Is there a fungus among us? A fungus is a simple organism that's not an animal or a plant. A delicious mushroom is one kind of fungus, while another type of fungus causes nasty infections.

The plural of fungus is fungi, so when you order a pizza you can request it "with extra fungi" if you like. Mold, yeast, and mildew are all types of fungi, and there are plenty of edible fungi as well, including truffles and portobello mushrooms. While a fungus may look like a plant, it doesn't go through photosynthesis like plants do and it reproduces through spores.

Definitions of fungus

n an organism of the kingdom Fungi lacking chlorophyll and feeding on organic matter; ranging from unicellular or multicellular organisms to spore-bearing syncytia

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Ceratostomella ulmi, Dutch elm fungus
fungus causing Dutch elm disease
Claviceps purpurea, ergot
a fungus that infects various cereal plants forming compact black masses of branching filaments that replace many grains of the plant; source of medicinally important alkaloids and of lysergic acid
Xylaria mali, black root rot fungus
fungus causing black root rot in apples
Xylaria polymorpha, dead-man's-fingers, dead-men's-fingers
the fruiting bodies of the fungi of the genus Xylaria
any fungus of the genus Sclerotinia; some causing brown rot diseases in plants
earthball, false truffle, hard-skinned puffball, puffball
any of various fungi of the genus Scleroderma having hard-skinned subterranean fruiting bodies resembling truffles
stalked puffball
mushroom of the genus Tulostoma that resembles a puffball
false truffle
any of various fungi of the family Rhizopogonaceae having subterranean fruiting bodies similar to the truffle
slime mold, slime mould
a naked mass of protoplasm having characteristics of both plants and animals; sometimes classified as protoctists
pond-scum parasite
an aquatic fungus of genus Synchytriaceae that is parasitic on pond scum
Synchytrium endobioticum, potato wart fungus
fungus causing potato wart disease in potato tubers
Saprolegnia ferax, white fungus
a fungus that attacks living fish and tadpoles and spawn causing white fungus disease: a coating of white hyphae on especially peripheral parts (as fins)
white rust
fungus causing a disease characterized by a white powdery mass of conidia
any fungus of the genus Pythium
Phytophthora citrophthora
causes brown rot gummosis in citrus fruits
Phytophthora infestans
fungus causing late blight in solanaceous plants especially tomatoes and potatoes
Plasmodiophora brassicae, clubroot fungus
a fungus resembling slime mold that causes swellings or distortions of the roots of cabbages and related plants
earth-ball, earthnut, truffle
any of various highly prized edible subterranean fungi of the genus Tuber; grow naturally in southwestern Europe
coral fungus
any of numerous fungi of the family Clavariaceae often brightly colored that grow in often intricately branched clusters like coral
tooth fungus
a fungus of the family Hydnaceae
any thallophytic plant of the division Lichenes; occur as crusty patches or bushy growths on tree trunks or rocks or bare ground etc.
true fungus
any of numerous fungi of the division Eumycota
basidiomycete, basidiomycetous fungi
any of various fungi of the subdivision Basidiomycota
Chinese black mushroom, Lentinus edodes, Oriental black mushroom, golden oak mushroom, shiitake, shiitake mushroom
edible east Asian mushroom having a golden or dark brown to blackish cap and an inedible stipe
Lentinus lepideus, scaly lentinus
a fungus with a scaly cap and white flesh and a ring on the stalk (with scales below the ring); odor reminiscent of licorice
Corticium salmonicolor, pink disease fungus
fungus causing pink disease in citrus and coffee and rubber trees etc
Corticium solani, bottom rot fungus
fungus causing bottom rot in lettuce
Pellicularia filamentosa, Rhizoctinia solani, potato fungus
fungus causing a disease in potatoes characterized by black scurfy spots on the tubers
Pellicularia koleroga, coffee fungus
fungus causing a disease in coffee and some other tropical plants
Volvaria bombycina
a parasite on various trees
sac fungus
any of various ascomycetous fungi in which the spores are formed in a sac or ascus
ascomycete, ascomycetous fungus
any fungus of the class Ascomycetes (or subdivision Ascomycota) in which the spores are formed inside an ascus
any of various single-celled fungi that reproduce asexually by budding or division
Aspergillus fumigatus
a mold causing aspergillosis in birds and man
Thielavia basicola, brown root rot fungus
fungus causing brown root rot in plants of the pea and potato and cucumber families
Wynnea americana
a fungus composed of several apothecia that look like elongated rabbit ears; the sterile surface is dark brown and warty; the fertile surface is smooth and pinkish orange
Wynnea sparassoides
a fungus with a long solid stalk embedded in soil and a yellow-brown head shaped like a cauliflower
false morel
a fungus of the family Helvellaceae
a large fungus of the family Helvellaceae
any fungus of the genus Gyromitra
gasteromycete, gastromycete
any fungus of the class Gasteromycetes
carrion fungus, stinkhorn
any of various ill-smelling brown-capped fungi of the order Phallales
puffball, true puffball
any of various fungi of the family Lycoperdaceae whose round fruiting body discharges a cloud of spores when mature
any fungus of the family Geastraceae; in form suggesting a puffball whose outer peridium splits into the shape of a star
Radiigera fuscogleba
a fungus similar to an earthstar except that it does not open up; the spore mass is brown at maturity with a column of sterile tissue extending up into it
bird's-nest fungus
any of various fungi of the family Nidulariaceae having a cup-shaped body containing several egg-shaped structure enclosing the spores
Gastrocybe lateritia
a species of Gastrocybe fungus that has a conic cap and a thin stalk; at first the stalk is upright but as it matures the stalk bends over and then downward; the cap then gelatinizes and a slimy mass containing the spores falls to the ground as the stalk collapses
Macowanites americanus
a small fungus with a fragile cap that cracks to expose the white context and a white stalk that is practically enclosed by the cap
Gastroboletus scabrosus
a dingy yellow brown fungus with a rough stalk that superficially resembles a bolete
Gastroboletus turbinatus
a fungus with a cap that can vary from red to dark brown; superficially resembles a bolete
Grifola frondosa, Polyporus frondosus, hen of the woods, hen-of-the-woods
large greyish-brown edible fungus forming a mass of overlapping caps that somewhat resembles a hen at the base of trees
Fomes igniarius, agaric
fungus used in the preparation of punk for fuses
any fungus of the family Boletaceae
jelly fungus
any fungus of the order Tremellales or Auriculariales whose fruiting body is jellylike in consistency when fresh
rust, rust fungus
any of various fungi causing rust disease in plants
smut, smut fungus
any fungus of the order Ustilaginales
Septobasidium pseudopedicellatum, felt fungus
fungus that frequently encircles twigs and branches of various trees especially citrus trees in southern United States
mold, mould
a fungus that produces a superficial growth on various kinds of damp or decaying organic matter
a fungus that produces a superficial (usually white) growth on organic matter
a fungus of the genus Verticillium
any of the yeastlike imperfect fungi of the genus Monilia
any of the yeastlike imperfect fungi of the genus Candida
any of various yeastlike budding fungi of the genus Blastomyces; cause disease in humans and other animals
Cercospora kopkei, yellow spot fungus
fungus causing yellow spot (a sugarcane disease in Australia)
Ustilaginoidea virens, green smut fungus
fungus causing green smut in rice
dry rot
a fungus causing dry rot
any fungus now or formerly belonging to the form genus Rhizoctinia
earth-tongue, earthtongue
any club-shaped fungus of the genus Geoglossum
powdery mildew
any of various fungi of the genus Erysiphe producing powdery conidia on the host surface
rye ergot
a sclerotium or hardened mass of mycelium
brown cup
a variety of sclerotinia
Scleroderma aurantium, Scleroderma citrinum
an earthball fungus that is a dingy brownish yellow and a dark purplish interior; the peridium is covered with a pattern of small warts
Scleroderma flavidium, star earthball
an earthball with a smooth upper surface that is at first buried in sand; the top of the fruiting body opens up to form segments like the ray of an umbel
Scleroderma bovista, smooth earthball
an earthball with a peridium that is firm dry and smooth when young but developing cracks when mature; pale orange-yellow when young and reddish brown at maturity
a variety of gastromycete
Rhizopogon idahoensis
a large whitish Rhizopogon that becomes greyish brown in maturity
Truncocolumella citrina
a fungus with a round yellow to orange fruiting body that is found on the surface of the ground or partially buried; has a distinctive sterile column extending into the spore-bearing tissue
any mold of the genus Mucor
any of various rot causing fungi of the genus Rhizopus
acellular slime mold, myxomycete, plasmodial slime mold, true slime mold
a slime mold of the class Myxomycetes
cellular slime mold
differing from true slime molds in being cellular and nucleate throughout the life cycle
water mold
parasitic or saprobic organisms living chiefly in fresh water or moist soil
downy mildew, false mildew
any of various fungi of the family Peronosporaceae parasitic on e.g. grapes and potatoes and melons
Pythium debaryanum, damping off fungus
fungus causing damping off disease in seedlings
a type of ascomycetous fungus
a type of ascomycetous fungus
club fungus
a club-shaped coral fungus
a lichen in which the fungus component is an ascomycete
a lichen in which the fungus component is a basidiomycete
any lichen of the genus Lecanora; some used in dyeing; some used for food
Roccella tinctoria, roccella
a source of the dye archil and of litmus
Usnea barbata, beard lichen, beard moss
greenish grey pendulous lichen growing on trees
horsehair lichen, horsetail lichen
any of several lichens of the genus Alectoria having a thallus consisting of filaments resembling hair
Cladonia rangiferina, arctic moss, reindeer lichen, reindeer moss
an erect greyish branching lichen of Arctic and even some north temperate regions constituting the chief food for reindeer and caribou and sometimes being eaten by humans
crotal, crottal, crottle
any of several lichens of the genus Parmelia from which reddish brown or purple dyes are made
Cetraria islandica, Iceland lichen, Iceland moss
lichen with branched flattened partly erect thallus that grows in mountainous and Arctic regions; used as a medicine or food for humans and livestock; a source of glycerol
any of various fleshy fungi of the subdivision Basidiomycota consisting of a cap at the end of a stem arising from an underground mycelium
a saprophytic fungus of the order Agaricales having an umbrellalike cap with gills on the underside
gill fungus
a basidiomycete with gills
Clavicipitaceae, grainy club mushrooms
any of various mushrooms of the class Ascomycetes
Saccharomyces cerevisiae, baker's yeast, brewer's yeast
used as a leaven in baking and brewing
Saccharomyces ellipsoides, wine-maker's yeast
used in making wine
cup fungus, discomycete
any fungus that is a member of the subclass Discomycetes
any fungus of the genus Helvella having the ascocarps stalked or pleated or often in folds
any fungus of the genus Discina
California false morel, Gyromitra californica
a gyromitra with a brown puffed up fertile part and a thick fluted stalk; found under conifers in California
Gyromitra sphaerospora, round-spored gyromitra
a gyromitra with a brown puffed up fertile part and a rosy pink fluted stalk and smooth round spores; found on hardwood slash east of the Great Plains
Gyromitra esculenta, beefsteak morel, brain mushroom
a poisonous gyromitra; the surface of the fertile body is smooth at first and becomes progressively undulating and wrinkled (but never truly pitted); color varies from dull yellow to brown
Gyromitra infula, saddled-shaped false morel
a poisonous fungus; saddle-shaped and dull yellow to brown fertile part is relatively even
Gyromitra brunnea, Gyromitra fastigiata
a lorchel with deep brownish red fertile part and white stalk
Gyromitra gigas
a gyromitra with a large irregular stalk and fertile part that is yellow to brown and wrinkled; has early fruiting time
Phallus impudicus, common stinkhorn
a common fungus formerly used in preparing a salve for rheumatism
Phallus ravenelii
this stinkhorn has a cap with a granulose surface at the apex and smells like decaying flesh
Mutinus caninus, dog stinkhorn
a stinkhorn having a stalk without a cap; the slimy gleba is simply plastered on its surface near the apex where winged insects can find it
Calostoma lutescens
a gasteromycete with a leathery stalk and a fruiting body that is globose and has a pale yellow spore case
Calostoma cinnabarina
a gasteromycete with a leathery stalk and a fruiting body this globose and has a red spore case
Calostoma ravenelii
a gasteromycete with a leathery stalk and a fruiting body with a thin gelatinous spore case and elliptical spores
Pseudocolus fusiformis, stinky squid
a stinkhorn of genus Pseudocolus; the fruiting body first resembles a small puffball that soon splits open to form a stalk with tapering arms that arch and taper to a common point
Calvatia gigantea, giant puffball
huge edible puffball up to 2 feet diameter and 25 pounds in weight
Geastrum coronatum
an earthstar with a bluish spore sac and a purplish brown gleba; at maturity the outer layer splits into rays that bend backward and elevate the spore sac
Astreus pteridis
the largest earthstar; the fruiting body can measure 15 cm across when the rays are expanded
Astreus hygrometricus
a common species of earthstar widely distributed in sandy soil; the gleba is a pale tan
polypore, pore fungus, pore mushroom
woody pore fungi; any fungus of the family Polyporaceae or family Boletaceae having the spore-bearing surface within tubes or pores; the fruiting bodies are usually woody at maturity and persistent
Boletus chrysenteron
a fungus convex cap and a dingy yellow under surface and a dry stalk
Boletus edulis
an edible and choice fungus; has a convex cap that is slightly viscid when fresh and moist but soon dries and a thick bulbous tan stalk
Boletus frostii, Frost's bolete
a fungus with a red cap and a red coarsely reticulate stalk
Boletus luridus
a poisonous fungus with a dingy yellow cap and orange red undersurface and a cylindrical reticulate stalk
Boletus mirabilis
a fungus that is edible when young and fresh; has a dark brown convex cap with a yellow to greenish under surface and reddish stalk
Boletus pallidus
a fungus that has an off-white cap when it is young but later becomes dingy brown and a stalk of the same color; the under surface of the cap (the tubes) a pale greenish yellow
Boletus pulcherrimus
a beautiful but poisonous bolete; has a brown cap with a scarlet pore surface and a thick reticulate stalk
Boletus pulverulentus
an edible fungus with a broadly convex blackish brown cap and a pore surface that is yellow when young and darkens with age; stalk is thick and enlarges toward the base
Boletus roxanae
a fungus with a rusty red cap and a white pore surface that becomes yellow with age and a pale yellow stalk
Boletus subvelutipes
a fungus with a velvety stalk and usually a dingy brown cap; injured areas turn blue instantly
Boletus variipes
an edible (but not choice) fungus found on soil under hardwoods; has a dry convex cap with whitish under surface and a reticulate stalk
Boletus zelleri
an edible and choice fungus that has a brown cap with greenish yellow under surface and a stalk that become dull red with age
Fuscoboletinus paluster
an edible fungus with a pinkish purple cap and stalk and a pore surface that is yellow with large angular pores that become like gills in maturity
Fuscoboletinus serotinus
an edible fungus with a broadly convex brown cap and a whitish pore surface and stalk
Leccinum fibrillosum
an edible fungus with a dark reddish brown cap and a wide light tan stalk that expands toward the base
Phylloporus boletinoides
a fungus with a broadly convex brown cap and pores that extend part way down the stalk
Suillus albivelatus
a short squat edible fungus with a reddish brown cap and white stalk; fruits under pines in the spring
Strobilomyces floccopus, old-man-of-the-woods
edible mild-tasting mushroom found in coniferous woodlands of eastern North America
Boletellus russellii
a fungus with a long coarsely shaggy reticulate stalk and a rimose areolate cap surface
Tremella fuciformis, snow mushroom
popular in China and Japan and Taiwan; gelatinous mushrooms; most are dried
Tremella lutescens, witches' butter
a yellow jelly fungus
Tremella foliacea
a jelly fungus with a fruiting body 5-15 cm broad and gelatinous in consistency; resembles a bunch of leaf lettuce; mostly water and brownish in color
Tremella reticulata
a jelly fungus with an erect whitish fruiting body and a highly variable shape (sometimes resembling coral fungi)
Auricularia auricula, Jew's-ear, Jew's-ears, ear fungus
widely distributed edible fungus shaped like a human ear and growing on decaying wood
Melampsora lini, flax rust, flax rust fungus
fungus causing flax rust
Cronartium ribicola, blister rust
fungus causing white pine blister rust and having a complex life cycle requiring a plant of genus Ribes as alternate host
Puccinia graminis, wheat rust
rust fungus that attacks wheat
Gymnosporangium juniperi-virginianae, apple rust, cedar-apple rust
rust fungus causing rust spots on apples and pears etc
covered smut
a smut fungus causing a smut disease of grains in which the spore masses are covered or held together by the grain membranes
loose smut
a smut fungus of the genus Ustilago causing a smut disease of grains in which the entire head is transformed into a dusty mass of spores
corn smut, cornsmut
a smut fungus attacking Indian corn
Sphacelotheca, genus Sphacelotheca
genus of smut fungus
Sphacelotheca reiliana, head smut
smut fungus attacking heads of corn or sorghum and causing a covered smut
Tilletia caries, bunt
fungus that destroys kernels of wheat by replacing them with greasy masses of smelly spores
Tilletia foetida, bunt, stinking smut
similar to Tilletia caries
Urocystis cepulae, onion smut
smut fungus causing blackish blisters on scales and leaves of onions; especially destructive to seedlings
flag smut fungus
a smut fungus causing a smut in cereals and other grasses that chiefly affects leaves and stems and is characterized chains of sori within the plant tissue that later rupture releasing black masses of spores
Candida albicans, Monilia albicans
a parasitic fungus that can infect the mouth or the skin or the intestines or the vagina
Type of:
being, organism
a living thing that has (or can develop) the ability to act or function independently

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