Mushroom Terms


Located at the top of the mushroom, contains the gills and spores


Thin fleshy folds that hold and disperse spores upon Sporulation


Rhizomorphic growth, comparable in nature to a plant’s roots.


Think of it as the “seed” that mushrooms grow from


The act of spores being dispersed from the gills of a mushroom


Main body of the mushroom, often thin and long and connects to the cap


The thin fleshy flap that connects the cap of a mushroom to the stem, concealing the gills

Equipment Terms

Autoclavable bags

Plastic bags that can withstand high enough temperatures making them autoclavable, or in other words, able to be sterilized in the same way a glass jar is.

Brown Rice Flour

Brown rice flour is a nutritious grain flour that is most commonly used in mushroom cultivation in the “PF Tek”, a growing method that mixes vermiculite and brown rice flour to create a growing medium for mushrooms.

Coco Coir

Similar in nature to vermiculite. It is made from coconut fibers and retains moisture very well. Is used in casing often.

Flow hood

Often a homemade device made to make the immediate area’s air sterile in order to avoid contamination

Fruiting Chamber

This is where your colonized substrate is placed to begin the mushroom pinning and maturation process. The relative humidity of these terrariums is often 99% and kept at 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit.


A container that keeps warm temperatures to help colonization. You can use a Styrofoam container and a heating pad even. Often 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit.


Lime is used to alter the pH of a certain substrate or medium to ensure that it is not too acidic, and therefore, not ideal for mushroom cultivation.


Millet is a nutritious grain that edible mushrooms can grow on. A product sold in bulk in many grocery stores.


While vermiculite retains its moisture and holds onto like a sponge, perlite absorbs moisture and then let us out very quickly. People use perlite in mushroom fruiting chambers to keep the moisture and relative humidity levels high.

Pressure cooker

A small cooking appliance that is used primarily to sterilize substrate


Rye is another nutritious grain edible mushrooms commonly grow on.


Long metal instrument with a blade on the end typically used in surgery. In mushroom cultivation, its use is to scrape spores off a spore print.

Spore print

Typically a piece of paper or aluminum foil that has sporulated spores from a mature mushroom cap on it.


Similar to the syringe found in a hospital, syringes are used to inject spores into a sterile substrate


Vermiculite is a dry, spongy growing medium that is traditionally in planting soils to add volume, retain moisture and aeration for roots to grow. It works in a similar fashion in mushroom cultivation.

Misc Terms

Cold Shocking

The act of “shocking” a mass of colonized substrate into pinning and growing mushrooms through means of refrigeration and/or dunking in cold water.


After mushroom spores are inoculated and germinate in their substrate, they will begin to “colonize” the substrate. This is the act of the mycelium working its way through the substrate and preparing for mushroom growth.

Field Capacity

e.g. Go get a sponge, soak it in a bowl of water, pull it out and squeeze the water out, the moisture retained in the sponge that you cannot squeeze out illustrates the field capacity of that sponge.


“Fruit” refers to the mature mushroom and the act of mushrooms growing. e.g. “To fruit”

Hyphal Knots

Pre-cursor to pins, small round white balls in appearance


Place where inoculated mushroom substrate remains while it colonizes. Often 75-90 degrees F.


The act of introducing mushroom spores into a substrate.


Pasteurization can be thought of as “half-sterilization”. Pasteurization kills the bad bacteria while keeping the beneficial bacteria. Pasteurization in mushroom cultivation is typically done with cow and horse dung. You cannot pasteurize grains such as millet or rye.


Light sensitive. Often referring to mushrooms light sensitivity and the way they grow toward light sources.


Small, immature mushrooms that are only just beginning to grow


Sterilization is the act of making a substrate totally sterile, or absent of all living organisms and bacteria.


This is a term for tutorials or instructional documents on different cultivation techniques.

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