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Try It Yourself: Get a Good Look at Mushroom Spores

Fall is a good time to find mushrooms, so let’s take a closer look at this well-known type of fungus.

We can see mushrooms above the ground, but the main part of the fungus, called the mycelium, grows below ground. The mushroom is kind of like the fruit of the fungus. Fruits are full of seeds, which they use to reproduce. Mushrooms aren’t plants, though, so they don’t have seeds. Instead, they have spores to help them reproduce. Mushrooms are full of spores, but these spores are so small they are hard to see.


With this easy experiment, you will learn how to find the spores to see them for yourself.

Materials


Mushrooms (Note: Picking mushrooms or removing anything from the preserves is prohibited.)

Scissors

Paper

Water

Water dropper

Bowl or storage container with a lid

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