Identification: A Good Mushroom ID Book

Discussion in 'Fungi, Lichens and Slime Molds' started by ChinaCatSunflower, Mar 1, 2006.

  1. ChinaCatSunflower

    ChinaCatSunflower Member

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    Hi, I was looking around for a good mushroom identification book, and I was wondering if any of you know of a book for mushrooms of the west coast. I'm hoping for one that is a happy compromise between being comprehensive enough I can ID most mushrooms I find, and one that is small enough to be able to take with me on long hikes. Any ideas? Thanks.
     
  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    A happy compromise is not going to be easy. Setting aside the difficulty of identifying mushrooms by sight, most books on mushrooms tend to be written on regional or subcontinental basis and are hence more comprehensive than what you might be looking for (substitute more comprehensive for "heavier in your backpack").

    I'll add one that is likely the closest to what you are looking for in the new Fungus ID Books Database in a couple minutes.
     
  3. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I dug a little deeper - you might want to try and locate the Guide to Common Mushrooms of BC at a used bookstore. It's compact and restricted locally.
     
  4. ChinaCatSunflower

    ChinaCatSunflower Member

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    Thanks a bunch Daniel, I'll be sure to look for those next time im in a bookstore. You said that it's difficult to identify mushrooms by sight - what would some other ways be? I've heard of getting a gill print, but I'm not entirely sure what that is.
     
  5. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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  6. NiftyNiall

    NiftyNiall Active Member 10 Years

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    One simple thin beginners guide about 1/4" thick 5X7" is the: Guide to Western Mushrooms. BY: J.E.Underhill., published by Hancock House.
    Another but much thicker is: The Audubon Society, Field guide to North American Mushrooms. BY: Gary H.Lincoff, published by Alfred A.Knoff, it has good colour plates, but covers many mushrooms not found here, but many do. It does have a simple key system to hone in, on the Families, though. A complete treatise on the fascinating local mycology, would be a large document, and is needed.
     
  7. silver_creek

    silver_creek Active Member

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    We use two books for mushroom id- Mushrooms Demystified by David Aurora is our big reference book, and All the Rain Promises, and More, also by David Aurora, which is a pocket guide. Aurora is in Central California, but the big book covers North America, with West Coast focus, and the pocket guide is very West Coast oriented, California to Alaska. If you can find a local mushroom club that has field trips open to the public, or community mushrooming course, take it!
     
  8. Mycos

    Mycos Active Member

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    Speaking as somebody who has a rather extensive collection of mushroom ID books, my preference for a guide to take with me out in the field is still the Audubon Field Guide (Lincoff et al), just for the sheer number of high quality photos (around 800 ) with detailed descriptions. The use of a paper that's about as thin as rice or rolling paper succeeds in being able to put a lot of info into a book that is remarkably small. Being only about three inches wide, it is shaped with a pocket in mind as well.
    For home use, the Mushrooms Demystified (Arora) invariably comes out at some point or another. IMHO, if a person has just these two books, they're doing quite well.
     
  9. Mycos

    Mycos Active Member

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    I should also point out that fungus spores, being as light a they are, allows them to travel the world on the air currents. Because of this you'll find that any particular mushroom's distribution is more likely to be circumpolar or dependant on latitude than it is on actual location. Because of this, a field guide for Great Britain reads almost as well as something written exclusively for the PNW. So, although still highly recommended, Mushrooms Demystified will leave a PNWesterner a little mystified about the seasons given for when one is likely to find a particular mushroom in fruit. Arora's seasonal perspective is that of someone native to Santa Cruz. As such, he would have us out hunting Pine Mushrooms (Tricholoma magnivelare) in mid-winter when there's still snow on the ground up here.
     

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