What Is the Life Cycle of a Mushroom?

life-cycle-mushroom Credit: Timo Newton-Syms/Flickr/CC-BY-2.0

A mushroom's life cycle consists of sporulation, mycelium growth, mushroom primordia and growth into a mature mushroom. The mature mushroom then produces spores and the entire process is repeated.

The life cycle of a mushroom occurs in five steps:

  1. Adult mushrooms produce spores and release them into the air. This is known as sporulation.
  2. The spores are carried by the wind and land in a hospitable growing environment. The environment can be soil, manure or even debris from other plants. They germinate and start to produce mycelium in the soil.
  3. The mycelia grow toward the surface and form the mushroom primordia. At this stage, it resembles a small mushroom with a casing called the universal veil.
  4. The mushroom grows, breaks the universal veil and becomes a mature mushroom.
  5. The mature mushroom produces its own spores, and the process repeats itself.