There are a huge number of mushrooms species in the world, but the number of gourmet and medicinal species that are cultivated domestically instead of foraged.

Further, each species has one or more strains, which are genetic lines selected for specific traits and cloned to maintain those traits. Each species has different needs for growing medium, temperatures and light needs. Most cultivated mushrooms are saprotrophic, meaning they decompose dead organisms, and are generally grown on products such as straw or sawdust.