Water-balloon Mushroom Fruits and The Tao of Terrior (Part 1 & Part 2)

A mushroom is really just the fruit of a giant mycorrhizal (probably perennial) organism that lives underground. I learned that in a mushroom class I took over the weekend.  I kinda knew this tidbit of information, but mostly I didn’t – at least not stated quite like that.

And do you know why mushrooms can grow so quickly?  It is because they don’t grow by cell division (like most everything else on the planet).  They are like balloons where a bunch of mycorrhiza line up in whatever formation that they do and then they blow up – like filling a water balloon.  This is how they just appear overnight.

Lately, I am fascinated with all things going on underground.  It started when Bernadette Giblin wrote The Tao of Terrior (part 1) for the Summer issue of PITH + VIGOR and it continued and intensified when I researched and wrote The Tao of Terrior (part 2) for the Autumn issue.

The Tao of Terrior - learning about soil and how it creates beautiful and tasty regional nuances in our plants, vegetables, and flowers. by rochelle greayer www.pithandvigor.com

The idea behind the two pieces was to introduce some of the people who are talking about the soil and its impact on terrior – as related to everything we can grow (other than wine) and then try to link together all the different pieces of this hidden world.   This underground ecosystem is complex and fascinating and not one that we know as much about (at least when you compare it to our knowledge of what is going in above ground).

So it isn’t completely surprising that these mushroom facts were new to me – even though I just wrote this whole piece and maybe should have already known them.

I’m curious, do you think of mushrooms as the water-balloon fruits of a giant underground living thing?  Or did I just tell you something new?

– Rochelle

Expert voices of the soil. by bernadette giblin illustration by samantah dion baker for pithandvigor.com

illustration for these two pieces by Samantha Dion Baker

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About Rochelle Greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.
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2 Comments

  1. Jack Lenders on October 26, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    Love your site, and its view on gardening.
    But I couldn’t let this slight error go uncorrected.
    True a mushroom is the fruiting body of a giant underground mycorrhizal.
    But it’s not a plant in any way. Mushroom are completely separate kingdom of organisms. I.e. Eubacteria, Archae, Protista, Fungi, Plantae, and Animalia.

    • The Editor on October 26, 2015 at 10:16 pm

      Jack – Did I say it was plant??!!?? I didn’t mean that…. searching for where to correct – Thanks!

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