Do mushrooms reproduce by seeds?

Fungi, of course, don't use seeds to reproduce. They are non-vascular and reproduce through spores. But the aerial portion that we think of as a fungus is actually the equivalent of a fruitful structure, which is produced from underground strands called mycelium. Spores are essential for mushroom cultivation.

Like pollen or seeds, they allow fungi to expand their reach and colonize new areas. Just like apples produce seeds, fungi produce spores. Fungi aren't really plants; they're actually the fruiting part of fungi. Fungi don't grow from seeds like most plants do.

Instead, they spread through spores. A single mature fungus can produce up to 16 billion spores. These spores are collected and used to impregnate seeds which, in turn, are used as spawning by growers. Fungi also have gametes identified as positive or negative, and each type needs to find the opposite in order to reproduce.

At the final stage of maturity of this fungus, the spores are liquefied and impregnated into the body of insects that hover over the cage-like structure. A medium-sized fungus can release up to 20 billion spores over 4 to 6 days at a rate of 100 million spores per hour. Fungi use this time to multiply because the genetic variations that occur in their offspring will lead to a greater chance of survival. However, for starters, you can look for these five species of fungi that emerge at this time of year in the Gulbenkian Garden and other green areas throughout Portugal.

If a common fungus produced 1 billion spores a day, and each of them survived and thrived, it would spread over 8 miles (13 square kilometers) of adult fungi. In many fungi, sexual reproduction occurs when the environment becomes less favorable, usually at the end of the growing season. Gills produce microscopic spores that fall off, disperse, and are able to grow into new fungi. After a while, small white pins form in the growing medium that will eventually form the mushroom caps.

When you learn how to grow mushrooms yourself, you can experience a wider variety of culinary pleasures. Researchers estimate that more than 140,000 species of wild fungi thrive worldwide, and about 3,000 of them are edible. They are grown just like button mushrooms, but have caps that can be up to six inches in diameter. If you're one of the many people who love to include mushrooms in their meals, you've no doubt wondered how to grow mushrooms yourself.

In fact, “we could say that mushrooms are like apples attached to a huge apple tree, which in this case would be the mycelium”, points out this expert. Fungi are the fleshy fruits of fungi that grow in soil, on rotting wood, or on any suitable surface where they find food.

Erika Shipley
Erika Shipley

Subtly charming beer nerd. Extreme internet specialist. Devoted travel junkie. Proud coffee maven. Friendly problem solver.