A
 
AbortA mushroom that for some reason ceases to grow and never reaches maturity 
AcidicHaving a pH lower than 7. 
AdnateWhere the Gills or tubes under the Cap of a Fungus are perpendicular to the Stipe or Stem at the point of attachment 
AdnexedWhere the Gills or tubes under the Cap of a Fungus sweep upwards before being attached to the Stem
Aerial myceliumHyphal elements growing above the Agar surface.
AgarAn extract from a seaweed used to solidify media. The agar used in mushrooms cultivation is usually available in powder form 
AgaricA term describing mushrooms and toadstools having Gills beneath a Cap that is connected to a Stipe or Stem
AlkalineHaving a pH greater than 7. 
AnnulusA ring of tissue left attached to the Stem of a mushroom or toadstool when the Veil connecting the Cap and Stem ruptures as the young fruitbody develops 
AntibioticA class of natural and synthetic compounds that inhibit the growth of or kill other microorganisms. 
AscomycetesA group of fungi that have in common that they produce their sexual Spores inside specialized cells (asci), which usually contain eight Spores
AsepticSterile condition: no unwanted organisms present 
Aseptic techniqueAlso Sterile technique. Manipulating sterile instruments or Culture media in such a way as to maintain sterility.
AutoclaveBasically a big Pressure cooker, sometimes operating at higher pressure than 15 PSI, thus achieving Sterilization temperatures above 250°F. 
AxenicNot contaminated; Gnotobiotic: Said esp. of a medium devoid of all living organisms except those of a single Species
B 
BacteriaUnicellular microorganisms that may cause Contamination in Culture work. Grain Spawn is very easily contaminated with bacteria. On the other hand there are some bacteria that are needed for the Fruiting of Agaricus. These are present in the Casing soil. 
BasidiomycetesA group of fungi which produce their Spores externally on so called basidia. Often four Spores are produced per basidium. Many basidiomycetes show clamp connections on their hyphae, Ascomycetes never do 
Basidium (pl. basidia):A cell that gives rise to a basidiospore. Basidia are characteristic of the Basidiomycetes.
Biological efficiencyThe definition of biological efficiency (BE) in mushroom cultivation is:
1 pound fresh mushrooms from 1 pound dry Substrate is 100% biological efficiency.
This definition was first used by the Agaricus industry to be able to compare different grow setups and Substrate compositions.
Note that this is not a true efficiency in thermodynamical terms!
The BE of Psilocybe cubensis is easily somewhere in the range of 200%. 
BirthingRemoving the fully colonized growth medium (like a cake from its jar) from whatever container it was kept in for Colonization purposes and placing in an environment conducive to Fruiting
BoleteA group of fungi having tubes rather than Gills beneath the Cap
BRFAbbreviation for brown rice flour
Brown Rice FlourGround Brown Rice 
BufferA system capable of resisting changes in pH even when acid or base is added, consisting of a conjugate acid-base pair in which the ratio of proton acceptor to proton donor is near unity. 
BufferA chemical system capable of resisting changes in pH even when acid or base is added, consisting of a conjugate acid-base pair in which the ratio of proton acceptor to proton donor is near unity. 
C 
CaCl2Calcium Chloride(Brand names: Damp-Rid, Damp-Gone, Damp B Gone, Damp Away..) Used as Desiccant
CaCO3Calcium carbonate, a Casing ingredient. 
Calcium carbonateCaCO3, a Casing ingredient, contained in Limestone
CapThe top part of a mushroom. Often conical or saucer-shaped, at least in the varieties generally discussed round here. 
Carbon DioxideA colorless, odorless, incombustible gas, CO2
Formed during respiration, combustion, and organic decomposition. 
Carpophore(s)Commonly known as “Mushrooms”, the reproductive organs of the true body of the Fungus, formed by the web of Mycelium that colonize a Substrate
CasingSome mushrooms need a covering layer of soil with a specific microflora for Fruiting. Casing materials include Peat, coco Coir and Vermiculite with addition of Limestone and crushed oystershells 
CaSO4Gypsum
CelluloseGlucose polysaccharide that is the main component of plant cell walls. Most abundant polysaccharide on earth.
CloneA population of individuals all derived asexually from the same single parent. In mushroom cultivation placing a piece of mushroom tissue on Agarmedium in order to obtain growing Mycelium is called cloning. 
CO2Carbon Dioxide
Cobweb MoldCommon name for Dactylium, a mold that is commonly seen on the Casing soil or parisitizing the mushroom. It is cobweb-like in appearance and first shows up in small scattered patches and then quickly runs over the entire surface of the Casing soil. 
CoirCoco coir. A short coarse fiber from the outer husk of a coconut. Used as a Casing ingredient. Brand names include Bed-A-Beast . 
ColonizationThe period of the mushroom cultivation starting at Inoculation during which the Mycelium grows through the Substrate until it is totally permeated and overgrown. 
CompostThe fermented (or fermenting) Substrate. The reason for composting Substrate in mushroom cultivation is to make it more selective for the desired mushroom 
ConiferousPertaining to Conifers, which bear woody cones containing naked seeds. 
ContaminationUndesired foreign organisms(contaminants) in a growing medium. Often ocurring due to insufficient sterilisation or improper sterile technique. 
CottonyHaving a loose and coarse texture. Referred to a growth pattern of some fungi Species or strains. 
CultureMushroom Mycelium growing on a culture medium.
Culture mediumMicro organisms differ in their nutritional needs. A large number of different growth media have been developed, PD(Y)A(potato dextrose(yeast extract) agar) and MEA (malt extract agar) can be used for most cultivated mushrooms 
D 
DeciduousTrees and plants that shed their leaves at the end of the growing season. 
DesiccantAn anhydrous(waterless) substance, usually a powder or gel, used to absorb water from other substances. Two commonly used types are calcium hydroxide or silica gel
DextroseA simple sugar used in Agar formulations. Also called Glucose
Dicaryotic myceliumContains the nuclei of both ‘sexes’ and can therefore produce Fruiting bodies 
DiffusionThe movement of suspended or dissolved particles from a more concentrated region to a less concentrated region as a result of the random movement of individual particles. Diffusion tends to distribute particles uniformly throughout the available volume.
DisinfectionTo cleanse so as to destroy or prevent the growth of microorganisms, usually referring to rubbing or spraying the surfaces one wants to disinfect with lysol, diluted bleach solutions or alcohol. 
E 
EndosporeA metabolically dormant state of Bacteria in which they are more resistant to heat, chemicals, etc. 
EnzymeA protein, synthesized by a cell, that acts as a catalyst in a specific chemical reaction.
F 
FCFruiting Chamber 
FermentationIn mushroom cultivation the process of composting. Easily accessible nutrients will be degraded by micro organisms which makes the Substrate more selective. Unwanted fermentation may occur if the Compost is still very ‘active’ or if thick layers or large bags are used. In that case the temperature inside the Substrate will rise too high for the desired Mycelium
Field capacityContent of water, on a mass or volume basis, remaining in a soil after being saturated with water and after free drainage is negligible. 
Flow HoodA fan powered and HEPA filtered device that produces a laminar flow of contam free air. The air moves across the workspace allowing for open sterile work without the hassle and inconvience of a Glovebox
FlushThe sudden development of many Fruiting bodies at the same time. Usually there is a resting period between flushes 
Fractional sterilizationSterilization method used to destroy Bacteria and Spores in preparation of grain spawn(rye, wheat, birdseed…) which requires no Pressure cooker. In this case, the jars fitted with a filter or a Polyfil lid filter are boiled or steamed 212°F (100°C) for 30 min in a covered pot, three days in a row. Between the boiling steps the jars are best kept warm, around 30°C, to allow the remaining Spores to germinate. The basic principle behind this method is that any resistant Spores should germinate after the first heating and therefore be susceptible to killing during the second and third heating. 
FruitingThe Mycelium will form mushrooms in its reproductive stage. This is called fruiting as the mushrooms are actually the fruiting bodies of the Mycelium
Fruiting BodyA mushroom. The part of the mushroom that grows above ground. 
Fruiting chamberA enclosed space with high humidity and air exchange where mushrooms fruit under proper conditions.
See druiting chambers
FungicideA class of pesticides used to kill fungi, primarily those which cause diseases of plants.
FungusA group of organisms that includes mushrooms and molds. These organisms decompose organic material, returning nutrients to the soil. 
G 
G2GGrain to grain transfer. Inoculation of grain by already colonized grain. 
GenotypeThe set of genes possessed by an individual organism. 
GeoliteOne of several brand names/varieties of clay aggregate medium (also known as LECA for light expanded clay aggregate). It is a lightweight, porous Substrate with excellent aeration. 
GerminationThe spreading of hyphae from a spore 
GillsThe tiny segments on the underside of the Cap. This is where the Spores come from. 
GloveboxA glovebox is a device used to Isolate an area for work with potentially hazardous substances or materials which need to be free from direct contact with the outside environment for any reason. Most gloveboxes are small, tightly enclosed boxes having a glass panel for viewing inside and special airtight gloves which a person on the outside can use to manipulate objects inside. 
GlucoseDextrose
Grow ChamberTerrarium
GypsumCalcium sulfate, CaSO4. A greyish powder used in Spawn making. It prevents the clumping of the grain kernels and acts as a pH-buffer. 
H 
H2O2Hydrogen peroxide. A clear aqueous solution usualy available in concentrations from 3% to 30%. Used in a novel mushroom growing approach by Rush Wayne
HayGrass that has been cut, left to dry in the field and then baled. It is fed to livestock through the winter when fresh grass is not available. The color of hay is greenish-grey. 
HEPAHigh Efficiency Particulate Air filter. A high efficiency filer used in Flow Hood
HygrometerAn instrument for measuring relative humidity ( rh ) 
Hypha(e)Filamentous structure which exhibits apical growth and which is the developmental unit of a Mycelium
I 
In vitroFrom the Latin, in glass, isolated from the living organism and artificially maintained, as in a Petri dish or a jar.
IncubationThe period after Inoculation (preferably at a temperature optimal for mycelial growth) during which the Mycelium grows vegetatively 
InoculationIntroduction of Spores or Spawn into Substrate
IsolateStrain of a Fungus brought into pure Culture (i.e. isolated) from a specific environment 
L 
LamellaeThe Gills of a mushroom 
LCLiquid Culture
LigninA complex polymer that occurs in woody material of higher plants. It is highly resistant to chemical and enzymatic degradation. The white rot fungi are known for their lignin degrading capability.
LimestoneCalcium carbonate – CaCO3. A white powder. Used to rise the pH of a Casing
Liquid cultureLiquid cultures are used to expand Mycelium into a liquid solution to inoculate grain Spawn
M 
Magic MushroomAny of a number of Species of fungi containing the alkaloids psilocybin and/or psilocin. Common Species are the ‘Liberty Cap’ (Psilocybe semilanceata) and Psilocybe cubensis. There are dozens of others
MaltoseMalt sugar, used in Agar formulations 
MarthaRefers to a Fruiting chamber based on a Martha Stewart translucent vinyl closet.
MEAMalt Extract Agar
MetabolismThe biochemical processes that sustain a living cell or organism. 
MultisporeRefers to an Inoculation of spore suspension into a Substrate where multiple germinations and matings occur. Typically used for PF cakes. 
MyceliumThe portion of the mushroom that grows underground. Plants have roots; mushrooms have mycelium. Mycelium networks can be huge. The largest living thing in the world is a single underground mycelium complex. 
MycorrhizaA symbiotic association between a plant root and fungal hyphae. 
O 
OverlayA dense mycelial growth that covers the Casing surface and shows little or no inclination to form pinheads. Overlay directly results from a dry Casing, high levels of Carbon Dioxide and/or low humidity. 
Oyster shellsGround oyster shells are used as an additive in a Casing. They give the Casing a better structure and Buffer the pH
P 
ParasiticFungi that grow by taking nourishment from other living organisms 
PasteurizationHeat treatment applied to a Substrate to destroy unwanted organisms but keeping favourable ones alive. The temperature range is 60°C to 80°C(140°F-175°F). The treatment is very different from Sterilization, which aims at destroying all organisms in the Substrate . 
PDAPotato Dextrose Agar
PDYAPotato Dextrose Yeast Agar
PeatUnconsolidated soil material consisting largely of undecomposed, or only slightly decomposed, organic matter accumulated under conditions of excessive moisture. Used as Casing ingredient in mushroom culture.
PerlitePerlite is a very light mineral, often found next to the Vermiculite in gardening stores. It has millions of microscopic pores, which when it gets damp, allow it to ‘breathe’ lots of water into the air, making it humid. Mushrooms like humidity when they’re Fruiting
Peroxidated AgarAgar made with H2O2 for the purpose of retarding Contamination with mold Spores and Bacteria. Not suitable for use with Spores, only Mycelium
Petri dishA round glass or plastic dish with a cover to observe the growth of microscopic organisms. The dishes are partly filled with sterile growth medium (or sterilized after they have been filled). Petri dishes are much used to grow the mycellum which will inoculate the mother Spawn
PFPsylocybe Fanaticus. The original spore provider and originator of the PF-Tek, one of the original home growing techniques on which many others are based. 
pHA measure to describe the acidity of a medium. pH 7 is neutral; higher means Alkaline, lower Acidic
PileusThe Cap of a mushroom or toadstool 
PinheadA term to describe a very young mushroom when the Cap has the size of a pin 
PolyfilA polyester fiber that resembles synthetic cotton. Found at fabric stores, WalMart, arts & craft stores. Also used as a filter medium for aquariums.(filter floss) 
Used as a jar lid filter in preparation of grain Spawn
Pressure cookerA pot with a tight lid in which things can be cooked quickly with steam under higher pressure. The reason for it is that at 15 PSI (pound per square inch) pressure the water boils at a higher temperature (250°F, 121°C) than at ambient pressure.(212°F, 100°C). In mushroom cultivation used to sterilize substrates and Agar media. 
PrimordiumThe initial Fruiting body, the stage before Pinhead
Psilocybin, PsilocinHallucinogenic organic compounds found in some mushrooms 
Pure cultureAn isolated Culture of a micro organism; organism without any other micro organisms. Pure cultures are essential to the Spawn production process. 
R 
RhyzomorphRoot-like. An adjective used to describe the appearance of the Mycelium of some mushroom strains. Rhyzomorphic growing Mycelium is usually a sign of a well Fruiting Strain
Rice CakeMany of the growing methods involve making a ‘cake’ of brown rice flour( BRF ), Vermiculite and water, and injecting it with mushroom Spores. Not a rice cake like you’d buy in a supermarket! 
RyeA hardy annual cereal grass related to wheat.
Lat.:Secale cereale
In mushroom cultivation rye grain is used as Spawn medium. 
RyegrassA perennial grass widely cultivated for pasture and Hay and as a lawn grass. 
Lat.:Lolium perenne
Seeds used as Substrate for P. mexicana and P. tampanensis
S 
SaprophyteFungus that grows by taking nourishment from dead organisms 
SclerotiumA hard surfaced resting body of fungal cells resistant to unfavorable conditions,which may remain dormant for long periods of time and resume growth on the return of favorable conditions. 
Secondary metaboliteProduct of intermediary Metabolism released from a cell, such as an antibiotic.
Selective mediumMedium that allows the growth of certain types of microorganisms in preference to others. For example, an antibiotic-containing medium allows the growth of only those microorganisms resistant to the Antibiotic
Set, Setting, and DosageWhere you are, what you’re doing/feeling/thinking and how much mushroom you have taken. By the time you’ve read the FAQs, and grown a batch of your own, you’ll probably have a good idea of how much mushroom you’ll need to get where you want to go. Recommended settings are: anywhere natural with as few people as possible (the woods, the beach, a park, a nature reserve); anywhere you know you’ll have privacy for the duration. If you’re living with your parents, you probably don’t want them walking in on you while you’re curled up in a corner, giggling happily at the wallpaper. 
SimmerTo cook just below or at the boiling point. 
SlantA test tube with growth medium, which has been sterilized and slanted to increase the surface area 
SpawnThe pure Culture of Mycelium on grain, sawdust, etc., used to inoculate the final Substrate
Spawn runThe vegetative growth period of the Mycelium after spawning the Substrate
SpeciesFundamental unit of biological taxonomy. Generally spoken, two individuals belong to the same species if they can produce fertile offspring 
Spore PrintA piece of paper or glass that has the Spores that have fallen off of a Cap
Spore SyringeMany of the techniques for growing mushrooms indoors involve mixing up a Spore Print with some water, and injecting the result into a sterile container full of something the Spores can infect, produce Mycelium in, and eat. Several companies will sell you ready-to-use spore syringes for a few pounds/dollars. This site has links to, or address for, many of these companies. 
SporesWhat mushrooms have instead of seeds. Absolutely microscopic, but produced by the millions by each and every mushroom. 
Stamets, PaulThe owner of Fungi Perfecti and mushroom guru. The co-author of The Mushroom Cultivator and many other helpful books. 
StemThe Stipe or stalk of a growing mushroom. 
SterilizationCompletely destroying all micro organisms present, by heat(autoclave, pressure cooker) or chemicals. Spawn Substrate always has to be sterilized prior to Inoculation
StipeThe Stem of a mushroom at the top of which the Cap or Pileus is attached 
StrainThe equivalent of race in plants and animals. The same Species may consist of strains that vary considerably in genetic make up, but all are sexually compatible 
StrawThe dried remains of fine-stemmed plants(wheat, Rye, barley…) from which the seed has been removed in threshing. Straw has a golden color. 
StromaDense mycelial growth without Fruiting. Stroma occurs if Spawn is mishandled or exposed to harmful petroleum-based fumes or chemicals. It also occurs in dry environments. 
SubstrateWhatever you’re using to grow the mushrooms on. Different varieties of mushroom like to eat different things (rice, Rye grain, StrawCompost, woodchips, birdseed). Different techniques involve infecting substrates with anything from Spores, to chopped-up Mycelium, to blended mushroom. 
T 
TekShort for Technique. Often prefaced with something to tell you what type of Tek; e.g. PF-Tek, for Psylocybe Fanaticus Technique, one of the original home growing techniques on which many others are based. 
TerrariumA small enclosure or closed container in which selected living plants, fungi and sometimes small land animals, such as turtles and lizards, are kept and observed. 
Tissue cultureTissue cultures are the simplest way to obtain a mycelial Culture. A tissue Culture is essentially a Clone of a mushroom. Clone is defined as an identical duplicate of an organism. The basic procedure is to sterilely remove a piece of the mushroom Cap or Stem, and place it on an Agar plate. After a week to ten days, Mycelium grows from the tissue and colonizes the Agar. Great care should be taken to select a Fruiting body of the highest quality, size, color, shape or any highly desired characteristic. 
TiT“Tub in Tub”, refers to an incubator consisting of 2 plastic tubs and an aquarium heater. 
TrichodermaGreen mold 
TripWhat happens when you eat the finished product. Can last from three to six hours. May range from mild visual effects and lightly enhanced perceptions, to a totally altered state of consciousness. Generally, this can be controlled to some degree by set, setting and dosage. Read some of the trip reports to get an idea of what other people have experienced. Please always remember, although many of the effects seem to be experienced by many different people, you’re going to have *your* trip, not someone else’s. 
TyndallizationFractional sterilization
U 
UmbonateUsed to describe a Cap with a raised central area above the point where the Stipe meets the Pileus
V 
VeilWhen a mushroom is growing, the edges of the Cap are joined to the Stem. As the mushroom grows larger, the Cap spreads and the edges tear away, often leaving a very thin veil of material hanging from the Stem
VermiculiteA highly absorbent material made from puffed mica. Used in rice cakes to hold water, and to stop the cake being too sticky. The Mycelium likes room to breathe and grow. 
W 
WBSWild Bird Seed. Millet based birdseed; used as Spawn and Substrate in mushroom cultivation. 
Z 
ZonateMarked with concentric bands of colour. Refers to the appearance of Mycelium of some mushroom Species on Agar, for instance P. mexicana

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