Most of us have eaten mushrooms on pizza or in spaghetti sauce, but these are not the mushrooms you are likely to see in the woods. The mushrooms on your pizza are grown in a dark, humid building or cave and are not found growing in the wild. They are only one of 5,000 different species of mushrooms that grow in the United States.

So what are mushrooms? They are not plants. Plants have chlorophyll that lets them make their own food from sunlight.

Mushrooms are fungi and unlike plants, do not need light. They cannot make their own food so need to live off other things. Some are parasites. This means they feed off another living thing. Most live off decayed plant materials. It sounds pretty awful to eat rotting things, but this is an important part of the forest's cycle.

Mushrooms and other decomposers break down dead leaves, twigs, stems and wood for their food.

This is why you will often see them near the base of trees. Certain kinds of mushrooms like certain kinds of trees. They are good decomposers and use the natural forest "litter" as a source of food. (if this material did not break down, the forest floor would fill up with layers dead leaves and things.)

because there are so many types mushrooms, they grow in lots different places.

You may have even seen some your lawn. best when is lot rain moisture. sizes colors mushrooms. glow dark. can look like little umbrellas, bells, cups or balls. be smooth surfaces golf ball honeycomb. field mushroom most common. it white umbrella shaped brownish-pink ribs where spokes be. puffball mushrooms big balls to three feet across. shaggy-mane brown tufts on top that hair before comb morning. circle, called fairy ring, out from an underground center. important things remember about no easy way tell ones eat poisonous. good hard apart those make very sick. enjoy looking at variety see woods, but only grocery store!

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