One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The vegetative part of a fungus, consisting of a network of fine white filaments (hyphae).
- ‘One to five weeks after the grass seeds germinate, the mycelium, or vegetative filaments of the fungus, migrate to the lower part of the stem.’
- ‘Toxins occur in both the mycelium and spores of fungi.’
- ‘Fungal mycelia are capable of rapid and comprehensive exploration and colonization of nutrient patches.’
- ‘Once excreted, the fungal mycelium [the mass of hyphae emanating from the fungus] grows into tiny spheres, about the size of a small pinhead.’
- ‘The primary function of the fungal mycelium is absorption of nutrients from the soil, and the translocation of these materials to the host.’
Mid 19th century: modern Latin, from Greek mukēs ‘fungus’, on the pattern of epithelium.
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