Resources to your right.

These Mushrooms are part of the collections held at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent. Use the 'city of Stoke on Trent' web link below to find out more about the Collections at the Potteries Museum.

Book illustrating local fungi by Sarah Price from Ludlow Museum

People have been fascinated by fungi for generations. Their colour and texture makes them idea studies for artist and Natural Historians. To find out more about these books, click on the image above.

Gold nuggets from the Lapworth Museum of Geology

Gold is a precious metal with a brilliant colour and easy to work. Find out more about Gold by clicking on the image above.