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