Fungi belong to a group called a Kingdom. Fungi have similar characteristics to plants and are sometimes mistakenly put in the Plant Kingdom. Plants have chlorophyll that helps them make their own food and makes them green. Fungi have no chlorophyll. Fungi decay dead organic matter or grow on other organisms to get nutrients for growth. Animals belong to their own Kingdom as do bacteria.
Fungi can be found in many different environments. Fungi will grow on almost anything. Fungi can be found outside in forests, gardens and even in your own backyard. Some are good to eat, but some are deadly. They can also grow on your feet causing them to become itchy, known as athlete's foot. Some fungi can cause ringworm on the body. Many species are often found on foods in the form of yeasts and molds.
Last update: 16 Mar 99. Preparation of this page by Erika Quinn and Robert Fogel was supported in part by the University of Michigan Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.