Mature Fruiting Bodies of Basimycetes [Basidiomycota]
The Basidiomycota are one of two phyla of “higher fungi” - the other being the Ascomycota. The primary differentiation between the two phyla is their method of reproduction, which gets pretty complicated and spore-filled, so I won’t go into that.
What we call “mushrooms” are found in both phyla, with the Basidiomycota generally being more woody or leathery in texture, and the Ascomycota being more soft and fleshy. For example, species such as the chanterelles, shiitakes, giant puffballs, and sulfur shelf (chicken mushroom/Chicken of the Woods) are all Basidiomycotes. Morels and truffles are some Ascomycotes, along with many other interesting fungi, like Baker’s Yeast, the fungus that gave us penicillin, and the fungus that gives us blue cheeses.
Kunstformen der Natur [Plate 63]. Ernst Haeckel, 1904.