Historical Survey of Mycology

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    UNLIKE the treatment of flowering plants, so far as Linnaeus was concerned, the subject of mycology had scarcely begun before his time. It is true that many fungi were mentioned by the classical writers but most of the interest in them was derived solely from their gastronomic effects. Their origin puzzled certain writers who regarded them as the result of the fermentation of the earth; truffles, on the other hand, were supposed to be due to the action of lightning. Herbals were based on classical authority: in 1593 Cesalpino wrote suggesting that fungi were not plants and were spontaneously generated.

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    Historical Survey of Mycology. Nature 143, 992–993 (1939) doi:10.1038/143992a0

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