Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Fungi - Mother Nature's Waste Disposals


















Back during the summer, we had a day of rain. Walking in the garden, these fungi were growing in my mulch. I found their apperance to be very facinating. They just seemed to pop up overnight and were gone in a couple of days. Here are some interesting facts about fungi:
  • They extract their nourishment, like animals, from organic materials. They basically eat what they are feeding on and by doing so destroy it.

  • They do not make chlorophyll or use sunlight like plants do. They can grow in the dark.

  • They must have moisture and oxygen to survive.

  • They have been around since life began on the earth.

  • Fungi reproduce themselves through spores - not seeds.

  • In most fungi, the spore production is massive.

  • Fungi are used in food production like breads, beverages and cheese.

  • Fungi is used in making medicine - like penicillin.

  • There are over a million types of fungi, but only about 10% in scientific literature.

  • Fungi creates a crop loss of about 3 billion dollars annually in North America.

Fungi are not as attractive as the flowers in our gardens but they play a very important part in our gardens and our lives. The next time you see some growing in your garden, take a good look at how interesting they can be.

The Creative Gardener

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