Below is a list of common terms used by mushroom growers. This list is a work in progress, so please be patient while we add new terms. 


An Abort is a mushroom that stops growing at various stages in the growth cycle. Aborts will generally have a black or dark brown cap and will never reach maturity.

what is a mushroom abort?

AGAR Plate:

An agar plate is a petri dish with a growing medium comprised of Agar (a gelatinous substance) and some sort of sugar. Agar plates are used to grow fungus, molds, and other organisms.

Agar plate for mushrooms


The process of removing a fully colonized mycelium cake, such as a BRF cake, from its container.


Shorthand for brown rice flower powder. Used as food/nutritional source for growing mycelium.


The top section of a mushroom. Often conical shaped on top, with gills on the underside.


A non-nutritious layer of hydrated medium which covers the fully colonized cake. The casing layer is used to encourage fruit body production.

Cobweb Mold:

Cobweb is a mold contaminate that resembles cobwebs in appearance. It is often found growing on the top of the substrate or casing layer. Cobweb is a contaminate and is easily killed by spraying the mold with hydrogen peroxide.

what is cobweb mold? image of cobweb on mushrooms

Coir/Coco Coir

A course fiber made from the husk of a coconut. Coco has antimicrobial properties and absorbs water very well making it an ideal material for mushroom substrates.

Found at pet supplies stores or on Amazon

what is coco coir. image of coco for mushrooms


Mycelium is a network of fungal threads, that form the vegititative body. The fruiting bodies, or fruits, such as mushrooms, can sprout from a mycelium.

When compared to a plant, mycelium is the root system and the mushroom is the flower.

Liquid Culture:

Live mycelium in a liquid broth consisting of a sugar and water.

liquid culture


Material for the mycelium to grow in. Usually comprised of organic materials such as sawdust, manure, coco coir, vermiculite, grains, straw, and other matter.

mushroom substrate


introduction of mycelium culture or spores to the substrate. Innoculation is done to start the growth process. 

innoculating with spore syringe


Acronym for Traditional Ecological Knowledge. Although not identical in meaning, the use of “TEK” may be thought of as a technique. Often prefaced with the type of Tek; e.g. PF-Tek, Bucket Tek, Uncle Bens Tek, etc…


A type of green mold. Contamination. Starts out white, turns green when it begins to release mold spores. If you see green mold it is already too late.


mushroom contamination


Substrate material that is fully colonized by mycelium. 

fully colonized spawn jar


Microscopic reproductive organisms that are released by a mature mushroom. Think of spores as seeds. 

mushroom spores under a microscope

Spore Syringe: 

A syringe containing a mixture of sterilized water and mushroom spores.

what is a spore syringe

Spore Print: 

Mushrooms collected on a medium such as tin foil. Spore prints are made by removing the cap of the mushroom and placing over a collection medium.

What is a spore print. Image of a spore print


Polyester fibers that resembles synthetic cotton. Used to control air-flow in monotub grow chambers. Can be purchased at craft and fabric stores or on Amazon.

polyfil for monotubs


The first visible sign of a mushroom fruit-body. Baby mushrooms.

what is pinning. Image of mushrooms pinning


A process of partial-sterilization whereby substrate is heated to 140-160F for a period of 1-8 hours. The goal of pasteurization is to kill off harmful microbes while keeping beneficial microbes alive.

Psilocybin, Psilocin:

The psychoactive compound found in hallucinogenic mushrooms.

What is Psilocybin?

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