Fungi

A fungus is a member of a large group of eukaryotic organisms that includes yeasts and molds, as well as the more familiar mushrooms. The discipline of biology devoted to the study of fungi is known as mycology, which is often regarded as a branch of botany, even though genetic studies have shown that fungi are more closely related to animals than to plants.

Most fungi are found growing on soil, decaying matter, and as symbionts of plants, animals, and even other fungi. Most people are familiar with mushrooms, however they are only the fruiting body of the mycelium, which is usually hidden underground or spread throughout the host that it is growing on. Fungi can vary greatly based on size, shape and how or where it grows. Their color range can be a bright spectrum of colors, including reds, yellows, greens, purples, or they can, quite commonly, be a plain brown or white.

There is a great diversity of fungi in Connecticut, including edible species such as the prized morels, chantarelles, and black trumpets, as well as many poisonous species, including the deadly Destroying Angel and the Death Cap, which are responsible for multiple fatalities. In Connecticut, mushrooms of various kinds can be found nearly year-round, however they are generally most abundant in the summer months.


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