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Mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of a fungus, just like apples are the fruiting bodies of an apple tree. A mushroom is a kind of fungus with the Latin name of Agaricus bisporus. Other cultivated mushrooms in the Netherlands are the oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) and the shiitake (Japanese mushroom) (Lentinula edodes).
In the vegetable kingdom the mushroom is ranked with the heterotrophic organisms (lower plants). In contrast to the higher, green plants, these heterotrophs are not capable of photosynthesis. Fungi are the scavengers of nature. In mushroom cultivation too, waste products such as chicken manure, horse manure, straw, gypsum and waste water (from their own composting) are used to produce a high-quality substrate from which the mushrooms will grow.