How do mushrooms grow?

Mushrooms grow from spores (not seeds) that are so tiny you can't see individual spores with the naked eye. Rather than soil, these spores rely on substances like sawdust, grain, straw, or wood chips for nourishment. A blend of the spores and these nutrient sources is called spawn. Mushroom spawn acts a bit like the starter you need to make sourdough bread.

The spawn supports the growth of mushrooms' tiny, white, threadlike bodies, called mycelium. The mycelium grows first, before anything that resembles a mushroom pushes through the soil.

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