Mushroom cultivation glossary and basic mycology terminology with simple explanations. Popular abbreviations and acronyms are used in mushroom growing communities and cultivation guides

Mycology terminology, mycology terms, glossary of mycology terms and popular abbreviations in mushroom cultivation
Glossary of Mycology Terms and popular abbreviations in mushroom growing communities

Mycology Terminology list and Abbreviations in mushroom cultivation

Here you can find common abbreviations and detailed mycological terminology for your help. They are widespread in mushroom cultivation guides and mushroom growers communities. Also common internet acronyms were added, because they are also used by mushroom cultivators in Shroomok international community.

Use a sidebar to move between paragraphs and letters in glossary or use "Search" to find the exact term faster.

Mushroom growing abbreviations

A2A = Agar to Agar (transfer)

A2G = Agar to Grain (inoculation)

AA = All American (company that makes the best pressure cookers)

AAPC = All American Pressure Cooker

APE = Albino Penis Envy (P. Cubensis strain)

AQ = aqueous, water based

BE = Biological Efficiency

BRF = Brown Rice Flour

BT = Bacillus thuringiensis, (i.e. Gnatrol) kills fungus gnats and other pests

B&S = Break and Shake

cc = cubic centimeter, 1 cc = 1 ml

CEV = Closed Eye Visuals

CFM = Cubic Feet per Minute

coir = coco coir, coconut fiber

CO2 = Carbon dioxide

CV = coco coir + vermiculite substrate

CVG = Coco coir + Vermiculite + Gypsum substrate

contam = contamination

Cubes = Cubensis

D&R = Dunk & Roll

DNR = Dunk N' Roll

DDI = Double distilled De-Ionized water

DE = Diatomaceous Earth

DEC = Double Ended Casing

dH2O = distilled H2O (water)

DI = De-Ionized water

DT = Double Tub

Dunk = submerging the mushroom cake/substrate in water to rehydrate

EtOH = Ethanol

FAE = Fresh Air Exchange, Free Air Exchange

FFAE = Frequent Fresh Air Exchange

FC = Fruiting Conditions, Fruiting Chamber or Field Capacity

FH = Flow Hood

Flush = the development of many fruiting bodies

FSR = Free Spore Ring

G2G = Grain to Grain (transfer)

GB = Glove Box

GE = Gas Exchange

GGMM = Paul Stamets' "Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms"

GT = Golden Teacher, P. Cubensis strain

H2O2 = Hydrogen Peroxide (3% is the standard available concentration)

HEPA = High Efficiency Particulate Air filter is used in laminar flow hoods

Hpoo = horse dung

HWFP = hardwood fuel pellets

HW = Honey Water

INC = Incubator

INOC = inoculate

IPA = IsoPropyl Alcohol

ISO = isopropyl/rubbing alcohol

karo = a brand of light corn syrup (dextrose)

KOH = Potassium (K) Hydroxide (OH), a strong base

LECA = Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate

Lime = hydrated lime, calcium hydroxide

LC = Liquid Culture

LME = Light Malt Extract

LS = Laboratory Strain

MC = MonoCulture or Mushroom Community

MEA = Malt Extract Agar

MEAC = Malt Extract Activated Charcoal agar

MEP = Malt Extract with Peptone agar

MYA = Malt-Yeast Agar

ml = milliliter, 1mL=1cc

MeOH = Methanol

MIC = Minimum Inhibitory Concentration

MMGG = Magic Mushroom Growing Guide

MS = Multi-Spore

MSI = Multi-Spore Inoculation

MSS = Multi-Spore Syringe

MSS = Multi-Spore Single Strain

MT = MonoTub

myc = mycelium

myc piss = mycelium piss, secondary metabolites created by mycelium

Mycogone = wet bubble disease

NOC = inoculate

Newb/Noob = a person who is new to the hobby

Pans = Panaeolus aka Copelandia (mushroom genus)

PC = Pressure Cook(er)

PDA = Potato Dextrose Agar

PDYA = Potato Dextrose Yeast Agar

Peat = peat moss

PF = Psylocybe Fanaticus, creator of the PF-tek

pH = potential of hydrogen (scale of acidity)

Poo = Poop/Manure

PSI = pounds per square inch

RH = Relalitive Humidity (%)

RR = Roger Rabbit, prominent figure in mushroom growing community

SAB = Still Air Box

SB = shoebox

S2B = Spawn to Bulk

SGFC = Shotgun Fruiting Chamber

Scope = microscope

Spawn = grain spawn (rice, rye, oats, corn, wheat, millet etc.)

Stickers = multi spore syringes

SUB = Substrate (usually refers to bulk substrate)

Swab = cotton swab with spores

TEK = Technical Educational Knowledge, used as a short term for "Technique" in mushroom growing

TiT = Tub In Tub (Tote In Tote), refers to an incubator consisting of 2 plastic tubs and an aquarium heater

Trich = Trichoderma mold

UB = uncle bens

Verm = Vermiculite

Vert = verticillium (dry bubble disease)

WBR = whole brown rice

WBS = Wild Bird Seeds

50/50 = 50% vermiculite and 50% peat moss

50/50 = 50/50 with gypsum/lime, or oyster shell added to buffer the pH

Mycology Terminology


Abort — a small pinning mushroom that ceases to grow and never reaches full maturity. The cap of aborted shroom turn black color.

Acidic — pH lower than 7.0 indicates acidity level. The lower pH level the more acid substance.

Adnate — where the gills or tubes under the cap of a fungus are perpendicular to the stipe or stem at the point of attachment.

Adnexed — Where the gills or tubes under the cap of a fungus sweep upwards before being attached to the stem.

Aerial mycelium — hyphal elements growing above the agar or substrate surface.

Agar — is a gelatinous substance that is extracted from seaweed and processed into flakes, powders and sheets. It is commonly used in Asian cuisines and as a flavorless vegan substitute for gelatin. The agar used in mushroom cultivation and bacteriological labs is usually available in powder form and using sterile preparation poured into a petri dish or slant for spores to be inoculated, cloning mushroom tissue, agar to agar transfers (A2A) etc.

Agarics — mushrooms with gills.

Air filter — is a synthetic filter that provides gas exchange during the colonisation period (in spawn jar/bag and jar with liquid culture). It must be protected by bactericidal layer to prevent any competing microorganisms from entering through it. Bactericidal breathing patch, Luer lock syringe filters, and synthetic filter disks are used for this purpose.

Alkaline — a pH greater than 7.0 indicates alkalinity in ascending level. The higher the pH the more alkaline the substance.

Annulus — a ring of thin tissue left attached to the stem of a mushroom when the veil connecting the cap and stem ruptures as the mushroom cap opens to maturity.

Antibiotic — a class of natural and synthetic compounds that inhibit the growth or kill bacterial microorganisms.

Apex — the top or highest point.

Ascomycetes — A group of fungi that produce their sexual spores inside specialised cells known as asci, which usually contain eight spores

Aseptic — sterile environment, sterile condition in which no living microorganisms are present. Usually chemicals, extreme heat or UVC germicidal light are used to make an environment aseptic.

Autoclave — a laboratory chamber used to sterilize equipment and supplies by subjecting them to pressurized saturated steam at 121 °C (250 °F) for around 30-60 minutes at a pressure of 15 psi (103 kPa or 1.02 atm) depending on the size of the load and the contents.

Axenic — relating to a culture that is free from all living organisms except for the species intended to host within it. Refers to a non-contaminated grow medium.


Bacteria — single cell microorganisms that can invade and easily breakdown and kill healthy tissue. On the other hand there are some bacteria that are needed for the fruiting of fungi. These are present in the bulk substrate, survive pasteurization and have a symbiotic relationship with mycelium.

Bad Trip — is a slang expression, a state of fear and panic attack during a psychedelic trip session.

Basidiomycetes — a group of fungi which produce their spores externally on basidia. Often four spores are produced per basidium. Many basidiomycetes show clamp connections on their hyphae. Most mushrooms are classified as basidiomycetes, whereas most molds are ascymycetes.

Basidium (pl. basidia) — a cell that gives rise to a basidiospore. Basidia are characteristic of the basidiomycetes.

Biological efficiency (BE) — the definition of biological efficiency in mushroom cultivation is: 1 pound fresh mushrooms from 1 pound dry substrate indicates 100% biological efficiency. This definition was first used by the agaricus industry to be able to compare different grow setups and substrate compositions. Note that this is not the same as true thermodynamic efficiency.

Biospore tape — a low adhesive paper type tape with pours approximately 2 nanometers in diameter or even smaller. The pores in the tape make the product breathable.

Birthing — removing the fully colonized growth medium (like a cake or its spawn jar) from whatever container it was kept in for colonization purposes and placing in an environment like a bulk substrate conducive to fruiting.

Bleach bombing — an industry-used phrase to describe the use of bleach sprayed on the walls and floors. The rooms so treated are usually sealed tight for 24 hours, allowing the chlorine gas to thoroughly disinfect the environment.

Block — aka "mushroom cake" refers to a fully colonized bulk substrate in the fruiting phase of cultivation. Also referring to the cube-shaped mass of sawdust substrate contained within plastic bags. Once the mycelium has grown through the substrate, the plastic can be stripped off, and the mycelium holds the mass together. Blocks can be used individually or collectively to build “walls” of mushroom mycelium.

Bolete — a group of fungi having tubes rather than gills beneath the cap.

Bottle-tek — is a technique of mushroom cultivation, when we use large volume plastic bottles (5-7 liters or even 15-20 liters) as a fruiting chamber for mushroom fruiting period. This is an alternative option for Grow Box or MonoTube in amateur home cultivation

Brown Rice Flour (BRF) — ground brown rice, usually used for making BRF cakes according to PF-tek guide.

BRF cake, Rice cake — making a mushroom mix of brown rice flour (BRF) with vermiculite and water, and injecting it with mushroom spores.

Bruising or Bruises on mushrooms and mycelium— is the reaction between psilocyn and oxygen. In the presence of oxygen psilocybin is more stable. But psilocyn readily forms bluish and dark-blue decomposition products. The bluish reaction or bluish-green is obvious in the most potent species. The less psilocyn there is in a species, the more subtle the bluish reaction. Bruising is a result of mechanical impact or dehydrated mycelium.

Buffer — a system capable of resisting changes in pH even when acid or base is added, consisting of a conjugate acid-base pair in which the ratio of proton acceptor to proton donor is near unity.

Buffer agent — buffers are necessary to adjust and maintain the pH. Buffering agents can be salts of a weak acid and a weak base. In mushroom cultivation buffer agents used on the base of calcium carbonate (CaCO3): Limestone flour (CaCO3), Limestone grit (CaCO3), Dolomitic limestone flour (CaCO3-MgCO3), Marl, Chalk, ground Oyster shell, Hydrated Lime (calcium hydroxide). All these additives increases substrate's pH while helping to buffer it, or keep it within a desirable (and higher) pH range, so that prevent Trichoderma mold contamination and support mushroom development

Bulk substrate — secondary substrate in mushroom cultivation also called fruiting substrate for producing mushrooms (after spawn added to bulk). Bulk substrate is less nutrient than grain substrate. Fruiting substrate is a source of additional water and ingredients for mushroom metabolism and fruit development.


Canopy — an overhanging protection of the caps of mushroom fruits.

Cake — aka mushroom cake, refers to a fully colonized bulk substrate in the fruiting phase of cultivation

Carbon dioxide (CO2) — a colorless, odorless, incombustible gas produced from fungi metabolism. Fresh fruiting fungi take up oxygen and produce carbon dioxide. Formed during respiration, combustion, and organic decomposition. A waste product of fungi that when levels of concentration become over 1000 ppm inhibits normal growth and can cause environmental conditions that can create conditions for contamination, overlay and stroma, hypertrophic stipes and "fuzzy feet", secondary metabolites and effect pining from occurring.

Carpophore(s) — Commonly known as "mushrooms", the reproductive organs of the truebody of the fungus, formed by the web of mycelium that colonize a substrate.

Casing — a layer of water-retentive materials applied to a substrate to encourage and enhance fruitbody production.

Usually casing materials including peat moss and vermiculite; additives include hydrated lime or limestone flour. Casing should not have any nutrients, it's non-nutrient substrate. Casing layers serve to hold moisture, promote and hold humidity and when pH buffered between 8.0 - 9.0 can create a hostile environment for certain contamination like Trichoderma mold to live

Cellulose — Glucose polysaccharide that is the most abundant polysaccharide on earth, and common source of nourishment for cultivated fungi.

Clone — a population of individuals all derived asexually from the same single parent. Great care should be taken to select a fruiting body (parent) of the highest quality, size, color, shape or any highly desired characteristic.

Cloning — in mushroom cultivation placing a piece of mushroom tissue on agar medium in order to obtain growing mycelium. This is not strictly related to the colloquial notion of cloning, and is simply a manipulation of the natural asexual reproduction system of fungi.

Cobweb mold — mold contamination, fungal disease that is commonly seen on the surface of the substrate or parasitizing commercially and home cultivated mushrooms. Can be caused by several related pathogens: Dactylium spp., Cladobotryum spp., Hypomyces spp. etc. It is cobweb-like in appearance and first shows up in small scattered patches that have a greyish color. Cobweb is invasive and can quickly run over the entire surface of the substrate.

Coir — aka coco coir, a short coarse fiber from the outer husk of a coconut. Used as a bulk substrate usually in combination with vermiculite to grow mushrooms..

Cold Shock — is a procedure when the colonized mushroom cake with a casing layer is stressed by a sudden drop in temperature for 12-24 hours in the refrigerator at +2ºC to 4ºC (35-39°F) before introducing it to the fruiting conditions.

Colonization — the period of the mushroom cultivation starting at Inoculation during which the mycelium grows through the Substrate until it is totally permeated and overgrown. Can refer to either spawn grain colonization or bulk substrate colonization.

Compost — selectively-fermented organic material. Compost is one of many desirable substrates for certain species of mushrooms, but may vary in its components. Usually combined with straw, manure and other organic substances and designed for mushroom fruitbody production.

Coniferous — pertaining to conifers, which bear woody cones containing naked seeds. Relevant in mushroom hunting.

Contam Grave — a hole people dig in their yard to put all their shroom contamination so it’s within a wind gust away from sporulating right back into their grow again. Highly inadvisable.

Contamination — undesired organic foreign pathogens that invade the mycelium colonization and begin growing in the host medium. They are frequently bacterial or fungal micro-organisms and often the primary result of insufficient sterilisation, improper sterile technique or not meeting the proper pasteurization times and temperatures for bulk substrate prior to adding grain spawn.

Cottony — having a loose and coarse texture. Referred to a mycelium growth pattern of some fungi species or strains.

Cropping — the time of mushroom formation, development and harvesting.

Culture — a sample of a given microorganism, or a spore In mycology that is grown in a culture medium. A culture is ordinarily grown in a nutrient rich (MEA or PDA) agar in petri or a liquid culture medium. Usually a culture is grown for a relatively short period of time before it is put into another grow medium to spawn colonies.

Culture medium — the material growth medium upon which a culture is developed. Microorganisms differ in their nutritional needs, and a large number of different growth media have been developed: PDA (potato dextrose yeast agar) and MEA (malt seaweed extract agar) can be used for most cultivated mushrooms.

CVG — aka Coir Vermiculite Gypsum mix is one of the most commonly used substrates for growing P.Cubensis. CVG can be pasteurized just like any other bulk substrate used for spawning to bulk in open air. coco coir only, Coir+Verm, Coir+Gypsum and Coir+Verm+Gypsum are all usable combinations.

Cycling the Block — aka flushing, it refers to the cycling of the bulk substrate when rehydration is introduced by submersion of the block under water immediately after harvest, when flushing of fruit has subsided and a slow in the fruiting cycle has occurred.


Desiccant — an anhydrous substance, usually a powder or gel, used to absorb water from other substances. Two commonly used desiccants are calcium hydroxide and silica gel. Desiccant packs can be placed in dehydrated mushrooms to assist in preserving them for extended periods.

Dextrose — a simple sugar used in agar formulations. Synonymous with glucose.

Dikaryotic mycelium — the state wherein two individual nuclei are present in each fungal cell.

Dimitic hyphae — fungal flesh typified by two kinds of hyphae.

Dimorphic — having two forms.

Diploid — a genetic condition wherein each cell has a full complement of chromosomes necessary for sexual reproduction, denoted as 2N.

Disk — the central portion of the mushroom cap.

Diffusion — the movement of suspended or dissolved particles from a more concentrated region to a less concentrated region as a result of random movement on the microscopic scale. Diffusion tends to distribute particles uniformly throughout the available volume, given enough time, and occurs more rapidly at higher temperatures.

Disinfection — synonymous with Decontamination. It is a thorough protocol to cleanse a specified area to destroy or prevent the growth of microorganisms (molds, bacteria, viruses). It is usually referring to rubbing, soaking or spraying the surfaces one wants to disinfect with chemicals such as: isopropyl alcohol, lysol, diluted bleach solutions, and other chemical disinfectants and exposure to UVC germicidal light.

Dwarf Fruit — a miniature sized mushroom usually characterized by a girthy ballooning stipe. Their veils break and the cap canopies open, due to high CO2 levels for extended periods of time during the fruiting stage. Typically a dwarf will grow to full maturity at about ¼ the stature of a normal fruit. It’s especially common to grow dwarf mushrooms for tent growers or any grow medium without ventilation or windows, such as rooms that had been closets.


Endospore — spores formed internally.

A metabolically dormant state by which some bacteria become more resistant to heat, chemicals, and other adverse conditions. Given the proper conditions, they will reactivate (germinate) and begin to multiply. Many bacterial endospores cannot be destroyed at boiling temperatures. This is important to mycologists because grains contain a high number of dormant endospores, thus, many grains must be pressure cooked (or autoclaved) to achieve sterilization

Entheogen — any naturally occurring substance that, when ingested, produces a profound religious state of mind, often described as God-like.

Evanescent — fragile and soon disappearing.

Enzyme — a protein, synthesized by a cell, that acts as a catalyst for a specific chemical reaction.


Fresh Air Exchange (FAE) — the act of opening the fruiting chamber and gently wafting fresh air into the tub with the lid or fanning tool. Fresh air is defined by the normal atmospheric air ratios of O2 and CO2 in the free air around us. Fungi consume oxygen like humans do to use for fuel unlike plants that do the opposite. Fresh air exchange is necessary to keep CO2 levels about 600-800 ppm. Fresh air exchange is what is accomplished by natural air flows in monotub, fanning gently with the lid on the tub, fanning with PC cooler, air pump for 24/7 FAE. FAE is a major key to initiating fruiting conditions once the bulk substrate has fully colonized.

Fermentation — the state of actively growing microorganisms, usually in a liquid environment. Smell is a good indicator of fermentation, it starts out with a sweet vinegary odor and then turns to a denatured alcohol smell. Fermentation in cultivation is a sign of contamination. The bacteria are breaking down the yeast and causing the fermentation of the tissue.

Fibrillose — fine, thin, hair-like filaments.

Filamentous — composed of hyphae or thread-like cells.

Field capacity — perfect substrate moisture conditions. A good way to test for this is to grab a handful of the substrate mixture and squeeze it in your hand. If you are unable to squeeze out any water, it is too dry. If a light squeeze causes a stream of water to come out, it’s too wet. You want to be able to squeeze the mixture as hard as you can, and only have a few steady drops come out to have a field capacity moisture level.

Flush — the collective formation and development of mushrooms within a short time period, often occurring in a rhythmic manner. Usually there is a resting period between flushes. A flushing can also refer to the cycling of the bulk substrate when rehydration is introduced by submersion of the block under water immediately after harvest when flush of fruit has subsided.

Flushing — it refers to the cycling of the bulk substrate when rehydration is introduced by submersion of the block under water immediately after harvest, when flushing of fruit has subsided and a slow in the fruiting cycle has occurred.

Fruitbody — a mushroom. The meaty part of the mushroom that grows above ground. The sexual reproductive body of the mushroom.

Fruiting — the event of mushroom formation and development.

Fruiting chamber (FC) — an enclosed space with high humidity and fresh air exchange where mushrooms may fruit from the substrate under proper conditions (GrowBox, MonoTub, Bottle-tek etc.)

Fruiting conditions — climate parameters for pinhead initiation and mushroom fruiting (temperature, relative humidity, CO2 level, light). These parameters depends on mushroom species.

Fungicide — a class of chemical pesticides used to kill fungi (usually mold spores).

Fungus — a group of organisms that includes mushrooms and molds. These organisms are decomposers of organic material.

Fuzzy feet — when the base of mushroom stems are fuzzy due to lack fresh air exchange (FAE) and high relative humidity level in combination with lack of FAE.


Grain-to-grain transfer (G2G) — inoculation of grain by already-colonized grain. This procedure involves exposing uncolonized, sterilized grain, and is prone to contamination. As such it should only be performed with a glove box, Still air box, HEPA laminar flow hood, under the most sterile conditions possible.

Genotype — the set of genes possessed by an individual organism.

Gentamicin — a broad-spectrum antibiotic mixture used to treat gram negative bacterial infections and often used in petri agar and liquid cultures for contamination prevention. The antibiotics are easily obtained at a pet store or online in the aquarium section however knowledge of proper sterilization through microfiltration is necessary prior to use in cultures.

Germination — the spreading of hyphae from a spore. It is the initial stage of development in fungus where mycelium forms from a spore.

Gills — the tiny segments on the underside of the cap. This is where the spores propagate within the fruiting body.

Glovebox — is a device used to Isolate an area for work with potentially hazardous substances or sensetive materials which need to be free from direct contact with the outside environment for any reason. Most glove boxes are tightly enclosed boxes having a glass panel for viewing inside and special airtight gloves attached inward in which a person on the outside can use to manipulate objects inside. Many times this can be made from a large size monotub and differs from a still air box or chamber in that it's a complete isolation chamber.

Glucose — a sugar in simple form. Dextrose is a simple sugar made from corn.

Golden Teacher — aka GT mushroom is a classic strain of Psilocybe Cubensis magic mushrooms. It is one of the most famous psychedelic fungi in the world.

Grain substrate — highly nutrient substrate for producing mycelium (mushroom spawn), usually first substrate for mushroom cultivation.

GrowBox — a technique for mushroom cultivation, when we use plastic container, aquarium or terrarium as a fruiting chamber for mushroom fruiting period.

Gypsum — aka calcium sulfate (CaSO4), a greyish powder often used in spawn preparation and bulk substrate preparation. It prevents the clumping of the grain kernels, support aeration, gives substrate a more optimal texture. Has neutral pH 7.0, may affect pH by half of a point initially.


Habitat — the substrate in which mushrooms grow.

Heat Shock — is a procedure when the colonized mushroom cake with a casing layer is stressed by raising the temperature for 3 hours at +35°C to +37°C (95-99°F) before introducing it to the fruiting conditions.

HEPA — High Efficiency Particulate Air filter is used in laminar flow hoods.

H2O2 — molecular formula for Hydrogen peroxide.

Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) — a clear aqueous solution usually available in concentrations from 3% to 35% that is easily decomposed into water and oxygen by enzymes like catalase, which is found in desirable mushrooms but not in many bacteria. This makes it capable of selectively destroying some competitors of contamination like cobweb mold, and a tool sometimes used in cultivation.

Hypha, hyphae — individual cells of mycelium.

Hyphal aggregate — a concentration of mycelium; a 'knot' in the mycelial network which often differentiates into a primordium.


In vitro — from the Latin, in glass, isolated from the living organism and artificially maintained (as in a petri dish, slant or a jar).

Incubation period — aka colonization, the period after inoculation (preferably at a temperature optimal for mycelial growth) during which the Mycelium grows vegetatively (mycelium forming in spawn jar/bag).

Incubator — is a special box or cabinet used at the first stage of cultivation - colonisation period of growing mycelium. In the incubator should be DRY, WARM, DARK

Inoculation — introduction of spores into grain substrate, agar media, liquid media.

Inoculation port — aka injection port is an entry point for a syringe needle containing the liquid spore solution or liquid culture to inoculate the sterile substrate or media. Bactericidal breathable patch, butyl rubber self-healing injection ports (aka bottle stoppers) or heat-resistant RTV-silicone sealant is used for this purpose.

Isolate — a strain of a fungus brought into pure culture (i.e. isolated) from a specific environment


Karyogamy — the fusion of two sexually opposite nuclei within a singlecell.


Lamellae — the gills of a mushroom.

Laminar Flow hood — A fan-powered HEPA-filtered device that produces a laminar flow of air that moves across the workspace allowing for open sterile work without the hassle and inconvenience of a still air box (SAB) or glove box. The air input goes through the HEPA and particles less that 0.3 microns in size are filtered out and the sterile air is pushed across the work plane.

Language of Mycelium — The ways in which the colonies as a whole speak. It is a language learned based on years of observation and mycology experience and is similar to sign language. Mycelium speaks by showing us what is stressing or causing it issues by how it behaves and spawns. For instance if Mycelium produces secondary metabolites it is a sign that it is in immediate need of something like FAE, or that a contaminating pathogen has invaded, etc. Learn the language of mycelium and you will have an insight to mycology that can only be learned if you allow mycelium to teach you. Keen observation, strong foundation in mycology, and trusting instinct is key.

Limestone — calcium carbonate (CaCO3), hydrated lime, garden lime. A white powder. Used to rise the pH level of the bulk substrate or casing layer.

Liquid Culture — a nutrient enriched liquid solution, similar to agar, where mycelium cells can germinate and multiply producing clones.

Liquid Inoculant — abbreviated LI, Liquid Inoculant is a suspension of mycelium in water. This is different from a LC in that the mycelium did not grow in the medium. The most common way to make a LI is to blend up a wedge/dish of clean mycelium on agar with sterilized water. Pore syringes are often referred to as an LI.

Lux — a measurement of light received by a surface equal to 1 lumen at a distance of 1 meter over a surface area of 1 square meter.


Macroscopic — visible to the naked eye.

Maltose — malt sugar, used for agar media recipes.

Martha — Martha Stewart everyday stationary storage closet, a shelf inside a zippered plastic cover

Martha Tek — Refers to a fruiting chamber based on a Martha Stewart-brand translucent vinyl closet. Martha Tek is also known as Myco-Tent growing in mushroom cultivation where instead of enclosed monotubs with manual interventions to cultivate, tents with open bins are placed inside the enclosure and the environmental factors, such as, temperature, relative humidity, fresh air exchange, lighting and watering misters, are individually controlled outside the tent and create the conditions necessary to cultivate fungi.

Mesophile — an organism thriving in moderate temperature zone, usually between 40–90°F (4–32°C).

Metabolites — aka secondary metabolites or "myc piss". Product of intermediary metabolism released from a cell, such as naturally excreted antibiotic of mushrooms. Secondary metabolites excreted from mushroom tissue indicates a symptom or sign of another problem, and could be signs of lack of enough FAE, nutritional deficiencies or excesses, a sight of trauma or signal that a pathogenic microorganism is getting ready to invade.

Metabolism — the biochemical synthesis that turn nutrients into energy for the growth processes that sustain a living cell or organism.

Microdosing — involves taking a very small dose of a substance, such as Psilocybin, that is not potent enough to cause a psychedelic trip but has long term subconscious effects. Proponents of microdosing believe that the practice benefits the mind, and research has recently started to explore this possibility.

Microscopic — visible only with the aid of a microscope.

MonoTub — is a type of fruiting chamber for mushroom cultivation. The volume of such tub can be from 6 Qt for mini-monotube (aka shoeboxes) to 32, 54, 80 Quart sizes and even bigger. Average tubes are considered optimal.

  • Modified MonoTub — consists of plastic transparent tub that has been modified with holes and closed tightly with transparent lid. These holes (air vents) on the proper distance and height help to create air flow, fresh air exchange (FAE) and maintain humidity due the basic laws of physics: temperature changes inside and outside tube, temperature differences on the bottom and on the top of tub create air flow and influence on the relative humidity.
  • Unmodified monotub (neglect-tek) — is a plastic transparent tub with lid, but without air holes. For fresh air exchange (FAE) during fruiting period the lid is flipped upside down or just don't close tightly. This creates air gaps around the lid locks which is important for allowing air exchange as well as substrate moisture regulation.
  • Double tub or Twin tub — consists of two plastic containers and connected to each other by the container tops. This configuration has a doubled volume of fruiting chamber and this is the main advantage for fruiting period. Can be made with air-holes (for average volume bins).
  • Shoebox tek — usually 6Qt plastic shoeboxes use for such fruiting chamber. Can be made with air holes for fresh air exchange in the same as for modified monotub or without air holes, where air gaps between two bins support air flow and FAE.

Multispore — refers to an inoculation where multiple germinations and matings occur due to the use of various spores, as in a spore solution (e.g. spore syringe) and as opposed to an isolate. Liquid cultures may sometimes be called multispore (though they contain no spores) if they were produced from a spore solution, rather than an isolate.

Mycelium (pl. mycelia) — a network of hyphae; the white and often filamentous and fuzzy portion of the mushroom that grows under and on the surface of the ground. They are similar to a plant's roots in that they deliver nutrients and O2 gas to fungi. Mycelium networks can be huge. The largest living thing in the world is a single underground mycelium complex. There are two types of Mycelial growth: Rhizomorph and Tomentose.

Myc Piss or Myc Pee — an abbreviated term for Secondary Metabolites referring to an yellowish-orange oily appearing secretion mycelium produces when under stress or attack of contamination.

Mycology — the study of fungi.

Mycophagist — a person or animal that eats fungi.

Mycophile — a person who likes mushrooms.

Mycophobe — a person who fears mushrooms.

Mycorrhiza — a symbiotic state wherein mushroom mycelium forms on or in the roots of trees and other plants. Mycorrhizal mushrooms impossible to grow at home (for example, Amanita Muscaria aka Fly Agaricus).

Mycosphere — the environment in which the mycelium operates.

Mycotopia — a term coined by Paul Stamets to describe an environment in which fungi are actively used to enhance and/or preserve ecological equilibrium.


Natural culture — the invitro cultivation of mushrooms by transplanting living mycelium, usually from a natural habitat


Overlay — a condition of the casing where mycelium been allowed to completely cover the surface. Overlay is cause by prolonged vegetative growth temperatures, high CO2 levels and excessive humidity. Or dry casing, high CO2 level and/or low humidity and failure to meet the proper fruiting conditions once the bulk substrate is colonized. Overlay, if overwatered, becomes mated. Overlay shows little or no inclination to form pinheads.

Oyster shells — see calcium carbonate or hydrated lime. Used as a pH buffering agent.


Parafilm tape — a semi-transparent, flexible film composed of a proprietary blend of waxes and polyolefins. It is a self-sealing thermoplastic non adhesive tape used in laboratory procedures to seal petri dishes from contaminants entering and cultures escaping.

Parasitic — organisms that grow by taking nourishment from other living organisms.

Pasteurization — heat treatment applied to a bulk and casing substrate to destroy unwanted organisms utilizing a reduced concentration of heat while keeping favorable microorganisms alive. The temperature range is between 140-180°F (+60..+80°C). The time required for pasteurization is variable dependent upon temperature, which is anywhere from 30-90 minutes. The treatment is different from sterilization, which aims at destroying ALL organisms in the substrate.

Phenotype — the observable physical characteristics expressed from the genotype.

Photosensitive — sensitive to light.

Phototropic — growing towards light.

Peat moss — aka sphagnum moss, unconsolidated soil material consisting largely of slightly decomposed, organic matter accumulated under conditions of excessive moisture. Used as a casing ingredient in mushroom culture due to its ability to hold more than 10 times its weight in water and lack of nutrients.

Perlite — is a very light mineral, often found next to the vermiculite in gardening stores. It has millions of microscopic pores, which when it gets damp, allow it to 'breathe' lots of water into the air, aiding in humidification, which is beneficial to mushroom fruiting.

Petri dish — a round glass or plastic dish with a cover to observe the growth of microscopic organisms. The dishes are partly filled with sterile growth medium such as agar (or sterilized after they have been filled). Petri Dishes are used to grow cultures and produce isolates.

PF — Psylocybe Fanaticus. The original spore provider and originator of the PF-Tek, one of the original home growing techniques on which many others are based today

pH — A measure to describe the acidity of a medium. pH 7 is neutral; higher than 7.0 pH is Alkaline, lower than 7.0 pH is Acidic

Pileus — the cap of a mushroom.

Pin, Pinhead — a term to describe a very young mushroom, so-named for the pin-sized developing cap. Synonym with "primordium".

Polyfill — a synthetic polyester fiber, used as a filter medium for monotubs, growbox and spawn jars to allow for air exchange.

Pressure cooker (PC) — a pot with a tight locking lid in which things can be cooked quickly with steam under higher pressure. The reason for it is that at 15 PSI (pound per square inch) pressure the water boils at a higher temperature (250°F or 121°C) than at ambient pressure. In mushroom cultivation a PC is used to thoroughly sterilize substrates, agar media, liquid media and cultivation tools.

Primordium (pl.primordia) — the initial fruiting body, the first recognizable but undifferentiated mass of hyphae that develops into a mushroom fruitbody. Synonym with "pinhead".

Primordial growth — The first point at which the development of a mushroom fruit body is visible to the naked eye. Primordia often appear as a balling up of mycelium strands which will eventually develop a cap. They are often referred to as knots and form the hyphal knots in the bulk substrate of a fruiting block.

Psilocybian — having psilocybin and/or psilocin. (Not necessarily belonging to the genus Psilocybe).

Pure culture — an isolated culture of a micro-organism, uncontaminated with others. Pure cultures are essential to the production of spawn because a culture is sensitive to contamination.


Rehydration — aka Flushing or cycling of the mushroom cake/block that includes submersion the entire block substrate in cold water and allowing waste products to flush out and the bulk substrate to rehydrate with water in preparation of the next cycle. This creates a shock to the block that stimulates now mycelial growth to flush again. Often aborts and secondary metabolites will appear after a block cycle rehydration.

Rhizomorphic mycelium — cord-like or strand-like hyphae. "Root-like" outward flat growing mycelium characterised by a round shaped growth with filamentous extensions on the outer edges. An adjective used to describe the rhizomorphic mycelium is taken as a sign of fast colonization and qualities desirable for fruiting. It is more optimal type of mycelium and usually targeted for cloning.

Rice cake, BRF cake — many of the growing methods involve making a mushroom "cake" of brown rice flour (BRF), vermiculite and water, and injecting it with mushroom spores.

Rye Berry Seed — a hardy annual cereal grass related to wheat (lat. secale cereale). In mushroom cultivation rye grain is used as a popular spawn grain medium.


Saprophyte — a fungus that lives on dead organic matter. A decomposer.

Scratching (aka fork-tek)— ruffling of the substrate or casing surface in order to maintain an open, porous condition conducive to primordia formation.

Sclerotium — A hard surfaced resting body of fungal cells resistant to unfavorable conditions, which may remain dormant for long periods of time and resume growth on the return of favorable conditions.

Secondary metabolites — product of intermediary metabolism released from a cell, such as naturally excreted antibiotic of mushrooms. Referred to as, "myc piss" in modern day culture. Secondary metabolites excreted from mushroom tissue indicates a symptom or sign of another problem, and could be signs of lack of enough FAE, nutritional deficiencies or excesses, a sight of trauma or signal that a pathogenic microorganism is getting ready to invade.

Selective medium — Medium that allows the growth of certain types of organisms.

Slant — a test tube with growth medium, which has been sterilized and slanted to increase the surface area of a spawn culture.

Soy Hulls — the "skin" of the soybean which comes off during processing. These hulls make an excellent nutrient rich substrate for mushroom growing.

Sphagnum — aka sphagnum moss, peat moss, bog moss and quacker moss. Used as a casing ingredient in mushroom culture due to its ability to hold more than 10 times its weight in water and lack of nutrients.

Spawn — culture of mycelium on grain used to inoculate the final substrate called bulk substrate or fruiting substrate.

Spawn to Bulk — transfer grain spawn to secondary fruiting substrate (bulk) for further bulk colonisation and mushroom fruiting.

Spawn run — the vegetative growth period of the mycelium after spawn to bulk substrate.

Species — Fundamental unit of biological taxonomy. Generally spoken, two individuals belong to the same species if they can produce fertile offspring.

Spore — a minute, typically one-celled, reproductive unit capable of giving rise to a new individual without sexual fusion, characteristic of lower plants, fungi, and protozoans.

Spore print — A collection of spores taken from a mushroom cap, often collected on sterile card stock, aluminum foil, biofilm or some other flat surface.

Spore Swab — cotton sterile swab with spores.

Spore Reproduction — spores thus differ from gametes, which are reproductive cells that must fuse in pairs in order to give rise to a new individual. Spores are agents of asexual reproduction, whereas gametes are agents of sexual reproduction.

Spore syringe — a solution of spores in sterile water collected in a syringe, usually scraped from a spore print under sterile conditions. It is one of the fastest and easiest method for transporting spores to a sterile substrate, agar media or liquid media (inoculation).

Spore Washing — a procedure in which cells are sterilized from a print in preparation for inoculation to a petri or slant agar, LC or syringe. There are several ways to wash spores, one uses several sizes of micron syringe filters in combination with UVC germicidal lights. This process is also known as spore cleaning or spore sterilization.

Stem — the stipe or stalk of a growing mushroom.

Sterilization — any process that eliminates and kills all forms of life, including transmissible agents such as viruses, bacteria, fungi and spore forms. Usually involves a process using heat, chemicals and/or UVC germicidal light. Objective is to create an environment or condition free from pathogenic microorganisms.

Still Air Box (SAB) — an enclosed area to do semi-sterile culture work in. It has a window so you can see into and two holes in the front to put your hands through. Inside the still air box is still. The particles that encounter still air lose their velocity quickly and tend to fall straight downwards. Thus by cleverly working in a SAB and never moving any non-sterile things over the top of sterile things you can achieve great success.

Stipe — the stem or stalk of a fungus.

Strain — a race of individuals within a species sharing a common genetic heritage, but differing in some observable features of no taxonomic significance. A genetic line considered to have common traits, usually identified for artificial selection

Many strains of P. Cubensis have geographical names (e.g. Ecuador, Amazonian, Tasmanian etc.), but point of natural origin is not necessarily the source of the name. Remember that strains are a human notion. Vendors often differentiate between stocks that are not visibly different to everyone, but which have been perceived to have different characteristics, whether visual, chemical, or behavioral (relating to the mushroom's response to environment, colonization speed). There must be a differential characteristic between the numerous variety of strains that makes it unique to the others

Straw — the dried remains of fine-stemmed cereals (wheat, rye, barley etc.) without seeds. Used as a spawn substrate and in the bulk substrate by the agricultural mushroom industry.

Stroma — (aka overlay) a dense, cushion-like aggregation of mycelium forming on the surface of composts or casings and indicative of somatic (vegetative), not generative growth.

Substrate — whatever you're using for spawn (grain substrate: wheat, oats, rye, millet etc) and grow the mushrooms on (bulk or fruiting substrate: coco coir, hay, straw, seed hulls, sawdust etc). Different varieties of mushroom like to eat different things. Different techniques involve inoculating substrates with spores than allowing the spawn to bulk substrate and casing substrate.

Super-pasteurization — prolonged pasteurization utilizing steam. Super-pasteurization typically is for 12–48 hours at or near 100°C (212°F) at or near atmospheric pressure. Super-pasteurization is a method commonly used to render sawdust substrates, in bulk, into a form usable for the cultivation of Shiitake, Oyster, and/or similar mushrooms.


Taxon (pl. taxa) — a taxonomic unit, usually in reference to a species.

Tek — short for technique in mushroom cultivation. Often prefaced with something to tell you what type of tek (PF-Tek, BRF Cake-Tek, Martha-Tek, Poor Boi Tek, UB-Tek, Monotub-Tek, Bottle-Tek etc) are all varieties of different methods. The PF-Tek is one of the original home growing techniques on which many others are based.

Thermogenesis — the process of heat generation by microorganisms.

Thermophile — an organism thriving in 75-140°F (+24°..+60°C) temperature zone.

Through-spawning — mixing spawn evenly throughout the substrate.

Top-spawning — placing spawn as a layer on the top of a substrate.

Tissue culture — is the simplest way to obtain a mycelial culture. Tissue culture is essentially a clone of a mushroom, defined as a genetic duplicate of an organism. The basic procedure is to remove a piece of the mushroom cap or stem, and place it on an agar plate. After 7-10 days mycelium grows from the tissue and colonizes the agar. Great care should be taken to select a fruiting body of the highest quality, size, color, shape or any highly desired characteristic.

Tomentose mycelium — a fuzzy cotton-like appearing type of mycelial growth lacking the characteristics of the other type of mycelia: rhizomorphic growth.

Tub in Tub (TiT) — refers to an incubator modification consisting of 2 plastic tubs and an aquarium heater

Trichoderma — a common green mold in the fungi family that is the number one contamination enemy in mushroom cultivation. This mold is saprotrophic and pathogenic fungus with an invasive growth pattern that starts to appear white but then turns green quickly and spreads. Trichoderma Harzianum won’t grow in pH levels above 8.0.

Trip — psychedelic mushroom journey happens when you take your cultivating hallucinogenic varieties. With psilocybin species a trip tends to last from three to six hours. May range from mild visual effects and lightly enhanced perceptions, to a totally altered state of consciousness and deep philosophical thinking. Generally, this can be controlled to some degree by mindset, setting and dosage.

Tyndallization — aka fractional sterilization or discontinuous heating, is a form of sterilization that involves boiling substrate in jars for about 20 minutes a day, for three days in a row. Tyndallization can be used to destroy the spores (bacterial and molds). But it is not considered completely reliable — some spores may survive and later germinate and multiply. It is not often used today, but is used for sterilizing items that cannot withstand pressurized heating, such as plant seeds.


Umbonate — used to describe a cap with a raised central area above the point where the stipe meets the pileu.


Variety — a sub-species epithet used to describe a consistently appearing variation of a particular mushroom species.

Vector — the pathway through or carrier on which an organism travels.

Veil — when a mushroom is growing the edges of the cap are joined to the stem. As the mushroom grows larger, the cap spreads and the edges tearaway, often leaving a very paper thin veil of material hanging from the stem.

Vermiculite — a highly absorbent material made from puffed mica that is sold in different grades of coarseness. The mycelium likes room to breathe and grow and vermiculite is the “V” in a CVG or CV bulk substrate in which it serves as a moisture-retentive medium for growing mushrooms in the fruiting stage. Vermiculite serves as a great casing layer due to the lack of nutrients within it.


Wedge-transfer — the cutting of triangular-shaped sections of mycelium from agar and their transfer into other vessels or substrates.

Wild bird seed (WBS) — millet-based birdseed; used as spawn and substrate in mushroom cultivation.


Zonate — having a band-like region darker in color or diferent in form than the surrounding tissue.

Common internet acronyms

abv. = abbreviation

AFA = As Far As

AFAIK = As Far As I Know

ATM = At The Moment

BFE = Bum-Fuck Egypt

BTW = By The Way

ETA = Estimated Time of Arrival

FOAF = Friend Of A Friend

GJ = Good Job

GL = Good Luck

IDK = I Don't Know

IIRC = If I Remember Correctly

IMAO = In My Arrogant Opinion

IMHO = In My Humble Opinion

IME = In My Experience

IMO = In My Opinion

IYE = In Your Experience

KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid

LMAO = Laughing My Ass Off

LITFA = Leave It The F* Alone

MYG = Mega You Grow

mod = moderator

OMG = Oh My God

OTOH = On The Other Hand

PITA = Pain In The Ass

ppl = people

pwn me plz = own me please (asking to be put in their place)

RTF = Read The FAQ

RTFM = Read The F*cking Manual

SWIM = Someone Who Isn't Me

TC = Take Care

TIA = Thanks In Advance

TLC = Tender Loving Care

TY = Thank You

UTFSE  = Use The F*cking Search Engine

wot = what (that extra letter is just too much)

WTF = What The F*ck

YMMV = Your Mileage May Vary

  1. Mushrooms Q&A
  2. Terminology & Abbreviations