How do mushrooms grow?


Mushrooms often seem to appear as if by magic in a meadow after a rainy summer day.

The most familiar kinds look like little umbrellas.  Others may resemble bells, funnels, or pieces of coral.

Mushrooms belong to a group of plants called fungi.  There have neither flowers nor seeds.  New plants start from tiny cells called spores.

The spores are carried by the wind to new places in which to grow.  When a spore lands in a grassy meadow, it grows into a web of white threads.  The mushroom spawn lies inactive in the ground.  Then on a warm, damp day the mushrooms pop up for their brief appearance.

Growing at the top of tiny stalks, they come through the ground looking like small buttons.

They grow quickly into full-size mushrooms.  Their job is to scatter the spores which grow on the many thin ridges, called gills, underneath the mushroom.

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