Mushrooms are not plants! Recently it has been discovered that they are more closely related to animals. What we see on the redwood forest floor is the fleshy, spore-bearing  fruit (like an apple) of the mushroom “body” and contain mushroom “seeds” called spores. A mushroom spends most of its life below the ground.

Mushrooms of the redwood forest

Bird’s nest fungus, in the family Nidulariaceae, is named for its appearance. This fungus receives its nutrients from decaying wood and plant matter, and therefore is commonly found on fallen logs or branches. Photo by pellaea, Flickr Creative Commons.
Arguably the most iconic toadstool species in the world, the fly agaric (Amanita muscaria ) is a large white-spotted, usually red mushroom. But, don’t eat it! It is poisonous. Photo by Michael Kauffmann.
Hypholoma capnoides is a mushroom that grows on decaying wood like on old tree stumps. Photo by Michael Kauffmann.

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