Fungi Basics

What is a fruiting body?

Macrofungi, or macroscopic fungi—meaning large fungi such as mushrooms and toad-stools—produce fruiting bodies. Also called sporophores, the fruiting body is a structure that enables the organism to disperse spores for reproduction. The fruiting body of a mushroom is easy to see—it’s the structure that is visible above the ground. They are found in a variety of shapes, ranging from the common cap-and-stem mushrooms to the more exotic, antlerlike, coral-like, cagelike, trumpet-shaped, or club-shaped mushrooms. The method of spore dispersal for the various types of macrofungi is related to the shape of the fruiting body.


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