The mushroom-like fruiting bodies are produced between June and October (4); these often appear in clusters and are partially buried in the soil (2). This fungus forms a mycorrhizal relationship with the spruce Picea alba and is therefore associated with the tree’s root system (4).
Fungi are an enormous group of organisms that are so distinctive from both plants and animals that they are placed in their own kingdom. The main body of the fungus is composed of a multitude of microscopic threads (known as ‘hyphae’) which are located within the substrate (5). The fruiting body (such as the more familiar toadstool or mushroom) is produced to release spores and thus allows reproduction to occur. Fungi feed by absorbing nutrients from their surroundings.