Where Do Mushrooms Grow?

Forrest mushrooms; Shutterstock
Forrest mushrooms; Shutterstock
  • Hallucinogenic mushrooms are an important part of some shamanic traditions.
  • Most edible mushrooms have a poisonous lookalike.
  • Some mushrooms have been used for centuries for healing.

Mushrooms can be found in many varied climates and continents. The wide variety of mushrooms that exist in our world have been used for centuries for various purposes.  

Some are a culinary staple of cultural cuisine.  There are those that have been brewed into medicinal concoctions.  Some have found their way into the toolkit of the assassin because of their toxic qualities. They can be tasty, healing, or deadly, and it is not always easy to tell which is which.  The reason for this is because many benign mushrooms have a deadly doppelganger.

Where Do Mushrooms Grow

Where mushrooms grow can be dependent on whether they are decomposers of dead organic material, or have a symbiotic relationship with the root system nearby living plants. The term for the decomposers of organic material is “saprotrophs”.  The symbiotic mushrooms are called “ectomycorrhizal”.

The ideal conditions for wild mushrooms to grow are shady or dark places, moist places, a growing medium or substratum, and a relatively cool environment. The temperature range for the growth of wild mushrooms can be from 40 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, with the ideal being about 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

A Mushroom's Surrounding Climate Is Crucial

Mushrooms do not contain chlorophyll, therefore they cannot produce their own food using the process of photosynthesis. Mushrooms use the substratum that they grow on or have a symbiotic relationship with, in order to create the nutrients that they require.  Moisture is also very important to them, but an overabundance of water can actually kill them. 

Mushrooms are found throughout the world. A wide variety of mushrooms are found throughout the Northern Hemisphere. This can make things tricky in identifying edible mushrooms and medicinal mushrooms versus hallucinogenic or poisonous mushrooms.  

The Various Types Of Mushrooms

The hallucinogenic mushrooms are often used for entheogenic purposes, as well as being used in Shamanic healing practices of inner journeying and magical rituals. These entheogenic mushrooms are also used within initiatory rites and rites of passage into adulthood in some cultures.

The mushrooms that have certain medicinal, healing properties are not just the purview of wise women and New Age healers. Mushrooms with the power to heal are part of the pharmacopeia of Traditional Chinese Medicine and other ancient healing systems that are still with us today.

Of course, the most common usage of mushrooms is to eat them. Your pizza tastes so much better when topped with mushrooms alongside pepperoni. 

One can find mushrooms at the edge of forests, within the darkness of the forest itself, at the base of trees, in a ring in the grass, growing upon dead and decaying organic matter, and even on one’s lawn. There are certain conditions that help mushrooms to thrive, as already mentioned, but within that wide range, mushrooms are quite a hardy species.  

Just remember not to eat wild mushrooms unless you are willing to bet your life on the safety of doing such a thing, because your life may just depend on your certainty.


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