Agarics


When you mention fungi most people think of mushrooms or toadstools, although these are only the tip of the iceberg in terms of species and the organisms themselves. Underneath every mushroom is an extensive web of mycelium growing through the soil and gathering the nutrients to support the growth of the fruiting body. Many of these have gills like the first two:


The classic cartoon mushroom! Amanita muscaria or Fly Agaric which is said to be hallucinogenic in small quantities (but lethal in larger amounts)


Beware of fungi with a ring (volva) around the stalk (or "stipe"); they are among the most poisonous. This is a species of Amanita


Not all fungi have gills; this one has pores underneath and it is probably a Boletus in which case it is quite good to eat


This is a giant puffball (12-24 inches round) that releases its spores from a pore that develops on top. It tends to grow where there is rotting flesh and has sometimes led the police to a buried murder victim

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