Spore Prints

Spore prints are useful for identifying mushrooms.
As we saw in the Scavengers and Decomposers video, mushrooms play a major role in the food web as decomposers, breaking down wood and other plant material, and putting some of that energy back into the food web. There are over 14,000 species of mushrooms, and many of them look very similar. We use many different characteristics to identify them, including their shape, their color, their texture, where they grow, and many other things. One important test that can help identify a mushroom is its spore print. Spore prints are easy to make, and some are quite beautiful.

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Anonymous wrote on Sun, 05/20/2012 - 09:46:

i use a different mushroom i got from the market its brown and how come it didnt work? i followed all the steps

rkrampf wrote on Sun, 05/20/2012 - 11:54:

First, be sure that the mushroom is open. You should be able to see the gills, all of those long slits in the underside. The button mushrooms sold in most grocery stores are not mature and have not opened.

Anonymous wrote on Sun, 04/01/2012 - 19:24:

Helloo we l0ve y0ur article very much b00kmarked it thanks will be back

Ms. Meow wrote on Wed, 10/26/2011 - 15:22:

so does this mean i have to learn a whole lesson on fungus ??? ICK !

Anonymous wrote on Thu, 04/25/2013 - 10:53:

Cool I like fungi it creeps the other girls in my class out but not me because I am a brave girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous wrote on Mon, 11/14/2011 - 11:59:

no u dont have to

Anonymous wrote on Sun, 10/16/2011 - 13:04:

Another good reason for my boys to go and hunt for their science project. At the time my three year old (now 5) was learning about fungi was that they were fun because God put them all over the place! A good time for a review!

Thanks for the idea

lisa gailey

Anonymous wrote on Thu, 10/13/2011 - 06:25:

I had no idea this could be done! A perfect project for my homeschooled students as well - especially my born naturalist son who proudly points out all the mushrooms he sees by screaming "FUNGI!!" at the top of his voice.

Thank you for such a wonderful idea.

Anonymous wrote on Thu, 05/17/2012 - 18:02:


Anonymous wrote on Tue, 10/11/2011 - 21:10:

Wow, this looks like a great experiment. I'll be using it on my homeschool students when I teach plants next time.

Thanks, as always. You've provided me with a lot of good material over the years!

Susan Coker

rkrampf wrote on Tue, 10/11/2011 - 21:54:

Back when I was a kid, they were considered plants, but fungi are now in their own kingdom. Their cell structure is very different, their genetics are very different, and they do not have chlorophyll. The only reason they were considered plants back then is that they were not animals.