By: Catherine Jevic
In this activity, you are going to collect the spores from your mushroom in a spore print.
Making a spore print is a fun way to learn about how a mushroom propagates (spreads its spores), assist you in identifying the mushroom and a creative way to make mushroom art.
What is a spore? A spore is the ‘seed’ of the fungus and is the means with which the fungus reproduces. Mushrooms, the fruiting bodies of fungi, carry millions of spores in a wide variety of ways, some of which include: on the underside of the mushroom cap or gills or in tubes, on spines, pores, or wrinkled surfaces of the mushroom, enclosed in fruiting bodies (puffballs) or in a saclike structure (flask, cup, brain or sponge fungi).
When the mushroom ages, it begins to drop its spores. The spores generally drop close to the mushroom, but can be carried to other places by the wind or by animals.
- Mature mushrooms ready to drop their spores.
- Construction or printer paper
- Cups or bowls large enough to cover the mushrooms
- Hair spray or aerosol fixative used for pastels or chalk drawings.