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the surface of the fruiting bodies of fungi, primarily the Basidiomycetes, on which the hymenium develops; the hymenium bears the basidia with the spores. In primitive Basidiomycetes, the hymenophore is smooth (the families Thelephoraceae and Clavariaceae) or folded (the family Cantherellaceae). In more highly organized forms it is prickly (the family Hydnaceae) or tubular (the family Agaricaceae). The latter forms have significantly greater spore-forming surfaces and, therefore, larger numbers of spores.