Top 40 Mushrooms

Top 40 Mushrooms

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       A mushroom (or toadstool) is the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus, typically produced above ground on soil or on its food source. The standard for the name “mushroom” is the cultivated white button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus; hence the word “mushroom” is most often applied to those fungi (Basidiomycota, Agaricomycetes) that have a stem (stipe), a cap (pileus), and gills (lamellae, sing. lamella) or pores on the underside of the cap. “Mushroom” describes a variety of gilled fungi, with or without stems, and the term is used even more generally, to describe both the fleshy fruiting bodies of some Ascomycota and the woody or leathery fruiting bodies of some Basidiomycota, depending upon the context of the word. Forms deviating from the standard morphology usually have more specific names, such as “puffball,” “stinkhorn,” and “morel,” and gilled mushrooms themselves are often called “agarics” in reference to their similarity to Agaricus or their place Agaricales. By extension, the term “mushroom” can also designate the entire fungus when in culture; the thallus (called a mycelium) of species forming the fruiting bodies called mushrooms; or the species itself.

  1. Fly Agaric (Amanita Muscaria) *Edible and Hallucinogenic
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           Amanita muscaria, commonly known as the fly agaric or fly amanita, is a poisonous and psychoactive basidiomycete fungus, one of many in the genus Amanita. Native throughout the temperate and boreal regions of the Northern Hemisphere, Amanita muscaria has been unintentionally introduced to many countries in the southern hemisphere, generally as a symbiont with pine plantations, and is now a true cosmopolitan species. It associates with various deciduous and coniferous trees. The quintessential toadstool, it is a large white-gilled, white-spotted, usually deep red mushroom, one of the most recognizable and widely encountered in popular culture. Several subspecies, with differing cap color, have been recognized to date, including the brown regalis (considered a separate species), the yellow-orange flavivolvata, guessowii, and formosa, and the pinkish persicina. Genetic studies published in 2006 and 2008 show several sharply delineated clades which may represent separate species. Although it is generally considered poisonous, deaths from its consumption are extremely rare, and it is eaten as a food in parts of Europe, Asia and North America after parboiling. Amanita muscaria is now primarily famed for its hallucinogenic properties, with its main psychoactive constituent being the compound muscimol. It was used as an intoxicant and entheogen by the peoples of Siberia and has a religious significance in these cultures. There has been much speculation on traditional use of this mushroom as an intoxicant in places other than Siberia; however, such traditions are far less well documented. The American banker and amateur ethnomycologist R. Gordon Wasson proposed that the fly agaric was in fact the soma of the ancient Rig Veda texts of India; since its introduction in 1968 this theory has gained both followers and detractors in anthropological literature. On October 18th 2011 Author Shamans Odin Hawk and Venus presented historic Vedic evidence before the MSSF (Mycological Society of San Francisco), identifying Amanita as ancient Soma.
    Links: Top Ten Psychedelic Drugs,
  2. Shitake Mushrooms *Edible and Medicinal

           The Shiitake (Lentinula edodes) is an edible mushroom native to East Asia, which is cultivated and consumed in many Asian countries, as well as being dried and exported to many countries around the world. It is a feature of many Asian cuisines including Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Thai. In the East, the shiitake mushroom has long been considered a delicacy as well as a medicinal mushroom. Modern research has indicated shiitake mushroom may stimulate the immune system, possess antibacterial properties, reduce platelet aggregation, and possess antiviral properties, possibly through antiviral agents known as proteinase inhibitors. Active hexose correlated compound (AHCC) is an α-glucan-rich compound isolated from shiitake. In Japan, AHCC is the 2nd most popular complementary and alternative medicine used by cancer patients and is metabolized via the CYP450 2D6 pathway. Research using animal models has shown that AHCC may increase the body’s resistance to pathogens as shown in experiments with the influenza virus, West Nile encephalitis virus and bacterial infection. Animal research and limited clinical trials suggest that AHCC may enhance immune function. A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 21 people supported the idea that AHCC may enhance immune function. Studies have shown that AHCC may benefit patients with hepatocellular carcinoma and prostate cancer. Lentinan, a compound isolated from shiitake, is used as an intravenous anticancer agent in some countries. Studies have demonstrated lentinan possesses antitumor properties, and clinical studies have associated lentinan with a higher survival rate, higher quality of life, and lower recurrence of cancer.
    Links: Top Ten Anti-carcinogens, Top Ten Asian Recipes, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shitake_mushroom,
  3. Magic Mushrooms *Edible and Hallucinogenic
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           Psilocybin mushrooms are fungi that contain the psychoactive compounds psilocybin and psilocin. There are multiple colloquial terms for psilocybin mushrooms, the most common being shrooms and magic mushrooms. Biological genera containing psilocybin mushrooms include Agrocybe, Conocybe, Copelandia, Galerina, Gerronema, Gymnopilus, Hypholoma, Inocybe, Mycena, Panaeolus, Pluteus and Psilocybe. There are approximately 190 species of psilocybin mushrooms and most of them fall in the genus Psilocybe. Psilocybin mushrooms were used in ancient times, and were depicted in rock paintings. Many native peoples have used mushrooms for religious purposes, rituals and healing. In modern day society they are often used to evoke a “high,” which is sometimes described as spiritual experience and is often euphoric in nature. Sometimes however, the disorientation of psilocybin and psilocin’s psychedelic effects may bring on anxiety such as panic attacks, depression and paranoid delusions. However, recent studies done at the Imperial College of London and also at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine conclude that when used properly, psilocybin acts as an anti-depressant as suggested by fMRI brain scans.
    Links: Drugs, Top Ten Psychedelic Drugs, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_mushrooms,
  4. Portabella (Agaricus bisporus) *Edible
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           Agaricus bisporus, known variously as the common mushroom, button mushroom, white mushroom, table mushroom, champignon mushroom, crimini mushroom, Swiss brown mushroom, Roman brown mushroom, Italian brown, Italian mushroom, cultivated mushroom, or when mature, the Portobello mushroom, is an edible basidiomycete mushroom native to grasslands in Europe and North America. Agaricus bisporus is cultivated in more than 70 countries and is one of the most commonly and widely consumed mushrooms in the world.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portabella_mushroom,
  5. Devil’s Tooth (Hydnellum pecki)
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    Hydnellum peckii is an inedible fungus, and a member of the genus Hydnellum of the family Bankeraceae. It is a hydnoid species, producing spores on the surface of vertical spines or tooth-like projections that hang from the undersurface of the fruit bodies. It is found in North America, Europe, and was recently discovered in Iran (2008) and Korea (2010). Hydnellum peckii is a mycorrhizal species, and forms mutually beneficial relationships with a variety of coniferous trees, growing on the ground singly, scattered, or in fused masses. The fruit bodies typically have a funnel-shaped cap with a white edge, although the shape can be highly variable. Young, moist fruit bodies can “bleed” a bright red juice that contains a pigment known to have anticoagulant properties similar to heparin. The unusual appearance of the young fruit bodies has earned the species several descriptive common names, including strawberries and cream, the bleeding Hydnellum, the bleeding tooth fungus, the red-juice tooth, and the Devil’s tooth. Although Hydnellum peckii fruit bodies are readily identifiable when young, they become brown and nondescript when they age.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydnellum_peckii,
  6. Red Cage (Clathrus ruber)
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    Clathrus ruber is a species of fungus in the stinkhorn family, and the type species of the genus Clathrus. It is commonly known as the latticed stinkhorn, the basket stinkhorn, or the red cage, alluding to the striking fruit bodies that are shaped somewhat like a round or oval hollow sphere with interlaced or latticed branches. The fungus feeds off decaying woody plant material, and is usually found alone or in groups in leaf litter on garden soil, grassy places, or on woodchip garden mulches. Although considered primarily a European species, C. ruber has been introduced to other areas, and now has a wide distribution that includes northern Africa, Asia, Australia and North and South America. The species was illustrated in the scientific literature during the 1500’s, but was not officially described until 1729. The fruit body initially appears like a whitish “egg” attached to the ground at the base by cords called rhizomorphs. The egg has a delicate, leathery outer membrane enclosing the compressed lattice that surrounds a layer of olive-green spore-bearing slime called the gleba, which contains high levels of calcium that help protect the developing fruit body during development. As the egg ruptures and the fruit body expands, the gleba is carried upward on the inner surfaces of the spongy lattice, and the egg membrane remains as a volva around the base of the structure. The fruit body can reach heights of up to 20 cm (7.9 in). The color of the fruit body, which can range from pink to orange to red, results primarily from the carotenoid pigments lycopene and beta-carotene. The gleba has a fetid odor, somewhat like rotting meat, which attracts flies and other insects to help disperse its spores. Although the edibility of the fungus is not known with certainty, its odor would deter most from consuming it. C. ruber was not regarded highly in tales in southern European folklore, which suggested that those who handled the mushroom risked contracting various ailments.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clathrus_ruber,
  7. Veiled Lady (Phallus indusiatus) * Edible and Medicinal
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    Phallus indusiatus, commonly called the bamboo fungus, bamboo pith, long net stinkhorn, crinoline stinkhorn or veiled lady, is a fungus in the family Phallaceae, or stinkhorns. It has a cosmopolitan distribution in tropical areas, and is found in southern Asia, Africa, the Americas and Australia, where it grows in woodlands and gardens in rich soil and well-rotted woody material. The fruit body of the fungus is characterized by a conical to bell-shaped cap on a stalk and a delicate lacy “skirt,” or indusium, that hangs from beneath the cap and reaches nearly to the ground. Mature fruit bodies are up to 25 cm (10 in) tall with a conical to bell-shaped cap that is 1.5–4 cm (0.6–1.6 in) wide. The cap is covered with a greenish-brown spore-containing slime, which attracts flies and other insects that eat the spores and disperse them. An edible mushroom featured as an ingredient in Chinese haute cuisine, it is used in stir-frys and chicken soups. The mushroom, grown commercially and commonly sold in Asian markets, is rich in protein, carbohydrates, and dietary fiber. The mushroom also contains various bioactive compounds, and has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. Phallus indusiatus has a recorded history of use in Chinese medicine extending back to the 7th century AD, and features in Nigerian folklore.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veiled_lady,
  8. Honey Mushroom

           
    Honey fungus, or Armillaria or оpenky, is a genus of parasitic fungi that live on trees and woody shrubs. It includes about 10 species formerly lumped together as A. mellea. Armillarias are long lived and form some of the largest living organisms in the world. The largest single organism (of the species Armillaria solidipes) covers more than 3.4 square miles (8.8 km2 or 1,665 football fields) and is over 2,400 years old. Some species of Armillaria are bioluminescent and may be responsible for the phenomena known as foxfire and perhaps will o’ the wisp. As a forest pathogen, Armillaria can be very destructive. It is responsible for the “white rot” root disease of forests and is distinguished from Tricholoma (mycorrhizal) by this parasitic nature. Its high destructiveness comes from the fact that, unlike most parasites, it doesn’t need to moderate its growth in order to avoid killing its host, since it will continue to thrive on the dead material. In the Canadian Prairies (particularly Manitoba), the term “honey fungus” is unknown to many; due to the large presence of Ukrainian Canadians in this area, the fungus is often referred to as pidpenky, from the Ukrainian term, “beneath the stump.”
    Links: Top Ten Bioluminescent Plants, Top Ten Bioluminescent Animals,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honey_mushroom,
  9. Mycena

    Mycena is a large genus of small saprotrophic mushrooms that are rarely more than a few centimeters in width. They are characterized by a white spore print, a small conical or bell-shaped cap, and a thin fragile stem. Most are gray or brown, but a few species have brighter colors. Most have a translucent and striate cap, which rarely has an incurved margin. The gills are attached and usually have cystidia. Some species, like Mycena haematopus, exude a latex when the stem is broken, and many have the odor of bleach. Mycenas are hard to identify to species and some are distinguishable only by microscopic features such as the shape of the cystidia. Some species are edible, while others contain toxins, but the edibility of most is not known, as they are too small to be useful in cooking. Mycena cyanorrhiza stains blue and contains the hallucinogen psilocybin and Mycena pura contains the mycotoxin muscarine. Over 33 species are known to be bioluminescent, creating a glow known as foxfire. These species are divided among 16 lineages, leading to evolutionary uncertainty in whether the luminescence developed once and was lost among many species, or evolved in parallel by several species. What, if any, benefit the fungus derives from the luminescence is uncertain. Alexander Smith’s 1947 Mycena monograph identified 232 species; the genus is now known to include about 500 species worldwide. Maas Geesteranus divided the genus into 38 sections in 1992, providing keys to each for all the species of the Northern Hemisphere. Many new species have been discovered since then, and four new sections have been proposed. Taxonomy is complex, as most sections are not truly homogeneous, and the keys fail for some species, especially those that satisfy some criteria for only part of their life cycle.
    Links: Top Ten Bioluminescent Plants, Top Ten Bioluminscent Animals,   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mycena,
  10. Rosy Veincap (Rhodotus)
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    Rhodotus is a genus in the Physalacriaceae family of fungi. It is a monotypic genus and consists of the single mushroom species Rhodotus palmatus, known in the vernacular as the netted Rhodotus, the rosy veincap, or the wrinkled peach. This uncommon species has a circumboreal distribution, and has been collected in eastern North America, northern Africa, Europe, and Asia; declining populations in Europe have led to its appearance in over half of the European fungal Red Lists of threatened species. Typically found growing on the stumps and logs of rotting hardwoods, mature specimens may usually be identified by the pinkish color and the distinctive ridged and veined surface of their rubbery caps; variations in the color and quantity of light received during development lead to variations in the size, shape, and cap color of fruit bodies.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhodotus_palmatus,
  11. Bear’s Head Tooth Mushroom *Edible
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    Hericium abietis, commonly known as the bear’s head or the western coral hedgehog, is an edible mushroom in the tooth fungus group. It grows on conifer stumps or logs in North America, producing a cream white fruit body up to 10–75 cm (4–30 in) tall and wide. It fruits from after the start of the fall rains to mid-season.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hericium_abietis,
  12. Orange Spore Fungus (Favolaschia calocera)
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    Favolaschia calocera, commonly known as the orange pore fungus, is a species of fungus in the Mycenaceae family. First observed in Madagascar, it has recently spread around the world and is now known from New Zealand, Italy, Australia, Hawaii, Thailand, China, Kenya, Norfolk Island and Réunion Island. F. calocera is a wood-inhabiting saprotrophic fungus. It presents as a bright orange stalked fan, 5 mm–30 mm diameter, with prominent pores on the underside. It is uncertain whether F. calocera is native to Madagascar or was introduced to the island from Asia. Throughout much of its expanded range F. calocera is now considered an invasive species. It colonizes ruderal sites along transport routes and can become dominant in habitats disturbed by human activity. Mycologists fear that it may be displacing native fungi species as it spreads through the paleotropics.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Favolaschia_calocera,
  13. Octopus Stinkhorn
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    Clathrus archeri, commonly known as Octopus Stinkhorn, is indigenous to Australia and Tasmania and an introduced species in Europe, North America and Asia. The young fungus erupts from a suberumpent egg by forming into four to seven elongated slender arms initially erect and attached at the top. The arms then unfold to reveal a pinkish-red interior covered with a dark-olive spore-containing gleba. In maturity it smells of putrid flesh. Recently, C. archeri var. alba with white tentacles or arms has been reported from the shola forests in the Western Ghats, Kerala, India.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clathrus_archeri,
  14. Anemone Stinkhorn (Aseroe rubra)
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    Aseroe rubra, commonly known as the anemone stinkhorn, sea anemone fungus and starfish fungus, is a common and widespread basidiomycete fungus recognizable for its foul odor of carrion and its sea anemone shape when mature. Found in gardens on mulch and in grassy areas, it resembles a red star-shaped structure covered in brownish slime on a white stalk. It attracts flies, which spread its spores.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aseroe_rubra,
  15. Witches Butter and Tremella Fuciformis *Edible and Medicinal
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    Tremella mesenterica (common names include yellow brain, golden jelly fungus, yellow trembler, and witches’ butter) is a common jelly fungus in the Tremellaceae family of the Agaricomycotina. It is most frequently found on dead but attached and on recently fallen branches, especially of angiosperms, as a parasite of wood decay fungi in the genus Peniophora. The gelatinous, orange-yellow fruit body of the fungus, which can grow up to 7.5 cm (3.0 in) diameter, has a convoluted or lobed surface that is greasy or slimy when damp. It grows in crevices in bark, appearing during rainy weather. Within a few days after rain it dries into a thin film or shriveled mass capable of reviving after subsequent rain. This fungus occurs widely in deciduous and mixed forests and is widely distributed in temperate and tropical regions that include Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North and South America. Although considered bland and flavorless, the fungus is edible. Tremella mesenterica produces carbohydrates that are attracting research interest because of their various biological activities. Tremella fuciformis is a species of fungus; it produces white, frond-like, gelatinous basidiocarps (fruiting bodies). It is widespread, especially in the tropics, where it can be found on the dead branches of broadleaf trees. This fungus is commercially cultivated and is one of the most popular fungi in the cuisine and medicine of China Tremella fuciformis is commonly known as snow fungus, silver ear fungus, and white jelly mushroom. Tremella fuciformis is a parasitic yeast, and grows as a slimy, mucous-like film until it encounters its preferred hosts, various species of Annulohypoxylon (or possibly Hypoxylon) fungi, whereupon it then invades, triggering the aggressive mycelial growth required to form the fruiting bodies.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tremella_mesentericahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tremella_fuciformis,
  16. Morchella conica
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    Morchella conica is a species of fungus in the Morchellaceae family. It is one of three related species commonly known as the black morel, the others being M. angusticeps and M. elata. It was first described by mycologist Christian Hendrik Persoon in 1818. Despite being highly appreciated by the French and Spanish gourmets can not eat raw because it contains thermolabile hemolysins.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morchella_conica,
  17. Unidentified Inkcap Mushroom
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    This is an unidentified inkcap growing on a tree stump in August. It has an amber colored liquid oozing out of the caps rim and has a 35mm cap.
    Links: http://www.terrain.net.nz/friends-of-te-henui-group/fungi-te-henui/unidentified-mushroom.html,
  18. Cordyceps (Sinensis) Extracts *Edible
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    Ophiocordyceps sinensis is a fungus that parasitizes larvae of ghost moths and produces a fruiting body valued as an herbal remedy. The fungus germinates in the living larva, kills and mummifies it, and then the stalk-like fruiting body emerges from the corpse. It is known in English colloquially as caterpillar fungus, or by its more prominent foreign names: yartsa gunbu or yatsa gunbu (Tibetan), or Dōng chóng xià cǎo (Chinese: “winter worm, summer grass”). The moths in which O. sinensis grows are ambiguously referred to as “ghost moth,” which identifies either a single species or the genus Thitarodes, and the species parasitized by O. sinensis may be one of several O. sinensis is known in the West as a medicinal mushroom, and its use has a long history in Traditional Chinese, as well as Traditional Tibetan medicine. The hand-collected fungus-caterpillar combination is valued by herbalists and as a status symbol; it is used as an aphrodisiac and treatment for ailments such as fatigue and cancer, although such use is mainly based on traditional Chinese medicine and anecdote. Recent research however seems to indicate a variety of beneficial effects in animal testing, including increased physical endurance through heightened ATP production in rats. “Stamina. Well-known for centuries in Chinese herbal medicine, Cordyceps sinensis is a parasitic dried fungus that grows on caterpillar larvae native to high-altitude regions of China, Nepal and Tibet. Gross, right? But awesome when it comes to health and athletic performance. Pharmacologically anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory and anti-lipid (cholesterol lowering), studies indicate enhanced immune system functionality as well as improved stamina in endurance athletes via increased aerobic capacity and oxygen utilization as well as stabilized blood sugar metabolism. Chinese Olympic Track & Field athletes have been swearing by it for decades, and I can attest to their effectiveness. Another plus? Increased sex drive and functionality. The benefits of Cordyceps are enhanced when combined with the adaptogen rhodiola, as they are in Optygen and ShroomTech — both good recommended products.” — Tim Ferris
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ophiocordyceps_sinensis,  http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2012/05/23/10-uncommon-superfoods-from-the-world-of-ultra-endurance/,
  19. Pink Oyster Mushroom (Pleurotus djamor)
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    Pleurotus djamor, commonly known as the pink oyster mushroom, is a species of fungus in the family Pleurotaceae. It was originally named Agaricus djamor by the German-born botanist Georg Eberhard Rumphius, and sanctioned under that name by Elias Magnus Fries in 1821. It was known by many different names before being transferred to the genus Pleurotus by Karel Bernard Boedijn in 1959.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleurotus_djamor,
  20. Ramaria
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    The genus Ramaria comprises approximately 200 species of coral fungi. Several, such as Ramaria flava, are edible and picked in Europe, though they are easily confused with several mildly poisonous species capable of causing nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea; these include R. formosa and R. pallida.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramaria,
  21. Cookeina
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    Cookeina is a genus of cup fungi in the family Sarcoscyphaceae, members of which may be found in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Species may be found on fallen branches of angiosperms, trunks, and sometimes on fruits. The Temuans of Peninsular Malaysia are reported to use certain species from this genus as food, and also as a bait for fishing, where it is rubbed against the hook.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cookeina,
  22. Lingzhi Mushroom *Edible and Medicinal
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    The lingzhi mushroom or reishi mushroom, literally, “supernatural mushroom,” encompasses several fungal species of the genus Ganoderma, and most commonly refers to the closely related species, Ganoderma lucidum, Ganoderma tsugae and Ganoderma sichuanense. G. sichuanense enjoys special veneration in East Asia, where it has been used as a medicinal mushroom in traditional Chinese medicine for more than 2,000 years, making it one of the oldest mushrooms known to have been used medicinally.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganoderma_lucidum,
  23. Oyster Mushrooms *Edible
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           Pleurotus is a genus of gilled mushrooms which includes one of the most widely eaten mushrooms, P. ostreatus. Species of Pleurotus may be called oyster, abalone, or tree mushrooms, and are some of the most commonly cultivated edible mushrooms in the world. Pleurotus fungi have been used in mycoremediation of pollutants such as petroleum and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Pleurotus means “side ear,” from Greek πλευρή (pleurē), “side” + ὠτός (ōtos), genitive of οὖς (ous), “ear.”
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oyster_mushroom,
  24. Shelf Mushrooms *Edible and Medicinal
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           Ganoderma is a genus of polypore mushrooms which grow on wood and include about 80 species, many from tropical regions. Because of their extensive use in traditional Asian medicines, and their potential in bioremediation, they are a very important genus economically. Ganoderma can be differentiated from other polypores because they have a double walled basidiospore. They are popularly referred to as shelf mushrooms or bracket mushrooms.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganoderma,
  25. Devil’s Cigar (Chorioactis)
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    Chorioactis is a genus of fungus that contains the single species Chorioactis geaster; the mushroom is commonly known as the devil’s cigar or the Texas star in the US, while in Japan it is called kirinomitake. This extremely rare mushroom is notable for its unusual appearance and disjunct distribution: it is found only in select locales in Texas and Japan. The fruit body, which grows on the stumps or dead roots of cedar elms (in Texas) or dead oaks (in Japan), somewhat resembles a dark brown or black cigar before it splits open radially into a starlike arrangement of four to seven leathery rays. The interior surface of the fruit body bears the spore-bearing tissue known as the hymenium, and is colored white to brown, depending on its age. Fruit body opening can be accompanied by a distinct hissing sound and the release of a smoky cloud of spores. In 2009, Japanese researchers reported discovering a form of the fungus missing the sexual stage of its life cycle; this asexual state was named Kumanasamuha geaster.
    Links: Top Ten Cigars, Top Ten Cigar Makers, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chorioactis_geaster,
  26. Hygroscopic Earthstar (Astraeus hygrometricus)
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    Astraeus hygrometricus, commonly known as the hygroscopic earthstar, the barometer earthstar, or the false earthstar, is a species of fungus in the Diplocystaceae family. Young specimens resemble a puffball when young and unopened. In maturity, the mushroom displays the characteristic earthstar shape that is a result of the outer layer of fruit body tissue splitting open in a star-like manner. The false earthstar is an ectomycorrhizal species that grows in association with various trees, especially in sandy soils. A. hygrometricus has a cosmopolitan distribution, and is common in temperate and tropical regions. Its common names refer to the fact that it is hygroscopic (water-absorbing), and can open up its rays to expose the spore sac in response to increased humidity, and close them up again in drier conditions. Research has revealed the presence of several bioactive chemical compounds in the fruit bodies. North American field guides typically rate A. hygrometricus as inedible.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astraeus_hygrometricus,
  27. Chanterelles *Edible
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    Cantharellus is a genus of popular edible mushrooms, commonly known as chanterelles. They are mycorrhizal fungi, meaning they form symbiotic associations with plants, making them very difficult to cultivate. Caution must be used when identifying chanterelles for consumption due to lookalikes, such as the Jack-O-Lantern species (Omphalotus olearius and others), which can make a person very ill. Despite this, chanterelles are one of the most recognized and harvested groups of edible mushrooms. Many species of chanterelles contain antioxidant carotenoids, such as beta-carotene in C. cibarius and C. minor, and canthaxanthin in C. cinnabarinus and C. friesii. They also contain significant amounts of vitamin D. The name comes from the Greek kantharos meaning “tankard” or “cup.”
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chanterelles,
  28. Gypsy Mushroom (Cortinarius caperatus) *Edible and Medicinal
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    Cortinarius caperatus, commonly known as the gypsy mushroom, is a highly esteemed edible and medicinal (reduces the severity of diseases such as chickenpox or the herpes simplex virus) mushroom of the genus Cortinarius found in northern regions of Europe and North America. It was known as Rozites caperata for many years, before genetic studies revealed it lay within the large genus Cortinarius. The ochre-colored fruiting bodies appear in autumn in coniferous and beech woods, as well as heathlands in late summer and autumn. The gills are free and clay-colored and the smell and taste mild. Although mild-tasting and highly regarded, the gypsy mushroom is often infested with maggots.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cortinarius_caperatus,
  29. Caesar’s Mushroom (Amanita caesarea) *Edible
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           Amanita caesarea, commonly known in English as Caesar’s Mushroom, is a highly regarded edible mushroom in the genus Amanita, native to southern Europe and North Africa. It has a distinctive orange cap, yellow gills and stem. Similar orange-capped species occur in North America and India. It was known to and valued by the Ancient Romans, who called it Boletus, a name now applied to a very different type of fungus.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesar%27s_mushroom,
  30. Death Cap Mushroom (Amanita phalloides) *Poisonous
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           Amanita phalloides, commonly known as the death cap, is a deadly poisonous basidiomycete fungus, one of many in the genus Amanita. Widely distributed across Europe, A. phalloides forms ectomycorrhizas with various broadleaved trees. In some cases, death cap has been introduced to new regions with the cultivation of non-native species of oak, chestnut and pine. The large fruiting bodies (mushrooms) appear in summer and autumn; the caps are generally greenish in color, with a white stipe and gills. Coincidentally, these toxic mushrooms resemble several edible species (most notably caesar’s mushroom and the straw mushroom) commonly consumed by humans, increasing the risk of accidental poisoning. A. phalloides is one of the most poisonous of all known toadstools. It has been involved in the majority of human deaths from mushroom poisoning, possibly including the deaths of Roman Emperor Claudius and Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI. It has been the subject of much research, and many of its biologically active agents have been isolated. The principal toxic constituent is α-amanitin, which damages the liver and kidneys, often fatally.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amanita_phalloides,
  31. Entoloma Hochstetteri
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    Entoloma hochstetteri is a species of mushroom found in New Zealand and India. The small mushroom is a distinctive all-blue color, while the gills have a slight reddish tint from the spores. The blue coloring of the fruit body is due to three azulene pigments. Whether Entoloma hochstetteri is poisonous or not is unknown. This species was one of six native fungi featured in a set of fungal stamps issued in New Zealand in 2002. It is also seen on the reverse side of the $50 bank note, issued by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand in 1990.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entoloma_hochstetteri,
  32. Hygrocybe Rubrocarnosa
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    Hygrocybe procera is a colorful indigenous Hygrocybe (waxcap) ground growing fungus. It is known from Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand growing in lowland podocarp broad-leaved forest. The fruit bodies of this fungus are brilliant red-orange or orange-yellow, fading with age with a cap up to 5 cm in diameter, and a 15–70 x 3–6 mm cylindrical stipe (stem) of uniform diameter (15-70 x`3-6 mm) or tapering towards its base. Its spores are white. It is saprobic fungi among litter of lowland podocarp broad-leaved forest. Saprobic fungi usually live on dead vegetable matter (sticks, leaves, logs…), as they are the only multi-celled organisms that can digest the structural proteins cellulose and lignin, the two major components of wood (and, in fact, the two major components of plants’ cell walls in general). They appear during February-June.
    Links: http://www.terrain.net.nz/friends-of-te-henui-group/fungi-te-henui/hygrocybe-procera.html,
  33. Austro Dripping Bonnet (Mycena austrororida)
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    Mycena austrororida, also commonly known as the Austro Dripping Bonnet is a fungal species in the genus Mycena. From the locations that it has been described, it is said that this species may have links to the ancient continent, Gondwana. Unlike when it generally comes to identifying Mycenas, this species has several distinguishing characteristics that make it easy to identify. Mycena austrororida forms small colonies on rotting and wet logs in eucalypt forests and sometimes even on rotting pine cones. This species was first described in Chile, and also New Zealand. In Australia it can be found in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mycena_austrororida,
  34. Lepista nuda *Edibal and Medicinal
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    Clitocybe nuda (also recognized as Lepista nuda and Tricholoma nudum, commonly known as the wood blewit or blue stalk mushroom), is an edible mushroom, found in both coniferous and deciduous woodlands. It is a fairly distinctive mushroom that is widely eaten, though there is some caution about edibility. Nevertheless it has been cultivated in Britain, the Netherlands and France.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lepista_nuda,
  35. Shaggy Ink Cap (Coprinus comatus) *Edible and Medicinal
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    Coprinus comatus, the shaggy ink cap, lawyer’s wig, or shaggy mane, is a common fungus often seen growing on lawns, along gravel roads and waste areas. The young fruit bodies first appear as white cylinders emerging from the ground, then the bell-shaped caps open out. The caps are white, and covered with scales—this is the origin of the common names of the fungus. The gills beneath the cap are white, then pink, then turn black and secrete a black liquid filled with spores (hence the “ink cap” name). This mushroom is unusual because it will turn black and dissolve itself in a matter of hours after being picked or depositing spores. When young it is an excellent edible mushroom provided that it is eaten soon after being collected (it keeps very badly because of the autodigestion of its gills and cap). If long-term storage is desired, microwaving, sautéing or simmering until limp will allow the mushrooms to be stored in a refrigerator for several days or frozen. Processing must be done whether for eating or storage within four to six hours of harvest to prevent undesirable changes to the mushroom. The species is cultivated in China as food. The mushroom can sometimes be confused with the Magpie fungus which is poisonous.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coprinus_comatus,
  36. Indigo Milk Cap (Lactarius indigo) *Edible
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    Lactarius indigo, commonly known as the indigo milk cap, the indigo (or blue) Lactarius, or the blue milk mushroom, is a species of agaric fungus in the family Russulaceae. A widely distributed species, it grows naturally in eastern North America, East Asia, and Central America; it has also been reported in southern France. L. indigo grows on the ground in both deciduous and coniferous forests, where it forms mycorrhizal associations with a broad range of trees. The fruit body color ranges from dark blue in fresh specimens to pale blue-gray in older ones. The milk, or latex, that oozes when the mushroom tissue is cut or broken—a feature common to all members of the Lactarius genus—is also indigo blue, but slowly turns green upon exposure to air. It is an edible mushroom, and is sold in rural markets in China, Guatemala, and Mexico.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactarius_indigo,
  37. Purple Pouch Fungus (Cortinarius porphyroideus)
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    Cortinarius porphyroideus, commonly known as purple pouch fungus, is a secotioid species of fungus found in Australia and in beech forests of New Zealand. It was one of six species that appeared as part of a series depicting native New Zealand fungi on stamps, released in 2002.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cortinarius_porphyroideus,
  38. Red Pouch Fungus (Leratiomyces erythrocephalus)
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    Leratiomyces erythrocephalus, commonly known as the red pouch fungus, is a species of fungus in the Strophariaceae family. First described scientifically as Secotium erythrocephalum by Louis René Tulasne in 1845 and later transferred to Weraroa by American mycologists Rolf Singer and Alexander H. Smith in 1958, it was given its current name in 2008. It is found in New Zealand.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leratiomyces_erythrocephalus,
  39. Lemon Honeycap (Armillaria limonea)
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    Armillaria limonea is a species of mushroom in the Physalacriaceae family. This plant pathogenic species is one of three Armillaria that have been identified in New Zealand (the others are A. novae-zelandiae and A. hinnulea).
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armillaria_limonea,
  40. Jelly Ear (Auricularia auricula-judae)
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    Auricularia auricula-judae, known as the wood ear, jelly ear or by a number of other common names, is a species of edible Auriculariales fungus found worldwide. The fruiting body is distinguished by its noticeably ear-like shape and brown coloration; it grows upon wood, especially elder. Its specific epithet is derived from the belief that Judas Iscariot hanged himself from an elder tree; the common name “Judas’s ear” eventually became “Jew’s ear,” while today “jelly ear” and other names are sometimes used. The fungus can be found throughout the year in temperate regions worldwide, where it grows upon both dead and living wood. In the West, A. auricula-judae was used in folk medicine as recently as the 19th century for complaints including sore throats, sore eyes and jaundice, and as an astringent. Although it is not widely consumed in the West, it has long been popular in China, to the extent that Australia exported large volumes to China in the early twentieth century. Today, the fungus is a popular ingredient in many Chinese dishes, such as hot and sour soup, and also used in Chinese medicine. It is also used in Ghana, as a blood tonic. Modern research into possible medical applications have variously concluded that A. auricula-judae has antitumour, hypoglycemic, anticoagulant and cholesterol-lowering properties.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auricularia_auricula-judae,
  41. Gyromitra esculenta
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    Gyromitra esculenta, one of several species of fungi known as false morels, is an ascomycete fungus from the genus Gyromitra, widely distributed across Europe and North America. It normally sprouts in sandy soils under coniferous trees in spring and early summer. The fruiting body, or mushroom, is an irregular brain-shaped cap dark brown in color which can reach 10 cm (4 in) high and 15 cm (6 in) wide, perched on a stout white stipe up to 6 cm (2.4 in) high. Although potentially fatal if eaten raw, Gyromitra esculenta is a popular delicacy in Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, and the upper Great Lakes region of North America. Although popular in some districts of the eastern Pyrenees, it is prohibited from sale to the public in Spain. It may be sold fresh in Finland, but it must be accompanied by warnings and instructions on correct preparation. Although it is still commonly parboiled before preparation, recent evidence suggests that even this procedure may not make the fungus entirely safe, thus raising concerns of risk even when prepared properly. When consumed, the false morel’s principal active agent, gyromitrin, is hydrolyzed into the toxic compound monomethylhydrazine (MMH). The toxin affects the liver, central nervous system, and sometimes the kidneys. Symptoms of poisoning involve vomiting and diarrhea several hours after consumption, followed by dizziness, lethargy and headache. Severe cases may lead to delirium, coma and death after 5–7 days.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyromitra_esculenta,
  42. Sticky Bun Fungus (Suillus luteus) *Some Parts Edible
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    Suillus luteus is a basidiomycete fungus, and the type species of the genus Suillus. It is a common fungus indigenous to coniferous forests of Eurasia and North America, and introduced to southern Australia and New Zealand. Commonly referred to as slippery Jack or sticky bun in English-speaking countries, its names refer to the brown cap, which is characteristically viscid in wet conditions. The fungus fruits abundantly in autumn, and is harvested for food. The slime coating, however, may cause indigestion if not removed.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suillus_luteus,
  43. Schizophyllum commune
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    Schizophyllum commune is a very common species of mushroom in the genus Schizophyllum. It is the world’s most widely distributed mushroom, occurring on every continent except Antarctica. Although European and US guidebooks list it as inedible, this is apparently due to differing standards of taste rather than known toxicity, being regarded with little culinary interest due to its tough texture. S. commune is, in fact, edible and widely consumed in Mexico and elsewhere in the tropics. And in North-East India, the state Manipur called it as “Kanglayen” and its one of the favorite ingredients for Manipuri-Pancake Style called Paaknam. The gills, which produce basidiospores on their surface split when the mushroom dries out, earning this mushroom the common name Split Gill. It has more than 28,000 sexes. It is common in rotting wood, but can also cause disease in humans.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizophyllum_commune,
  44. Links: Plants, Top 100 Plants, Top Ten 100 Video Games, Top Ten Nintendo Games, Top Ten Super Mario Games,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mushrooms,