CA Mushrooms
CA Mushrooms

Book Review

Flora Agaricina Neerlandica, Volume 7:
Boletales, Russulales

By Machiel E. Noordeloos, Henk C. den Bakker, Sietse van der Linde (Boletales); Annemieke Verbeken, Jorinde Nuytinck, Machiel E. Noordeloos (Russulales)
Series Editors: Machiel E. Noordeloos, Thomas W. Kuyper, Inge Somhorst, Else C. Vellinga
ISBN 978-88-94371000
hardcover, 632 pp
68 €

With Volume 7, this long-running series that documents the mycota of the Netherlands has undergone a major face-lift. The six previous installments were large-format books (letter-sized pages), illustrated entirely with line drawings. The new-look volume is shorter, narrower, fatter, and (hooray!) features 250 pages of color photos, about 500 in total, while retaining the familiar line drawings. Readers familiar with the excellent Fungi Europaei series published by Massimo Candusso will feel right at home with this book.

As was the case with the earlier volumes, this one comprises a General Part and a Taxonomic Part. The 64-page General Part includes the Introduction; Scope, Methods, and Presentation; List of Abbreviations in Text and Drawings; a very helpful illustrated Glossary, which concludes with nine plates of color photos, black and white photos, and line drawings of features specific to the Boletales and Russulales; Abbreviations of [Taxonomic] Authors’ Names; Bibliographic Abbreviations; Acknowledgments; and New Combinations Made in this Volume.

The Taxonomic Part begins with the order, Boletales, including the usual fleshy-pored fungi in the Boletaceae and Suillaceae, along with their close gilled relatives Paxillus, Tapinella, Gomphidius, and Chroogomphus. Hypogeous members of the order, such as Rhizopogon, are not covered here. During this decade, the number of in-use names of bolete genera has expanded greatly as new genera have been described and some older ones resurrected, reflecting interpretation of the results of DNA sequencing and phylogenetic analyses. Whether all the “new” names will find wide continuing use remains to be seen and the editors take a conservative approach here, while explaining their rationale clearly. A key (actually a set of 10 keys) to the species follows. For those who want to practice their myco-Dutch, the keys are presented in that language as well as in English. They make use mostly of macro features and ecological occurrence, but spore and cystidia characters are used where necessary.

The 27 bolete genera are numbered sequentially as are individual species, through use of a suffix so, for instance, Boletus edulis is species 1.01, B. reticulatus is 1.02, Neoboletus erythropus is 2.01, and so forth. Each species treatment includes its name with author and date/place of publication; principal synonyms, exclusions, and misapplications; selected references to illustrations and descriptions in other publications; the Dutch vernacular name; extensive macro and micro descriptions, habitat and distribution; and, often lengthy, commentary. Well-rendered line drawings of the fruitbody, including in long-section, spores, and cystidia accompany the text. The color photos are grouped together in the Iconographic Part at the back of the book.

Although the volume’s title would lead one to believe the Russulales is treated in full, actually only the genera Lactarius (62 spp.) and Lactifluus (5 spp.) are covered (one can deal with only so much in one book). The species numbering system and information presented are in the same format as for the boletes.

The addition of the color-photographs in the Iconographic Part is most welcome, indeed. Most species are represented by more than one photo, which is very helpful. The quality of the photos varies from excellent to passable, but nearly all are effective in showing the necessary features of the fungi. Some of the bolete photos are rather dark and others suffer from (usually yellowish) color casts, making it difficult to be sure what the actual range of colors for the species is. But this is a minor complaint. The book concludes with an index organized by specific epithet.

The new look suits FAN-7 well and the price is very reasonable. Like its predecessors, it deserves a much wider readership in North America than has been the case with the previous volumes (and for the Fungi Europaei series as well). They reflect a high standard of careful work and having effective representations of the European taxa is essential for us to use in comparing our fungi, many of which are not quite the same as their European counterparts.

— Review by Steve Trudell
— Originally published in Fungi