Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Why do mushrooms grow so fast?

  1. Aug 7, 2013 #1
    Why do mushrooms grow so fast??

    I was doing some workouts in the front lawn of my gym a few days ago and the field was clear. Three days later (today) and I notice a ton of mushrooms scattered about! I didn't realize these things grew so fast. When I was pulling my weight sled I had to make a point to avoid them. They weren't the little ones either. They were about 4" dia and a bright white color. So what makes these guys grow so quickly?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 7, 2013 #2
    They have a limited time which they can propagate, usually after rains. Note that the mushroom you see is just a part of the organism, the longer lived part of the fungus (mycelium) lives below ground. The mushrooms pop up to deposit spores. They are mostly water so even though they look big, they are not very massive outside of their water content.
  4. Aug 7, 2013 #3
    Ahhh, thank makes sense. It had just rained the day before, though the ground was pretty dry today.
  5. Aug 8, 2013 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    By the way, the part that suddenly pops up after a rain is NOT "the" mushroom. It is, rather, the "fruiting body", corresponding to the fruit of a tree or other plant. The actual body of the mushroom is underground and can be quite extensive. In fact, the "largest living creature on earth" is not a whale or redwood tree but a mushroom growing in Oregon. It is 2,385 acres in area.
  6. Aug 8, 2013 #5
    Just a word of caution. Several species of fungus are poisonous so do not be tempted to eat any wild fungus unless it has been identified as being safe.
  7. Aug 8, 2013 #6
    Yeah, because I was going to just eat a mushroom found in my gym front yard after a tough workout. No better way to get your protein.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook