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Comprehensive Mushroom Guides

Mushrooms Demystified
by David Arora

Mushrooming books do not get better than this! If you are interested in mushrooms (and why else would you be here?) and you don't have this book, you should buy it now! The book has the best introductory material about mushrooming that I have seen. It covers such topics as "what is a mushroom", names and classi fication, collecting mushrooms, mushroom habitats, and mushroom identification. Mushrooms Demystified is well illustrated with color and b/w photos, although more color photos would be nice. But the heart of the book is the great descriptions and discussion of each species. Over 600 species are given a full description and over 2000 are included in the excellent keys. Mushrooms Demystified is witty, well written, and accurate. It is most useful in the Western United States, but mushroomers everywhere will find much of interest here. A classic!

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North American Boletes:
A Color Guide to the Fleshy Pored Mushrooms
by Alan E. Bessette, William C. Roody, and Arleen R. Bessette

coverA guide to this highly prized group of mushrooms known for their beautiful colours, distinctive features, relative abundance and edibility. The book features species descriptions, easy to follow keys that emphasize macroscopic features for eastern and western North America and information on collecting, cooking and preserving boletes. (Description from Amazon.)

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Milk Mushrooms of North America:
A Field Identification Guide to the Genus Lactarius
Alan E. Bessette, David B. Harris, & Arleen R. Bessette

coverThis is a comprehensive field guide to the milk mushrooms of North America. Featuring over 150 species and varieties, this volume includes detailed descriptions and more than 250 rich color photographs. The photographs were selected for high-quality color fidelity, documentary merit, and aesthetic appeal of the subject. The number of species described and illustrated in color, some for the very first time, is substantially more than has previously appeared in any other single work devoted to the milk mushrooms of North America. With accurate, detailed, and easy-to-follow descriptions, this volume is ideally suited for both amateur mushroom enthusiasts and professional mycologists. In addition to the descriptions and illustrations, it includes sections devoted to the features and process of identification, to the ecology of milk mushrooms, and to the edibility of members of the genus Lactarius. Additional sections for species related to Lactarius and hyperparasites of the genus are included in this field guide. (Description from Amazon.)

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Macrofungi Associated with Oaks
of Eastern North America
by Steve Stephenson, William Roody, Harold H. Burdsall, Orson K. Miller, & Larissa Vasilyeva

coverMacrofungi Associated with Oaks of Eastern North America represents the first major publication devoted exclusively to the macrofungi that occur in association with oak trees in the forests of eastern North America. The macrofungi covered in this volume include many of the more common examples of the three groups (mycorrhizal fungi,decomposers, and pathogens) that are ecologically important to the forest ecosystems in which oaks occur. More than 200 species of macrofungi are described and illustrated and information is given on edibilty, medicinal properties, and other novel uses. This publication reflects the combined expertise of six mycologists on the macrofungi one is likely to encounter in an oak forest. (Description from Amazon.)

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Mushrooms of Northeastern North America
by Alan Bessette, Arleen Bessette, and David Fischer

coverOver 1500 species are included in the extensive keys in this volume, with over 600 species given a full description. The others are given a mini-description right in the keys. These short descriptions can make the keys harder to follow, but it is nice to have some comments on the species not given the full treatment. Each of the species given a full description is illustrated by a small but good quality photograph. One complaint about the book is how the photographs are grouped together by type (e.g. all agarics), separate from the descriptions. Ideally the photographs should near the descriptions, but here the publisher has not even provided a page number for the description from the photograph or a page number for the photograph from the description. Also, the keys are difficult and almost impossible to use. Still, this is a quality, comprehensive guide to the fungi of northeastern North America and serious mushroomers living in that area will find this book essential.

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Mushrooms of the Southeastern United States
by Alan E. Bessette, William C. Roody, Arleen R. Bessette, & Dail L. Dunaway

coverThis book is a comprehensive field guide to the mushrooms of the southeastern United States. Although it will stand on its own, it is intended to complement and serve as a companion to Mushrooms of Northeastern North America, also published by Syracuse University Press. Together these volumes form a foundation and reference for identifying mushrooms found in eastern North America from Canada to the subtropics of Florida and Texas. Featuring more than 450 species, this volume includes detailed descriptions and rich color photographs. The photographs were selected for high-quality color fidelity and documentary merit and reflect some of the aesthetic appeal of the subject. The number of species described and illustrated in color is substantially more than has previously appeared in any other single work devoted to the mushrooms of the southeastern United States. Although this book contains the necessary detail required by advanced students and professional mycologists, it emphasizes identification based primarily on macroscopic field characters for easier use by a general audience. (Description from Amazon.)

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Mushrooms of North America
by Roger Phillips

coverIn this beautifully illustrated book, Phillips vividly presents the world of mushrooms. Unlike the photographs in other guides, which are taken in the field, the more than 1000 color photographs featured here were shot in the studio in order to capture both the external features of mushrooms as well as their internal anatomy. Each picture includes specimens representing various stages of growth, and the accompanying annotation describes the anatomy of the cap, gills, stem, and spores. In addition, the author explains where the particular species of mushroom is found, its season of growth, and whether or not it is edible. Amateur mycologists as well as professionals in the field will find this book an invaluable guide. Highly recommended as a basic library reference source. (Paul C. Radich, Univ. of Indianapolis...quoted from Amazon)

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Le Grand livre des champignons
du Québec et de l'est du Canada
by Raymond McNeil

coverThis is a great book with extensive coverage, good descriptions, and beautiful photographs. It would be marvelous if it got translated into English since my high school French is not quite up to the task of reading it!

This book is not available from Amazon. I got my copy from Amazon in Canada, but currently it's not available there either. But a Google search will find it...it's well worth the effort, especially if you can read the French!

Edible and Poisonous Mushrooms of the World
by Ian R. Hall, Steven L. Stephenson, Peter K. Buchanan, & Wang Yun

coverMushrooms are among the most intriguing and striking inhabitants of the natural world, as highly regarded for their distinctive flavors and uses in cooking and medicine as for their sometimes strange, often beautiful shapes and forms. Some are medicinal, others poisonous or even lethal. Edible and Poisonous Mushrooms of the World is a well-rounded look at mushrooms, including their cultivation, ethnobotanical uses, and the fascinating roles they play in nature. The authors provide expert advice on how to identify and distinguish between edible and poisonous wild mushrooms and how to record important details, with suggestions for taking photographs and preparing spore prints. More than 250 stunning photographs accompany the text. Truly international in its coverage, this engaging introduction to the world of mushrooms will appeal to naturalists, students, photographers, chefs, hikers, and potential growers from around the world. (Description from Amazon.)

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